Chrome Gmail unread messages not appearing in bold

We had a user whose unread emails were appearing as bold in Safari (with an ugly font) and not bold at all in Chrome (font looked okay), and we did some digging and found the solution was to enable the Arial Bold font in Font Book on the user's Mac, and it was all good.

Our best guess is that Safari couldn't find the font it wanted so substituted an ugly font but kept it bold, and Chrome couldn't find the font it wanted so substituted a decent-looking font but not bold.

Script making Chrome the default browser on macOS

You would think it would be fairly simple to script changing the default browser to Chrome in macOS. It's not, as far as I can tell! I'd love to be corrected on this.

Script that changes Launch Services

I wrote up a script that changes the default browser silently, but it works well only the first time you run it.

If you run it again to switch to another browser, you may have to reboot for the change to take effect. Sometimes changing the default browser through the GUI and then running the script again will have it work again.

That means it's a bit messy. On the other hand, in terms of practical use, you're not likely to want to script changing the default browser multiple times on one machine—the whole point of scripting it is likely to just make an initial default the user can change later on her own should she choose to, and she can use the GUI to do that.

If you want to use this in conjunction with Outset but not have the settings change for existing users (only new ones), you can use this preinstall script to fake-run the login-once script for each existing user.

I think this is a great option (and not just because I worked hard on it), but I also outline below some other options.

cdef and defaultbrowser

cdef and defaultbrowser allow you to set the default browser. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, all that does is pop up the regular GUI "set default browser" dialogue: Again, if someone knows of a silent option I don't know about, please leave a comment below, and I'll update this entry.

duti works great... but not for Chrome

In Using duti to script default applications for Macs, I detail the steps for using duti in general, which works great... in general. It just chokes on setting the default browser. If you try to use duti to set Chrome as the default browser:

com.google.chrome public.html all
com.google.chrome public.xhtml all
com.google.chrome http all
com.google.chrome https all
you will get the error:
failed to set com.google.chrome as handler for public.html (error -54)

Fixing Chrome download status bar not appearing after a download

This is a rather obscure problem (I've seen it happen only once in the past 7+ years Chrome has been on the market), but I figured I'd document the solution in case anyone else came across the same problem.

So this user could download documents. A small animation would point downward to indicate a download was in progress. The downloaded document would appear in the actual Downloads folder. But no download status bar would appear on Chrome itself.

I'm not sure if download status bar is the proper name for it, but I'm talking about this:fixchromedownloadbar01 It usually appears with the name of your download after your download starts.

So I tried doing a download in an Incognito Window, and that worked fine. So I knew it wasn't the Chrome installation itself that was the problem. It was a user profile thing. So I cleared out the cache for that user... and then it worked fine.

In case you don't know how to clear out the cache in Chrome...

fixchromedownloadbar02 Click on the three horizontal lines in Chrome and then select Settings.

fixchromedownloadbar03 Scroll down to and then click on Show advanced settings....

fixchromedownloadbar04 Scroll down to and then click on Clear browsing data....

fixchromedownloadbar05 Under Obliterate the following items from, select the beginning of time.

Check only Cached images and files.

Then click Clear browsing data.

Your download status bar should be working again.

Forcing a Chrome homepage on Macs

Nick McSpadden has a great (and thorough) write-up on Deploying and Managing Google Chrome: The Rough Guide, and his recommendation is to have some initial Master Preferences that set a default, which can be overriden.

In some cases, though (for example, we have some machines that will be used for Hour of Code next week that will be set to code.org/learn as the homepage), you may want to force the homepage, in which case a profile may be the way to do it. There's a great template for a Chrome profile on JAMF Nation. Just paste that into a text file, edit it, and then save it with a .mobileconfig extension, and then you can distribute the .mobileconfig using Munki or ARD.

Permanently add a self-signed certificate to Chrome on a Mac

Here's a great tutorial on how to do so. The only thing I had to change was importing the certificate from Keychain Access instead of double-clicking the certificate. Otherwise, it works fine, and the screenshots are very helpful!

If you prefer the terminal, you can save yourself a few steps at the end by using this command to add the certificate to the system keychain:

sudo security add-trusted-cert -d -r trustRoot -k "/Library/Keychains/System.keychain" /PATH/TO/CERTIFICATEFILE/ACTUALCERTIFICATE.cer