How to fix add-ons disabled in Firefox

A bug has affected add-ons in Firefox causing them to be disabled. The problem is being caused by security certificate expiring. This certificate is used to sign quite a few add-ons and since it has expired, the add-ons are being disabled. There are two fixes for the add-ons disabled in Firefox problem. A hotfix by Mozilla, and one that other Firefox users are suggesting. Both work, so take your pick.

Fix add-ons disabled in Firefox

Do not uninstall the add-ons or your browser. Doing so will not fix the problem and may cause you to lose data saved by the add-on. There is no fix available yet for Firefox Android from Mozilla though you can try the alternative fix for the mobile version of the browser.

Mozilla Hotfix

The hotfix is being applied by Mozilla but you will need to make one small change to your Firefox settings. Open Firefox and click the hamburger button at the top right. Select Options from the context menu. Select Privacy & Security from the tabs on the left. Scroll down to the Firefox Data Collection and Use section.

Under this section, you will find an option called ‘Allow Firefox to run and install studies’. According to Firefox, it can take up to 6 ours for the fix to be applied.

To check if it has been applied, type about:studies in the URL bar and tap enter. Look for a study named hotfix-reset-xpi-verification-timestampe-1548973 . If it is listed there, the fix is working.

Disable signature enforcement

This alternative fix is basically to disable signature enforcement. Open Firefox and paste the following in the URL bar.

about:config

Accept the warning and then use the search bar to look for the following preference;

xpinstall.signatures.required

Double-click to set its value to False. Restart Firefox to be safe.

Caution

This fix comes with a risk. You should change it back the second Firefox resolves the problem and in the meantime, you should not install any new add-ons. Signature enforcement is important to make sure the add-ons you are installing are from a trusted source and have been verified by Firefox.

Temporarily load add-ons

This fix is a bit complicated to apply. Click the hamburger icon and select Help from the menu. Go to Troubleshooting information. Scroll down to the Profile Folder field and copy its path to your clipboard.

Next, enter the following in the URL bar;

about:debugging

Click Load Temporary Add-on button and navigate to your profile folder. Inside the folder, you will see an Extensions folder. Select the XPI files in this folder. You will have to select and load them one by one. The XPI files are add-ons.

Read How to fix add-ons disabled in Firefox by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to unsubscribe to spam in Gmail

Gmail has always been good at detecting spam and making sure it never appears in your inbox. There are always exceptions. Gmail has an intelligent algorithm that identifies spam but spammers tend to wise up quickly and manage to fool it. It is an ever evolving process but Gmail manages to stay on top of it. If spam makes it your inbox, you can mark it as spam and Gmail will (eventually) stop it from appearing in your inbox. You can also unsubscribe to spam in Gmail if it’s coming from a service. Here’s how.

Unsubscribe to spam

Spam can come from a service. This often happens when your email has been used to sign you up for a service. A good service will always ask that you confirm an account but we’re talking about services that spam and they don’t tend to confirm much.

To unsubscribe to spam in Gmail, open your inbox and select a message from the service that has been spamming you. Click the spam button at the top and you will see a message asking if you want to unsubscribe to the service as well.

Click the Report spam & unsubscribe button and the message will be marked as spam, and you will be unsubscribed from receiving more messages from the same domain.

Remember that not every spam message originates from a service so the unsubscribe option may not appear for all of them.

This won’t remove the spam messages that are already in your inbox, at least not right away. It will only remove the one that you marked as spam. It will also prevent subsequent messages from making it to your inbox. You can choose to delete the other, older messages in bulk, or mark them as spam in bulk. To do that, select them all and click the spam button.

Spam, and spammers can be tricky. You may mark a message as spam but they have your email so the messages could come back from a different domain. That doesn’t mean the spam filter isn’t working. If nothing, Google is great at fighting spam. There’s a good chance that even with a different domain, the message won’t make it back to your inbox because Gmail will learn the language, and the message pattern that was used in the message.

It seems this feature isn’t available in the Gmail apps for iOS and Android, which is odd. The unsubscribe feature in Gmail is somewhat new but it should have been integrated into the iOS and Android apps by now.

Read How to unsubscribe to spam in Gmail by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

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