Google Chrome has become the world’s most popular internet browser, surpassing long-time reigning champion Internet Explorer in 2016.
However, to most, Chrome’s surge in popularity over the last decade probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Google’s browser has been consistently praised for its speed, reliability, and ease-of-use, especially in comparison to its competitors.
Not only does Chrome work great as-is – but it can also be improved with a growing number of add-ons, called extensions. These extensions can save you time and energy by boosting Chrome’s performance, adding additional features, and even improving your online security.
That said, getting started with extensions can be a bit daunting. Pretty much anyone can develop a Chrome extension, and with more than an estimated fifty thousand extensions available, wading through the crud to get to the good stuff requires a degree of conscious effort.
To allow you to get the most out of your Chrome browsing experience, we’ve created a list of some of our favorite extensions, ranked in no particular order.
So without further adieu, from us at Yocale to you – here are nine Chrome extensions that we think will make your time with Chrome much more enjoyable!
The average internet user has an average of seven unique social media accounts – and that’s not counting other account types.
And although having dozens of unique passwords for your online accounts is generally considered to be good online etiquette, in practice, it’s not exactly user-friendly.
Enter LastPass – a service that promises to store and retrieve all your online passwords safely and securely for fast, automatic entry. All you’ll need to do is remember your “master password,” and LastPass will auto-log you into your favorite sites in seconds.
LastPass also works across a large number of devices, including on iOS and Android platforms. It’ll even auto-fill credit card numbers and addresses for you, as well as generate new passwords to keep you safe.
The chrome extension is free to use, but LastPass also offers feature-bolstered Premium, Family, and Business plans at affordable monthly rates.
If you regularly peruse the internet for novel and fascinating things, chances are you’ve got quite a backlog of articles, websites, and videos that you’ve promised to come back to.
After all, there’s only so much time in the day, so exercising some restraint in regards to every exciting thing you stumble across on the internet is probably warranted. Otherwise, well – your family and friends might not ever see you again!
Thankfully, Pocket provides you with a destination to store and organize interesting web content so you can quickly locate and revisit it later.
With Pocket’s Chrome extension, saving a page is as easy as pressing the “Pocket” button from your toolbar. From here, you can also add custom tags to the page to organize your growing saved library of content.
If you’re out of ideas, Pocket will even recommend content to you based on your interests and what other Pocket users are saving.
Because the internet can supply us with a seemingly inexhaustible amount of diverse content, we often find ourselves at the bottom of an internet rabbit hole.
And as it turns out, feverishly switching between browser tabs and continually opening countless new ones isn’t just mentally taxing. It’s also likely to slow down your computer, too.
If you tend to get caught up in obsessive and entrancing web-browsing sessions, TabWrangler might just be your new favorite Chrome extension.
By monitoring your browser tabs, Tab Wrangler will automatically close inactive tabs after a predetermined amount of time, which frees up valuable RAM and helps to stabilize your computer’s performance.
Of course, you can come back and revisit tabs at any time, or pin tabs that you don’t want to be closed. TabWrangler is designed to improve your online experience, after all – not punish you for your web browsing habits!
If you love staying organized and scheduled on-the-go, the Google Calendar extension for Chrome is a no-brainer.
The extension adds a button in your Chrome toolbar that allows you to quickly reference your Google calendar and see what’s ahead.
Google Calendar for Chrome will even detect and highlight dates on web pages, which you can then click to add and create as events. And, if the extension doesn’t pick up on a date, you can always highlight it and right-click to create a new event.
Originally, the extension was Google-sponsored and maintained by Google itself, but as of 2018, this is no longer the case. Still, the extension functions well and feels at-home nestled neatly in one’s Chrome toolbar.
Have you found yourself wishing that Facebook was a little more black-and-blue? Or, perhaps the gratuitous use of white space on Google’s search homepage has always burned your eyes late at night.
Whatever your preference might be, Stylish is the definitive extension for the colour-coordinated.
In just a few clicks, you can adjust the colors and layout of many of your favourite websites with Stylish’s extensive library of built-in page themes. And, if you’re not satisfied with any of the pre-existing themes, you can always try creating your own!
From social networks like Facebook and Reddit to services like Gmail, Stylish gives you a staggering degree of control over how your web browsing experience looks and feels!
The Great Suspender works very similarly to TabWrangler, which we previously covered on this list.
However, The Great Suspender emphasizes suspending inactive tabs rather than closing them. The extension will still help to stave-off performance woes during long browsing sessions, but it does so in a subtler fashion when compared to TabWrangler.
Ultimately, the choice between the two will largely come down to user preference, as the two extensions are very similar. Still, it’s great to have options!
OneTab is another easy recommendation for serial “tabists.”
At any point during a web browsing session, OneTab allows you to convert all your open tabs into a list with a mere click of a button. You can later choose to restore those tabs one-by-one, or all at once.
OneTab is a great way to focus your web browsing and is especially handy for when you’re conducting online research sessions. Because the extension even allows you to export all your open tabs as a list of URLs, you can then easily share or store for reference later – a feature that’s perfect for collecting reference or citation material.
The authors of the extension also note that OneTab can effectively “speed up your computer” by reducing CPU load.
Not including an ad blocker of some kind on a “best-of” chrome extensions list might actually be a crime in some countries. So naturally, we needed one on this list.
While many users swear by AdBlock, the extension has been extensively covered across websites and blogs for quite some time now. So, we thought we’d mix it up with an extension that provides ad blocking – only, with a distinctivetwist.
Ghostery describes itself as a “powerful privacy extension,” and allows you to “block ads, stop trackers, and speed up websites.”
The built-in tracking awareness features are what make Ghostery really shine, though. If you’ve ever been curious about just how a website is tracking your behaviour, Ghostery might be able to sate your curiosity.
Ghostery also gives you full control over how these trackers affect your web browsing. You can identify and disable a wide range of trackers across all manner of web pages, which helps keep your browsing private and boosts web performance in the process.
It’s a win-win!
Grammarly is a service that’s been gaining traction in the online world amongst students and professionals alike. Acting as a second layer of spell and grammar correction, Grammarly will provide automatic feedback on anything you type – from messages to essays and blog posts.
While Grammarly isn’t perfect, the correctional feedback it offers is a lot more in-depth than what comes built-in with Chrome. The extension will point out words you may have confused, alert you if a word is overused, and even offer to restructure your sentences entirely for better readability.
Simply put, Grammarly will catch mistakes in your writing that might otherwise slip through your fingers, saving you the time and energy of manually vetting your work. It’s also totally free, although there are additional paid plans available that unlock additional features.
Whether you’re after improved online privacy, a better way to store interesting web content, just want to keep your obsessive web browsing in-check, with Google Chrome, there’s an extension for everyone!
Thanks for reading!