How to Stop Chrome (or Edge) From Taking Over Your Media Keys

chrome logo

Google Chrome now has built-in support for media keys. Unfortunately, Chrome will take over your media keys and prevent them from controlling apps like Spotify when you’re watching YouTube, for example. Here’s how to make Chrome ignore your media keys.

This same tip also applies to the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser. In both browsers, however, this option requires an experimental flag that may be removed in the future. We tested it in the latest version of Chrome—Chrome 75—on June 24, 2019.

You’ll find this option on the chrome://flags page. Copy the following address, paste it into Chrome’s Omnibox, also known as the address bar, and press Enter:

chrome://flags/#hardware-media-key-handling

(In Microsoft Edge, go to edge://flags/#hardware-media-key-handling  instead.)

Click the “Default” box to the right of the Hardware Media Key Handling setting and select “Disabled.”

You’ll have to restart Chrome (or Edge) before this change takes effect. Click the “Relaunch Now” button that appears to restart your browser.

Read the remaining 5 paragraphs

How to Customize the New Windows Terminal App

Windows Terminal with an background showing an ocean wave

With the new Windows Terminal app, Windows now finally has a tabbed terminal that can run Cmd, PowerShell, and Bash prompts in the same window. It’s deeply customizable, too—you can even set animated GIFs as the background.

Beyond the background, you can change the terminal’s theme, too. Whether it’s the colors of the text or backgrounds or the font style, you can make Windows Terminal your own. Microsoft even included several pre-set themes. All you need is a text editor and some basic familiarity with JSON. If you aren’t familiar with JSON, you can probably still make changes; we’ll walk you through it.

How to Customize the Windows Terminal

Windows terminal json configuration file, showing a custom background option.

The first step to customizing Windows Terminal is to ensure Windows has default app associated with the JSON file type. The best way to do that is from File Explorer.

Launch File Explorer and find a JSON file. If you don’t have one, create one. Right-click on File Explorer and “New” then click on “Text document.”

Rename the file to test.json (deleting the .txt extension in the process), and confirm you want to change the extension. If you don’t see the .txt file extension, tell File Explorer to show file extensions.

File explorer submenu with arrows pointing to New and Text Document

Next, right-click on the new JSON file and choose the “Open With” option. Choose your preferred text editor, whether that be Notepad++ or Notepad.

Read the remaining 23 paragraphs

6 Great Features in Windows 10’s New Game Bar

Windows 10 version 1903's new game bar overlay

Windows 10’s May 2019 Update features an all-new game bar experience. It’s not just for capturing videos anymore. It’s now an overlay packed with useful tools, including quick panels for adjusting application volume, seeing resource usage, and playing Spotify music.

How to Open the Game Bar

To open the game bar, press Windows+G. It will appear as an overlay over the game you’re playing. It will also appear over your desktop or any other application you’re using, but it’s most useful when you’re playing a game. Press Windows+G again to close it.

While Microsoft still calls this the “game bar,” that’s a misleading name at this point. It’s a proper overlay with multiple panels now, not just a single bar. If you see a smaller bar, you haven’t installed Windows 10’s May 2019 Update yet.

While the Game Bar is visible, you can click the “Home” icon on the top panel—it looks like a menu button—to choose which panels are visible in the overlay environment.

Game bar overlays menu

If Windows+G doesn’t do anything, make sure the game bar is enabled. Head to Settings > Gaming > Game Bar, ensure the “Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar” option is enabled, and check that you haven’t changed the shortcut from Win+G to anything else. If you set a custom shortcut, use that instead of Win+G.

Option to enable or disable Game bar in Settings

Adjust Application Volume

Audio panel in Windows 10 game bar overlay

Read the remaining 22 paragraphs

Have a Sunburn? These Products Can Help Soothe Your Scorched Skin

A woman applying aloe vera to her shoulder sunburn.
Luluart/Shutterstock

Sunburn is a literal pain in the neck, and it can also cause permanent damage to your skin. Thankfully, you can minimize the damage with the help of a cheap aloe moisturizer. Here are some of the best sunburn treatments.

How Do These Products Treat Sunburns?

All sunburn treatment products are moisturizers. They’re simply a formulation of plant oils. But before you grab whatever moisturizer is handy and start slathering it on your shoulders, you should consider the fact that some plant oils are more suited for sunburns treatment than others.

Most sunburn products are made with aloe, which is better for sunburns than typical moisturizers for four key reasons (we also list a shea butter product which shares the same benefits as aloe, but it’s a bit heavier on the skin and more moisturizing):

  • It’s Healing: A sunburn isn’t like a regular burn. When skin cells are abused by UV light, they mutate and die off. This triggers an immune response, which is where the redness, pain, and peeling of a sunburn come from. Aloe can encourage cells to heal faster, which reduces the immune response.
  • It Minimizes Pain: Unlike other plant oils, aloe gel contains glycoproteins, which helps to reduce pain. And as long as a sunburn doesn’t hurt, you’re less likely to scratch at it or be distracted by it throughout the day.
  • It Reduces Peeling: This goes along with the healing aspect of aloe. Your body peels off damaged or dead skin to make room for new skin. By healing damaged skin before it has a chance to die or peel away, you can avoid the giant, cartoonish flaps of dead skin that come with a sunburn.
  • It’s Antibacterial: Aloe is also a light disinfectant. It kills germs, viruses, and fungus. By applying aloe to a sunburn, you can avoid any nasty microbes that thrive on dead, dirty, or damaged skin.

Now that you know why aloe and shea butter are effective sunburn treatments, it’s time to pick out a product. There are a ton of different sunburn products on the market, so we’ve taken the time to find a variety of great options for everybody’s needs.

The Cheapest Option: Banana Boat Aloe Gel ($4)

The Banana Boat Aloe Gel
Banana Boat

Everybody’s used Banana Boat aloe gel at some point in their life. It’s super cheap, and it helps sunburns heal. There isn’t much more to it. This product is ideal for just about any situation, and it’s so cheap that you can just leave it in the cupboard in case you ever come home with a sunburn.

The Natural Option: NaturSense Organic Aloe Gel 12oz ($14)

The NaturSense Organic Aloe Gel
NaturSense Organic

If you’re trying to avoid dyes, chemicals, and funky preservatives, then check out the NaturSense organic aloe vera gel. It’s a natural, straightforward aloe product with the healing power that you’d expect from any other aloe gel.

Just keep in mind that, because the NaturSense aloe gel is free of stabilizers and thickeners, it comes out a bit thin. It’s more of a thick juice than a gel, which some people may not be a fan of.

For Super Cool Relief: Australian Gold Freezing Gel 8oz ($6)

The Australian Gold Freezing Gel
Australian Gold Freezing Gel

While the cool feeling of aloe can hasten a sunburn’s healing process, it won’t immediately rid you of your pain. That’s why the geniuses at Australian Gold decided to add lidocaine (yeah, the dentist drug) to a bottle of aloe vera and spearmint.

The Australian Gold Freezing Gel is a great product for anyone that can’t stand the feeling of a sunburn. Like any aloe-based moisturizer, it kicks off the healing process, but it’s also got the added power of cool spearmint and nerve-numbing lidocaine.

The No-Rub Option: Green Leaf Aloe Spray 8oz ($13)

The Green Leaf Aloe Spray
Green Leaf Naturals

Read the remaining 7 paragraphs

Poll: Do You Want Android Apps on Windows?

Woman walking with a Surface Go

The word on the street is that Microsoft is working on a dual-screen foldable Surface tablet…that will also run Android apps. It’s said to be running the company’s upcoming Chrome OS competitor, Windows Core OS.

So, first things first—this is a rumor. There’s nothing that makes it obviously true, so we’re approaching it with hesitation. But it also offers the opportunity to raise the question: why offer access to Android apps on Windows? It’s an interesting concept, but I’m struggling to find justification for the addition here.

The likely answer starts with Core OS itself. It won’t natively support Win32 applications—that is, traditional Windows programs—leaving a major gap in app availability (remember the original Surface with Windows RT? Oof.). Originally it was said that Core OS would push UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps, but we haven’t really seen the uptick in UWP apps that Microsoft likely hoped for. In fact, Microsoft itself seems to be abandoning UWP by and large, which is pretty telling.

So where does that leave this lighter version of Core OS that is supposedly running on this mythical dual-screen device? Back in the same position as Windows RT back in the day. So, instead, it looks like Microsoft may be taking a page from Google’s playbook and adding Android app support to this particular build of Core OS. Now, all that said, some things need to be noted here.

First of all, this doesn’t mean Core OS will get full access to the Google Play Store. Only Google Play certified devices get that, and the chances are that Microsoft isn’t going to go that route. Instead, it’ll likely have to curate its own app store, which is easier said than done. That means Android app developers will not only have to support apps in Google’s ecosystem (and possibly even Amazon’s!), but also on Microsoft’s. While this doesn’t directly translate to double the work, it does mean more testing, more uploads, and the like. Plus, the early days for Android app support on any non-Android/Chrome OS device is likely going to be rough and buggy, which means more work fixing issues.

That brings the second point: it was a challenge for Google to get Android apps to run properly on Chrome OS, which is based on the Linux kernel (just like Android). In fact, Android app support stayed in beta for much longer than Google expected (and still hasn’t reached “stable” on some Chrome OS devices). They’re better now than ever before, but there’s still a lot of work to be done here—they don’t feel native in the slightest, which was likely the hope all along.

So, if Google has been struggling to get Android apps fully working on Chrome OS, what makes Microsoft think it can do better on Windows? Sure, Microsoft has done an excellent job developing and supporting its own Android apps (they’re all very good), but adding this emulation layer to Windows is another beast entirely.

Now, I’m not suggesting it’s impossible. But the hurdles that need to be jumped here are even bigger than what Google had to do to bring Android apps to Chrome OS. It starts with something that’s out of Microsoft’s hands in the first place: getting developers on board with the idea of testing, support, and uploading their apps on another platform and a new app store.

Read the remaining 6 paragraphs