How to natively schedule emails in Gmail

The ability to schedule emails is something every email service and email desktop client should have. Sadly, that’s not the case even though it gives users the luxury to write an email in advance and have it automatically send during appropriate/business hours. For a long time, an extension called Boomerang has been responsible for this feature in Gmail but now you can natively schedule emails in Gmail.

Schedule emails in Gmail

This is a new feature in Gmail and it began rolling out to users a while back. Open Gmail and click the Compose button at the top left. In the compose new message window, look at the Send button. There should be an arrow next to it. This is where you can access the scheduling feature.

Click the dropdown and select Schedule send. It will open a small window with a few quick presets for when you can send the email. If the presets don’t work for you, you can click the Pick date & time option.

A new window will appear with a calendar that lets you pick a date off it, and you can change the time down to the minute. Click Schedule Send when you’re done. The email is scheduled. If you later decide to not send the email, or you want to edit it before it is sent, you can do so.

Look at the inboxes on the left and you will see a Scheduled inbox. Select it and inside you will find all the scheduled emails. Select an email and you can edit it. If you need to, you can also cancel an email and it will turn into a draft.

It goes without saying that this feature will only work from Gmail’s web interface. The iOS and Android apps will eventually get this feature but you can’t get it to work if you use Gmail on your desktop via an email client.

The good thing is that Gmail is a popular email service and all email clients support it. It’s possible that this might push them to add support for it. It’s mind blowing that something this basic isn’t a part of more email apps. You can probably get it via extensions in Thunderbird but that’s not the same thing as natively having the feature.

If you don’t see the dropdown next to the Send button just yet, the feature may not have rolled out to your account. Give it a while. There’s no definitive date on when the roll out will be complete but it won’t take more than a month at this point.

Read How to natively schedule emails in Gmail by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to enable the new page loading animation in Chrome

Chrome just released another update and it comes with a few new features you can enable via Chrome flags. One of these new features is a page loading animation that you can enable. It’s cosmetically, and somewhat functionally, better. The new page loading animation features the same loading circle but it runs around a website’s favicon.

Page loading animation

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

chrome://flags

Tap enter and you’ll be taken to the Chrome flags page. In the search bar, enter the following;

#new-tab-loading-animation

The search results will return the New tab-loading animation flag. Open the dropdown next to it and select Enabled. Click the Relaunch button to restart Chrome.

When you visit a website, any website, you will see the new load animation in the tab. The GIF below shows the old page loading animation and the new page loading animation.

The new animation is useful for when you have tabs loading in the background. The favicon, if you recognize it, will tell you which website is currently loading without you have to wait for it to finish loading. It looks, and works best with favicons that are round.

The new animation will work for all websites. There is no need for websites to add support for this flag. It is available in Chrome 74 which arrived a week ago on the stable release channel. If you haven’t already updated to the newest version, you should now.

You may not like the new animation so to disable it, open the same flag you modified and set its value to Default from the dropdown. The change will take effect after you relaunch Chrome.

Page loading time

If you’re worried this is going to have an impact on the page loading time, it won’t. The loading animation doesn’t have anything to do with data loading. It’s displayed by Chrome and has nothing to do with the page loading. It only acts as an indicator so if it’s running too long, it’s because the page is still loading. This may be an experimental feature but it’s not automatically going to make page loading take longer. If you have a page that’s stuck in a loading loop, it’s likely an element on the page itself that’s causing it.

On the off chance a website or all websites are reacting poorly to this flag being enabled, you can always disable it and wait for the next Chrome update where it may be more stable.

Read How to enable the new page loading animation in Chrome by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix Twitch won’t load in Chrome browser

Twitch is popular enough to rival YouTube and despite its many attempts, YouTube has not been able to capture Twitch’s live game streaming audience. It is still the preferred platform for anyone looking to stream game play, or watch it live. It does have a dedicated app for Windows 10 and for macOS but plenty of people still watch Twitch in their browser. Sometimes, Twitch won’t load in Chrome though. Here’s how you can fix it.

Twitch won’t load in Chrome

Twitch may not load at all or it may load partially but not play a stream. In order to fix Twitch not loading in Chrome, try all the following solutions.

Is Twitch up?

Visit downforeveryoneorjustme and check if Twitch is working. Additionally, if you have another browser installed, try accessing Twitch in it and see if it works. If the web app reports that Twitch is working and you’re able to get it to work in other browsers, the problem is likely with Chrome.

If the app reports that Twitch is up but you can’t access it in any browser, it is possible that the website is being blocked. If you think Twitch might be blocked by your ISP, there are ways to get around it. You can unblock websites in Chrome with a VPN.

Update Chrome

Check if a Chrome update is available. Click the more options button at the top right, and go to Help>About Google Chrome. It will check for any available updates. If an update is available, you should install it. You will need to relaunch Chrome to complete the update.

You should not be using an OS that is no longer supported by Chrome e.g. Windows 7 which only receives security updates.

Check extensions

It is possible that one of your extensions is blocking Twitch. Any content blocking extensions such as adblockers or pop-up blockers are the first things you should check. Whitelist Twitch in these types of extensions and then try loading Twitch.

Many users report that Adblock plus prevents Twitch from loading so you can either whitelist the Twitch domain or you can try a different ad blocking extension.

Clear cache

This is almost the equivalent of turning your computer off and back on again. Clear the Chrome cache to see if that works. You can try the following two things;

  1. Hold down the Ctrl key and tap F5 to reload Twitch. If this doesn’t work, move on to step 2 below.
  2. In the Chrome URL bar enter chrome://settings/clearBrowserData. Tap Enter and click the ‘Clear data’ button. For good measure, restart Chrome and then try visiting Twitch.

Clear DNS cache

Open Command Prompt and enter the following;

ipconfig /flushdns

Tap Enter. The command will execute within seconds. Restart your system and then try accessing Twitch in Chrome.

Reset Chrome Flags

Chrome flags are experimental features that you can enable but they may interfere with some websites particularly more complex ones like Twitch. Try resetting all Chrome flags to see if it fixes the problem.

Read How to fix Twitch won’t load in Chrome browser by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix Chrome sync pausing and asking to sign in

Chrome’s sync feature can sync bookmarks, your browsing history, passwords, and it even lets you access the tabs you have open across other devices. It’s exceptionally useful and once you have it set up, you tend to get used to it always working and ensuring a seamless transition between different systems. There’s an odd problem that some Chrome users are facing with the sync feature pausing intermittently. Here’s how to fix Chrome sync pausing and repeatedly asking you to sign in.

Fix Chrome sync pausing

This appears to be an odd feature that’s enabled by default. You can turn it off from the Chrome Flags page. Open Chrome and enter the following in the URL bar. Tap enter.

chrome://flags

On the Chrome Flags page, use the search bar and look for ‘account consistency’. This will bring up a flag called ‘Identity consistency between browser and cookie jar’. Open the dropdown next to it and select ‘Disabled’. Relaunch Chrome to apply this change and sync should no longer pause at random.

While this should work, there is one other fix that other Chrome users have been able to use to fix this problem. The above solution is what works for most but in case it doesn’t do the trick for you, what you can do is, whitelist the following domain under Chrome’s cookies.

accounts.google.com

To do that, open a new tab and enter the following in the URL bar;

chrome://settings/content/cookies

On the Cookies window, click the Add button next to the Allow section and enter the domain mentioned earlier. Once it’s been added, Chrome will no longer pause syncing.

Multiple work stations

If you’re using Chrome sync on multiple work stations, you need to make the above two changes to all of them. This problem can appear on any one of the work stations that you’re using Chrome and Chrome sync on so it’s best to apply it on all systems that use the same Google account to sync.

This ‘bug’ surfaced towards the end of last year and it seems that sync is paused every two weeks on average. You might be signed out more often, or less often but two weeks is what most users note as an active sync period.

When syncing pauses, you’re unable to access open tabs, newly added bookmarks, and the browsing history on the Chrome browser you added them on. Fortunately, once sync is turned back on, everything syncs the way it normally should have.

Read How to fix Chrome sync pausing and asking to sign in by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to disable autoplay in Firefox

Websites change all the time as new technology allows them to do more and more. Early websites were basic compared to the ones we have now. Unfortunately, not all changes have been for the better. Videos are now common on a lot of websites and many of them autoplay with or without the audio. They’ve become an annoyance which is why browsers have begun to add a feature that will block it. As of its latest update, you can now disable autoplay in Firefox.

Disable autoplay in Firefox

Autoplay is not, as yet, disabled out of the box in Firefox 66.0.3. You need to change two preferences in Firefox to disable autoplay.

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

about:config

This will open the Firefox configuration page however, before that you will see a warning screen telling you to be careful and making changes will void your warranty. Accept the warning to get to the configuration page.

The configuration page has a search bar at the top. Use it to search for the following preference;

media.autoplay.default

Double-click it and enter 1 in the value box that opens. Next, look for the following preference (use the search bar).

media.autoplay.enabled.user-gestures-needed

Once you find it, double-click it to change its value from True to False. That should do the trick. To be on the safe side, close and reopen Firefox. Autoplay will now be disabled.

There’s a setting in the Firefox options page that can disable autoplay and if you have it enabled, chances are the media.autoplay.default preference is already set to 1. The option works for most videos but not for all which is why you need to change the value of the second preference mentioned earlier.

It’s possible that you changed the value of a preference called ‘media.autoplay.enabled’ a few updates ago and it helped disable autoplaying content however, that preference has been removed over the course of several Firefox updates. The preferences mentioned earlier are new ones that were added to replace it. There are a few other preferences that control media as well but as far as disabling autoplay in Firefox goes, the ones mentioned here will do the job.

Disabling autoplay has been a task left to add-ons and extensions for a long time. While they work great, they tend to drag down a browser’s performance. Firefox and its add-ons are actually better at memory management but Chrome has become something of a leech on a system’s resources so any features added by a browser are great.

Read How to disable autoplay in Firefox by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter