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Category Archives: Chrome

How to speed up Google Chrome đź’»

Ever since its initial release back in 2008, Chrome has been one of the most popular and widely used browsers in the world. Its speed and performance are top notch when compared to other browsers available in the market. As with other browsers, however, Chrome can be slow at times due to some of its features and extensions. Here, we’ve listed some handy tricks to help speed up your Chrome and enhance your browsing experience.

Disable extensions

Extensions are basically small programs that you can download from the Chrome Web Store to add more features and functionality to your Chrome. While certain extensions are very useful (like AdBlock and Evernote) if you have too many installed, Chrome’s speed may suffer from processing all of these extensions at once.

Most extensions will show on Chrome’s address bar, and you can quickly uninstall them by right-clicking on the button and selecting “Uninstall”. You can also navigate to the hamburger icon on the toolbar, select “More tools” and then “Extensions”. From there you’ll find a list of extensions that may have been inadvertently installed by a user. Simply uncheck the “Enabled” box for the ones you don’t need.

Disable plugins

When you first install Google Chrome, some unnecessary plugins are also installed and enabled by default. Over the course of your web browsing session, you may even add more plugins to Chrome without knowing. As with extensions, you can disable plugins that are not in use. Simply type chrome:plugins into the address bar and press Enter. Note that plugins can only be disabled, not uninstalled. We recommend you keep the Adobe Flash Player plugin enabled, since many websites today use Flash to display menus and videos.

Clear browsing data

Chrome has a cache database that collects URLs of the websites you’ve visited, your download history, and cookies. While the purpose of this feature is to speed up your computer by caching data instead of loading it again every time, sometimes the browsing history can get bloated with hundreds and thousands of websites you’ve previously visited. Luckily there’s a quick fix: enterchrome://history in the address bar and hit Enter. Select “Clear browsing data” and select the items you wish to delete and choose a time range from the drop-down list. Click “Clear browsing data” again to remove the selected data.

Use the Clean up Tool

In some cases the speed of your Chrome may be affected by the software installed on your computer. Google has released its very own application that will scan and remove any software that may conflict with Chrome. You can check out the Chrome Cleanup Tool here. All you need to do is download and run the application, and sit back while the program scans your PC. The app is very helpful if you’ve tried the above tips but your Chrome continues to be sluggish.

Web browsers are indispensable tools for your business. You and your employees use them everyday to check emails, research information, get work done, manage social media accounts, and more. If the browser you’re using is not performing up to your expectations, contact us today and we’ll get to the root of the problem and fix it.

Chrome for iPhone just got better 📱

With over a billion people using Chrome across the globe, it is safe to say that Google’s flagship browser is the most popular one in the world. And that is why it’s easy to understand why so many Chrome users are frustrated by its constant crashes and unreliability for the iPhone. But there’s good news. A recent update has improved Chrome for iPhone exponentially. But before we reveal just what improvements have been made, why was Chrome always crashing in the first place?

The source of Chrome crashes

Since the word Google is synonymous with the Internet, it’s a bit head scratching as to why the browser ever had crashing issues to start with. The Internet is their specialty of course. But the truth is Google is not completely to blame. And for all the Apple fanatics out there, the real source of the problem may be a bit hard to swallow. Because really, Apple is mostly responsible for Chrome’s previous crashing problems. The reason is that Google is forced to rely on Apple’s renderer – which is technology that arranges the photos, text, buttons and other components that appear on your screen. Furthermore, Google cannot correct a bug and support new web technology on their own. Instead, they have to wait for Apple to do it. So what it all really comes down to is that Apple limits the choices of Google, and other outside parties, from having complete control over their browsers, hence the crashing problems.

So why is Chrome getting better on iPhone? And why now? It’s simple really. Apple has recently enhanced its browser software, which enables Google to make improvements.

How has Chrome for iPhone improved?

With the release of Chrome 48, Chrome has reduced crashes by 70 percent. Yes, you read that correctly…70 percent! Google tested the updated browser alongside Safari to ensure that it functioned at the same level. But that’s not all the improvements Google has made. In addition to this, Chrome now runs much faster and handles JavaScript just as well as Safari does. Beware, however, if you are still running iOS 8 or earlier editions of the iPhone’s operating system, these improvements do not apply. With that said, these updates to Chrome couldn’t have come at a better time. With the recent Safari crashing issues that have been affecting iPhone users across the globe, there is no better time to switch mobile browsers, especially if you’re a Chrome fan.

Looking for more iPhone news and tips? Have an iPhone or other IT related issues? Get in touch with our experts today.

Best Chrome extensions you need to install

It seems that Google Chrome has become the browser of choice for the majority of Internet users worldwide. Chrome offers its users a fast and reliable browsing experience across all devices. The Chrome Web Store also houses thousands of powerful add-ons to enhance Chrome’s features. But deciding which extensions to download can be difficult, since there are many options out there. We’ll make things easier by giving you the lowdown on some of Chrome’s most popular extensions, so you can decide for yourself which ones best fit your needs.

StayFocusd

If your job involves staring at a computer screen all day, this extension could be the perfect productivity booster. Why? Because it can be all too easy to get distracted by certain sites and other time wasters while you’re working. But things can change with StayFocusd. It’s simple – you set a time allowance for particular websites like Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter, and once you’ve reached the time limit, StayFocusd blocks access to those sites, reminding you to focus on your work.

AdBlock

Today we are hit with large numbers of advertisements on the web, some of which are trying to trick people into downloading something harmful to their computers. This is where AdBlock comes in. This extension is the most popular extension on the Chrome Web Store, with over ten million active users. AdBlock is designed to block most ads from showing on Chrome. Removing ads from your screen can greatly improve your experience and increase the speed of your browser.

LastPass

While Chrome already has a built-in password manager, LastPass is a better option when it comes to password management. Instead of trying to memorize countless passwords for your online accounts, LastPass can generate new and secure passwords every time you log into a website and sync your passwords whenever you need them. With LastPass you can easily gain access to your accounts, enter credit card details, and fill out online forms with just a few clicks.

Evernote Web Clipper

Evernote is a powerful extension that allows you to quickly and easily save web content from Chrome and transfer it straight into your Evernote account. With the press of a button, you can grab an image from the web page, make annotations, create summary links, and save a distraction-free version for later perusal.

Momentum

If you find yourself losing motivation to work during the day, Momentum could be the dose of inspiration you’re looking for. Momentum replaces Chrome’s default new tab screen with a personalized dashboard that features a beautiful scenic background, a daily inspirational quote, the weather report, a to-do list, and quick links widgets for you to add your favorite sites.

Pocket

Pocket is the best way to save articles, videos, and any other web pages that you wish to view later. Simply hit the Pocket extension button when you come across something interesting and that page will automatically be synced to your device, so you can view it at any time, even without an Internet connection. With Pocket, you can set things aside when you have an important work at hand.

If you want to learn how Chrome’s extensions and other Google Apps can boost your staff’s productivity and efficiency, get in touch with our experts today.

Access Chrome book marks from other browsers

Chrome might be among the most popular web browsers around, but it’s not the only one available. Even if you’re a Google fan and swear by using Chrome when you can, chances are you use a device that either doesn’t have Chrome installed or on which you simply prefer to browse via another application. And it makes good productivity sense to have your list of internet bookmarks on hand, whichever device you’re on. That’s why this handy tip, which lets you access your Chrome bookmarks in any browser, is a useful one to keep in mind.

Whereas in the past it was possible to sync bookmarks saved in Chrome to your Google Docs account, this ceased with the transition from Google Docs to Google Drive. You can still save your bookmarks, but they are now only accessible on other devices if you use Chrome there too. Go online with Firefox or one of the other alternatives and you’ll be left without the easy bookmark access you rely on. The alternative is to use the Bookmarks Anywhere browser extension, which syncs your Chrome bookmarks to your other browsers and updates them live as you add to the list. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Within Chrome on the device that contains the bookmarks you want to sync, download the Bookmarks Anywhere extension from the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Once the extension has been added, a popup will appear. If you’re not already logged in, sign in to the Google account you use in Chrome; you’ll then need to grant Bookmarks Anywhere the browser permissions it requires.
  3. Your Chrome bookmark will now be synced to the Bookmarks Anywhere site. To access them from non-Chrome browsers on your other devices, just sign in to www.bookmarksany.com using your Google account and a list of your bookmarks will appear. You can also manually add new bookmarks from this page, though these don’t appear to sync back to your Chrome bookmark menu.

If you want to discover other simple ways to boost your productivity through better use of IT, give us a call and we’ll show you how.

Is Google’s new Chromebook worth $1,000?

The pros and cons of Google’s new Chromebook

164_HW_CFans of Google’s Chromebook line of laptops will be happy to know that its latest edition, the Pixel, is here. With a high-resolution touchscreen that’s more advanced than the latest MacBook, as well as other cutting-edge features, it’s a pretty tempting piece of kit. But before you shell out your hard earned cash for this luxurious new laptop, take a minute to read about the pros and cons. That way you can decide if the Pixel is truly right for you.

Pros

Slim and lightweight – who doesn’t love a sleek, compact new computer that’s easy to pack up and take with you on the go? The Pixel weighs in at 3.3 pounds and is only 0.6 inches thick. If portability is something you’re looking for in a laptop, then the Pixel is certainly an attractive option.

High-resolution touch screen – want a hi-res screen that’s more advanced than Apple’s latest offering? The Pixel doesn’t disappoint and surpasses the latest MacBook with a high-resolution touchscreen that is 13 inches, 239-pixel-per-inch.

Battery life – For people on the go, battery life is one of the main considerations when choosing a laptop. And in this respect, the Pixel truly delivers. Not only does it promise 12 hours of battery life when fully charged, but it can also charge up to two hours of battery in just 15 minutes.

USB Type C ports – still scratching your head wondering how the Pixel’s battery is able to charge so quickly? The USB Type C ports are what gives it this ability. Additionally, these ports speed up data transfers.

Cons

Price Tag – for a computer that relies heavily on a working internet connection, many users may question the $999 price tag. With previous versions of the Chromebook costing less than $200, it might be hard to justify purchasing the new version when it still has relatively limited capabilities.

Lack of storage space – when it comes to storage space, the Pixel only offers 32 and 64GB options. To help users swallow this deficiency more easily, the company is offering a free terabyte of storage on Google drive for three years. For those who want to create and edit documents on Google Docs, this is a near perfect solution. But for those who would like to actually edit and create documents on the Pixel itself, their options are limited. Downloading the familiar Microsoft Word, as well as other other apps and software, is not possible.

There’s little doubt that the Pixel’s new features, design and capabilities are impressive. But at the end of the day, it’s still a Chromebook – meaning it will be as heavily reliant on the internet as its predecessors are. And you have to ask yourself, is a Chromebook – regardless of features – really worth $1,000? Ask yourself what you’d really be using it for, how often you work offline and whether you’re getting good value when compared with other laptops on the market.

Have more questions about the Pixel or other new hardware on the market? Give us a call and talk with one of our qualified hardware consultants.

Posted in Hardware – General and Tips Google Chromebook, Hardware, Internet, Laptop, Macbook, pixel,  storage | Comments closed

Chrome 101: Unresponsive tabs

googleapps_Nov25_AFor businesses who use Google Apps, and many other users, Google’s Chrome is the browser of choice. While certainly a powerful browser, there are times when not everything works perfectly. One of the most common issues with Chrome is when a page or tab crashes or won’t load. However, there are ways to deal with an an unresponsive tab.

First off, what exactly is an unresponsive tab?

As you know, Chrome is based off of tabs. Instead of opening a new website in another window you can simply open a site in another tab. This cuts down on the number of windows you need to have open at any one time, thereby ensuring Chrome uses power more effectively. However, at times certain tabs and sites you are trying to load can become unresponsive.

What we mean by this is that either when you click on the tab it won’t open, or the page the tab is loading won’t scroll or an extension has crashed. When this happens you will normally see sluggish performance as your computer shunts more resources into trying to get the tab running or figuring out what the issue is.

How do I deal with an unresponsive tab?

When this happens, our most common first reaction is that all of Chrome is acting up, and then to open Task Manager to shut the whole program down. With Windows, for example, when you open Task Manager it may indicate that Chrome is not responding.

Most of the times, this is not actually the case, and terminating the program this way will cause all open tabs to close. If you have not saved your work or enabled the tab-saving feature on Chrome (where tabs will re-open the next time you open Chrome), you will have to spend time tracking down these tabs to open again.

Instead, when a tab starts to act up, try:

  1. Clicking on the three vertical grey bars at the top-right of the Chrome window you have open.
  2. Hovering over More Tools or Tools which should be located at the bottom of the drop-down menu.
  3. Selecting Task Manager.
  4. Clicking on the tab that is not working.
  5. Selecting End Process.

When you do this you should be presented with a blue error page. Once you get to this page you can either reload the previous page or service (the Web address should still be in the URL bar), or go to another page.

Another use for Task Manager

Task Manager is also useful because it gives you an overview of the general usage stats of each tab. For example you will see:

  • Task – The name of the tab or process that is currently running in Chrome.
  • Memory – How much memory the tab is currently taking up. Higher amounts of memory use will result in a generally slower performance.
  • CPU – The amount of your computer’s processing power each tab is using. This is shown as a percentage, and the higher the percentage means the more power being used.
  • Network – How much data the tab is currently transmitting. The higher the number, the more data being used.
  • Process ID – A unique ID given to each process and tab you have open. This helps Google engineers and network specialists quickly find and identify issues.

It is important to note here that you should not go ending the process of every tab and process as this could cause Chrome to become unstable and crash. As a general rule of thumb: If you aren’t sure of the function of the task you are looking at, it is best to leave it alone.

If you are looking to learn more about Chrome and how you can leverage it in your business, contact us today.

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Introducing Chrome profile lock

GoogleApps_Sep15_AMany of us may feel uncomfortable about letting others use their computer to search the Internet. Our computer is often seen to be an extension of ourselves, and usually has private information that we would not like others to see. To protect your privacy, Google has released Chrome profile lock, a feature being tested that allows you to lock your Chrome session.

What is Chrome profile lock?

Chrome profile management system, as it is also known as Chrome profile lock, allows you to lock your browser profile session, in a similar way to locking your entire desktop. What this means is that another user can still access apps and files stored locally, but won’t be able to sift through your personal data, bookmarks and personal apps because they will be using a Guest version of Chrome.

This eliminates the hassle of you having to quit your session or having to go through the process of creating a separate user account for the borrower to protect them from viewing your information.

How to lock your Chrome session?

  1. Open Chrome and in a new tab enter the following address:chrome://flags.
  2. Press Ctrl+F and search for Enable new profile management system.
  3. Click on the link to enable the feature (change default to enabled).
  4. Finally, press the Relaunch Now button at the bottom of the browser window.

When Chrome comes back you’ll see a drop down button with your Google account name in the title bar at the top-right of the screen. Click on this to reveal your user card, then click on the lock icon when you want to drop password-protection over your current Chrome activities.

Once locked, the browser will vanish and the User Manager window will appear along with the Browse as Guest option for when someone else is using your computer. Keep in mind that the User Manager window will remain active until you re-enter your password; even after restarting Chrome or rebooting the operating system.

Be aware that this new Chrome profile management system is not yet enabled by default and is still in the testing phase on Windows, Mac and Linux. Looking to learn more about Google’s applications? There are lots of ways that we can help you and your business, so get in touch.

Chrome for mobile’s new features

The mobile phone and tablet have both become large parts of everyday life for many people. These all-purpose devices enable users to do pretty much everything, including browsing the Internet. For many users the browser of choice is Google’s Chrome which has recently been updated with new features which users will enjoy.

Here is an overview of the three new changes introduced in the iOS and Android versions of Chrome.

Chrome for iOS

The first new feature Google recently announced is Translate for Chrome on Apple devices – the iPad and iPhone. This feature has been a part of the desktop version of Chrome for a while now, and is an in-demand feature for mobile users.

As with the desktop version, when you visit a website that is in a language other than your main language, you will now see a white bar in the browser window asking if you would like the page to be translated. If you click on Translate, Chrome will refresh the page with a translation.

This is a great feature for users who often visit other countries where another language is spoken. It is also a beneficial tool for business owners who are researching companies or products in other regions. Essentially, it makes many more websites accessible while you are on the go.

Chrome for Android

Two new features recently announced for Chrome on Android devices are data compression and application shortcuts.

Data compression for Chrome

Many mobile users have data plans for their phones and tablets. While these packages are great at allowing us to connect to the Internet from nearly anywhere, many plans limit the amount of data. If this sounds like the plan you have then this means that you might need to be careful with how much browsing you are doing on your phone lest you run out of data.

While browsing the Internet on your device isn’t the biggest drain on data, it can add up. To address this Google has recently introduced the data compression and bandwidth management feature. According to Google, this could reduce data use by as much as 50%. When you enable this feature Safe Browsing will also be enabled which can help protect devices from malicious software and codes.

The data compression feature can be enabled if you update Chrome to the latest version – which can be done via Google Play. You can then enable the feature by:

  1. Opening Chrome and tapping on the three vertical squares at the top-right of the window.
  2. Selecting Settings followed by Bandwidth management.
  3. Tapping on Reduce data usage and sliding the tab at the top to On.

You will be able to track how much data Chrome is using and how much data is being saved.

Add application shortcuts to your homescreen

If you have a website that you visit on a regular basis it can be somewhat of a hindrance to always open Chrome followed by your bookmarks and then wait for the site to load. There is a new feature in Chrome that allows you to save websites as shortcuts on your Android device’s homescreen.

If you navigate to a website that you would like to have quicker access to, press the three vertical boxes at the top-right of the screen and select Add to homescreen. This will add the link to your homescreen, often taking the image beside the tab as the icon. Tapping on this will open Chrome and the website.

Learn more about the different versions of Chrome. Contact us today for a chat.