What’s Up With Free Google Search Courses, Chrome's Hidden Pages, Text Expanders and Windows Defender?

John Vrooman | August 10, 2018

Today, most people seem to have at least rudimentary Google search engine skills. Unfortunately, many still do not have intermediate to advanced searching skills. If you are a rudimentary-intermediate level “Googler,” but want to become a more capable one, you may want to consider taking a couple of free self-paced classes that are available from the powersearchingwithgoogle.com webpage. The titles of the two courses are 1) “Power Searching” and 2) “Advanced Power Searching.” The courses aren’t new, but they’re still full of relevant and helpful information.

Tip: If you click on the course title links, you’ll be taken to course syllabus pages that outline and link to the various sections of the courses. If only some sections of the courses interest you, then you can choose to go to just those parts of the courses. I would encourage everyone to review the topics covered in both courses as I’m pretty sure that you’ll identify a topic that will interest you. Here’s a courtesy link to help get you started…

Are You Familiar With Chrome’s Hidden Pages?

Even if you use Chrome as your web browser every day, there’s a good chance that you may not be familiar with its many “hidden pages.” An article at the howtogeek.com website entitled “How to Access Hidden Chrome Features and Settings Using the Chrome:// Pages” discusses what some of the various hidden pages are and do, and how you can access them. Spoiler alert: If you don’t want to read the article and you just want to start exploring, just type “chrome://about” into your Chrome browser’s Omnibox (a.k.a. the web browser’s “search box”) and then hit “Enter.”

Warning! Some of the hidden pages allow you to make changes to various browser settings. I would encourage you to not make any changes unless you: 1) know what you’re doing (i.e. research the setting that you want to change), or 2) are willing to take the risk of messing something up and being stuck having to troubleshoot/fix things. Important: please only play around with the chrome://about settings on your own computer and not on an office or shared computer.

Just in case, the following Google support webpage offers step-by-step instruction on how to reset chrome’s settings back to their defaults…www.tinyurl.com/nlo9umj

To read the howtogeek.com article mentioned above, please visit…www.tinyurl.com/yb4ygv8c

A Nudge to Use a Text Expansion/Clip Manager Application

Over the years I’ve regularly encouraged people to learn more about “clipboard managers” (a.k.a. “text expanders). Please do yourself a favor and take the time to review the article (link below) that discusses how these types of applications can help you be more productive. If you use, or end up giving one of the products mentioned in the article a try, I’d love to hear from you after you’ve set things up and used it for a bit. For me, LastPass (a password manager) and PhraseExpress (a clipboard manager/text expander app) are both “can’t live without applications.” The self-descriptive title of the article that the link below leads to is “Type Less: How Text Expansion Apps Help You Write Long Phrases With Fewer Keystrokes” and is found at the zapier.com website…www.tinyurl.com/y9fhhf8q

Enabling Windows Defender’s PUP Protection

The following are the first two sentences/paragraphs of a malwaretips.com article that I recently came across that I want to share with you…

“Windows Defender has made great steps into improving the protection for Windows 10 users, however, there is a setting, which if enabled, will detect and block browser hijackers, adware and potentially unwanted programs.

While Microsoft announced the new PUP blocking feature as only available for the Enterprise edition of Windows 10, Home and Pro editions can also enable it on their Windows 10 PCs to block unwanted programs.”

If the text above interests you, and you want to review the rest of the article that’s titled “How to Enable Windows Defender PUP Protection” (that contains step-by-step instructions on how to enable and disable the feature), please visit the following link…www.tinyurl.com/ycpulv3h

Do You Want to Disable or Bypass Your Smartphone’s High-Volume Warnings

Many Smartphones have a built-in high-volume warning/limit that’s enabled by default. On these devices, when you increase the volume to the warning level/limit you’re typically interrupted with a well-meaning (but typically undesired and annoying) high-volume warning message that you must acknowledge/bypass before being able to further increase the volume. Fortunately, there’s typically a setting somewhere in the phone’s “Settings” area that will allow you to disable or adjust this warning message. The setting usually resides in an area called “Sounds and Vibration” area. However, I’ve also had success finding instructions on how to disable/adjust the volume warning setting on most phones by doing a Google search. The search phrase/criteria I’ve used is “disable volume warning [your phone model]”. Something tells me this tip is going to be a popular one.

If you have comments, suggestions, tips, questions or just want to say “Hi,” you are invited to contact me at john@johnvrooman.com. I always enjoy hearing from you!

John Vrooman
John Vrooman keeps an eye out for cool new hardware, software, apps, gadgets; SaaS solutions; social media developments, trends as well as personal/SMB productivity and related solutions. He gathers information for his column from a diverse range of resources and he enjoys sharing his discoveries with others. He has been authoring this column since August 2000 and welcomes feedback from his readers.