How to check for a Photoshop footprint in EXIF data

Photoshop was originally a tool for improving photos or fixing mistakes in them that couldn’t be corrected when a photo was actually taken. It’s a powerful bit of software so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if it’s used for more than just its intended use. Of course, no one could imagine it would be popular with Instagram users. If you happen to come across an image that you suspect is Photoshopped, and you can’t tell just by looking, there’s still a chance you will find a Photoshop footprint in the EXIF data. Here’s how to look for it.

Photoshop footprint in EXIF data

There’s no shortage of tools for viewing EXIF data. You can find web apps, desktop apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux, and mobile apps that do the job. The results may vary in that some apps may not display all the data that is stored in an image.

For this specific purpose, i.e., to find the Photoshop footprint in EXIF data, you can use a web app called Exifdata.

Visit the web app and upload the photo you want to check for the Photoshop footprint. The image should not be larger than 20MB. Once uploaded, the app will reveal the EXIF data that it’s found.

Under ‘XMP Toolkit’ and ‘Creator Tool’ look for anything related to Adobe and any mention of Photoshop. In the screenshot above, Exifdata not only indicates that the image has been passed through Photoshop (notice the very obvious brush stroke on the image), but also that it was edited on a Windows system.

Is EXIF data wrong?

Technically, EXIF data can be removed from an image and it can be edited. There are quite a few EXIF data editors available for free use. Additionally, someone editing an image in Photoshop may have the foresight to remove or prevent this information from being added to an image in the first place. Last, if the image you’re checking was downloaded from a web service e.g., a social media website, it is possible that the website removed some of the data when the original uploaded added it.

If you do need to investigate an image, the EXIF data is a good place to start for two reasons; it can be independently verified by anyone, and it’s quick. On this same note, remember to not use this method maliciously. You might want to use it to verify if a photo of a UFO landing is real or not, but using it on someone’s vacation photos to prove they’re not real is a bit much.

Read How to check for a Photoshop footprint in EXIF data by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix Chrome error code: 4 0x80070005 on Windows 10

Chrome is a stable application on all platforms that it is available for however, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t run into problems. It has a built-in Reset feature which allows you to fix the browser if it’s been hijacked by a malicious extension, or if the settings you’ve tweaked have made it unstable. The reset can’t fix everything, especially if the problem is on the OS level and not with the browser itself. That’s the case with Chrome error code: 4 0x80070005. The code prevents the browser from being updated where normally it can update automatically. Here’s how to fix it.

Fix Chrome error code: 4 0x80070005

This error appears when you try to update Chrome and it’s because a service that is supposed to run when you check for updates isn’t available. It’s either not running or the service has been deleted. In either cases, the simplest way to fix Chrome error code: 4 0x80070005 is to install Chrome again.

You won’t have to delete the current installation of Chrome. All you have to do is visit the Chrome download page, download the installer, and run it like you normally do. The newest version, or even the current version, will be installed over the current one. All your data, profiles, bookmarks, history, new tab page, etc., will all remain perfectly intact.

It’s a good idea to close Chrome when it’s installing however, if you have it open, you can simply relaunch it and the new version will be installed.

This error, and many others like it, can often be resolved by doing an in-place installation of Chrome. You can try searching online to figure out which service is missing or checking the list of services on Windows 10 that are related to a Chrome error and manually starting them as well but this solution is much simpler than doing any of that.

This error may appear on other operating systems as well where Chrome updates differently. It is still worth trying this method. If your OS doesn’t allow you to do an in-place installation, you might have to do a clean installation. In this case, use Chrome’s sync feature first to back up your history, bookmarks, and profile. If you’re unable to use Chrome Sync, locate your Chrome profile folder and back it up somewhere before you proceed with a clean installation.

It is also worth checking if you’ve enabled anything on your desktop that prevents automatic services or app updates from running.

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How to back up a Chrome extension

Chrome extensions exist in one of two places; in the Chrome web store, or literally anywhere a developer deems fit to distribute them from. Developers mostly user Github when it comes to distributing an extension outside the Chrome web store and they resort to this when an extension is unlikely to be approved. The extensions in the Chrome web store have all been approved by Google however, they may still be removed any time. A developer may decide to pull their extension from the store or Google might change its mind and remove it. In either case, it’s a good idea to back up a Chrome extension that you absolutely cannot work without. Here’s how.

Back up Chrome extension

In order to back up a Chrome extension, it must still be available in the Chrome web store. That is where you will download the file from. In order to download an extension from the Chrome web store and not install it automatically, you need to install the Get CRX extension from the Chrome web store.

Once installed, navigate to the Chrome web store page of the extension you want to back up. Click the Get CRX extension’s button next to the URL bar and select the ‘Get CRX of this extension’ option from the context menu. CRX is the file format for Chrome extension files.

Select where you want to save the file, and it will download in a few seconds. This CRX file can now be installed and you no longer need to visit the Chrome web store page for it.

Install a CRX file

To install the extension that you backed up, navigate to the CRX file and use any archiving utility to extract it. Don’t worry that it is not a ZIP or RAR file. Once it has been extracted, open Chrome and click the more options menu at the top right. Select More Tools>Extensions.

On the Extensions page, enable Developer mode. Next, click the Load Unpacked button and select the folder that the extension was extracted to. The extension will be installed.

It’s worth mentioning that these extensions won’t update automatically. If you want them to update automatically, you will have to install them from the Chrome Web Store. This method should only be used if you’re afraid an extension might be removed from the store and you will lose access to it. Remember that some extensions might be pulled from the store if they pose a security risk and if you continue to use it via the back up you took, you are putting yourself at risk as well.

Finally, using this method to get an extension, repacking and redistributing it is not only unethical but also a crime.

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How to change a Firefox preference value

Firefox is a modern web browser with an extensive list of features and quite a few customization options. End users can customize how the browser works via its Options window however, Firefox has other settings that users can change from its about:config page. This page lists settings that are otherwise inaccessible from the main settings’ panel. Here’s how you can change a Firefox preference value.

Firefox preference page

Open Firefox and in the URL bar, enter the following;

about:config

Tap Enter and you will see warning telling you that if you tamper with the settings on the next page, you might void your ‘warranty’. This basically means Mozilla isn’t responsible if the browser crashes or if you happen to lose anything as a result of the crash. It also means that if you disable any security setting, and as a result, your data is stolen, the browser isn’t responsible. Accept the warning and you’ll be taken to the Firefox preference page.

Change preference value

The preference page, as you will see, is long and the preferences don’t have user friendly names. This means that if you intend to change a Firefox preference, you should already know what it’s called. New preferences are added to the browser as it updates over time and some preferences may also be removed.

Preference value

In order to change a Firefox preference, you must first know what kind of values it is capable of holding. Preferences hold two different types of values.

A preference can have one of the following values;

0 = Allowed

1 = Blocked

2 = Prompt

If you set the value of a preference to 0, whatever feature it controls will be enabled. If you set its value to 1, the feature will be blocked. If you set the value to 2, you will be asked if you want to run the feature.

The second type of value a preference can have is either True or False. This is far easier to understand and it is mostly for services instead of features e.g., is a certain service allowed to run in your browser.

Changing values

Double click a preference. If a value data box opens, it means you’re dealing with the first type of preference that can hold three different values. Enter the one you want to set for it. If a preference’s default value is either true or false, double-clicking it will change it.

Reset values

Any time you want to reset a Firefox preference back to its default value, right-click it and select Reset from the context menu. If a preference is in bold text, it means that it is not set to its default value. Preferences in normal, non-bold text are all in their default states.

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How to force Chrome to prioritize URLs over search terms

Chrome remembers what terms you’ve recently searched for. It’s been able to do this for quite a while. The URL bar, or the omnibar, in Chrome can look up your recent searches, frequently visited URLs, and bookmarks. Lately, Chrome has begun to prioritize searches over URLs. This means that if you recently searched for ‘yeti pictures’ and later type in Y in the URL bar expecting the first result to be YouTube, you’re instead going to get ‘Yeti pictures’ as the first option. YouTube will likely be in the list of suggestions, just further down. This is a bug. Here’s how you can force Chrome to prioritize URLs over search terms.

Force Chrome to prioritize URLs over searches

Open Chrome and in the URL bar, enter the following;

chrome://flags

Tap enter to go to the Chrome Flags page. Use the search bar at the top to look for a flag called “Omnibox Google Drive Document Suggestions”. Open the dropdown next to it, and select Disabled from the menu. Relaunch Chrome and it should start prioritizing URLs over search results.

This is a bug, not a feature. If you decide to set the value of this flag to Enabled, Chrome will not start to prioritize search results over URLs. It doesn’t work both ways. This flag is meant to show items from your Google Drive when you search in the URL bar in Chrome. For some reason, it fixes whatever is causing the bug.

The bug doesn’t effect all users but it does seem to effect a good number of them. It’s possible it might fix itself if you reset Chrome or do a clean install of the browser however, if you’re not willing to try that at the risk that it may not work, this fix really is the best option.

An update to the browser may fix the problem as well. If this flag doesn’t do the trick, wait a few weeks for the next Chrome update to arrive. It is possible that a simple update will do the trick. Google hasn’t acknowledged this bug so the next update isn’t likely going to contain an explicit fix for it but an update may fix whatever is broken.

If you’re looking for a way to remove a search result altogether from the omnibox, regardless of what order it appears in, you can do so by tapping the Shift+Delete key on your keyboard with the search term highlighted. If you search for the same term again though, it will return and you will have to remove it again.

Read How to force Chrome to prioritize URLs over search terms by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter