Nearly two-thirds of internet users turn to Chrome for their browsing needs, but so few take full advantage of its available extensions, the add-ons that elevate it from good to awesome. If you’re one of those plain Chrome users—or if you’ve only dabbled in the extensions —check out these sprinkles of joy that I swear by.
The following list of Chrome extension recommendations is by no means comprehensive; there is plenty to explore and discover in the Chrome Web Store. (If you go exploring, just make sure you stick with reputable developers.) But these are the ones I depend on every day to keep my internet experience as sane and enjoyable as possible. May they will do the same for you.
Have you ever clicked on a favorite link, only to be greeted by a 404 Error? Wayback Machine’s Chrome extension can help. Created by the Internet Archive—a nonprofit that preserves billions of web pages—the extension shows you what a website looked like in the past, even if has since been deleted. It can turn up the most recent version of a page it has saved or even go back to the first time the Internet Archive recorded it. That latter can be especially illuminating. For example, you can see what a user’s Twitter account looked like when they created it, or how a company’s website appeared when it first launched. One drawback: Wayback Machine doesn’t have a record of every webpage on the internet. But it can also help you prevent others from vanishing in the future: The extension lets you save the web page you’re currently visiting the Internet Archive’s database.
TodoBook gives you a to-do list when you open Facebook, It features a cool “quitter” button, that will allow you a few minutes to scroll through, once the time limit is reached, you see your to-do list again. This extension does not access, read, edit, or store ANY of your data on Facebook, and never will. And it will NEVER post anything to Facebook on your behalf. It also requires access to your navigation history so that it can detect when you’re on Facebook. It doesn’t read, transmit, or store any browsing history, it simply detects your current URL.
You can configure the break times, the frequency of breaks, and you can turn on ‘work hours’ via the gear icon in the top right of the extension UI once you’ve loaded facebook in your browser. If you turn on ‘work hours’, the extension will only be active between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday through Friday.
“This Chrome extension makes your Facebook addiction productive”
We all love News Feed, but sometimes we just need to get stuff done. I use this app to improve my productivity while still using Facebook. This is a great app that has helped strike a good balance between my work and social media.
July of 2016, the world changed and not for the better. Up until that point, the backspace key on your desktop keyboard doubled as a back button in Chrome. It had been that way since the browser’s launch some eight years prior. By mid-2016, this action—a simple keystroke to go back one page in your browser history—had become hardwired in our brains. But Google removed the backspace action summer of 2016 because it caused a particularly Googley problem: People were losing work in web apps. When a user typed into a browser text field and hit the backspace key hoping to correct a typo, they’d sometimes inadvertently cause the browser to jump back one page, nuking whatever efforts they’d spent the last few minutes sweating over. Sure, that’s annoying. But imagine the outrage of millions of Chrome users when, upon the next browser update, the backspace key suddenly did nothing. Google had neutered one of the most useful mechanisms for navigating the web. Thankfully, the company recognized our plight and just weeks later released this extension, which restores the back-button functionality of the backspace key. Hallelujah. The preferred keystroke of Alt + left arrow is still the default in Chrome, and maybe you’re used to that now. But why force yourself to press two keys when you can install this extension and press only one?
You know when you open Chrome and the browser is like, “Are you sure you want to reopen 400 tabs?” (Yes, I do, and rude!) Maybe it’s a selection of news articles you’re planning to read later or the aftermath of clicking through dozens of Wikipedia pages. Maybe you don’t even know what’s in all those tabs. Either way, keeping them all open puts a huge strain on your browser. Close them all—without losing them forever—with the handy OneTab extension. One click of the button neatly collates all your open tabs into one list of links that you can revisit later. It saves your computer incredible amounts of RAM, speeds up the browser immediately, and keeps all those links handy for when you’re totally someday coming back to read them.
As a designer, this is one of the best and easiest tools for pulling colors off web pages, a mostly, but not always, functional extension that lets you eye-drop any color from around the web and grabs its RGB and Hex color codes. It’s particularly handy for quick fixes that don’t necessitate slowing down your computer by opening Photoshop— It isn’t the prettiest extension, and it’s all too easy to accidentally trigger the eyedropper if, like me, you’re prone to hitting alt-P instead of command-P when trying to print—but Eye Dropper gets the job done.
We’ve all had a Google Ad follow us around the entire web and back, you know just how annoying and invasive online tracking has become. Ghostery is a fascinating way to see the services websites use to track and collect data about you. It creates a little icon with a number, showing you how many trackers, every site uses. Wikipedia, for example, has 0. Most other sites have at least a few. You can see what they use to monitor their website traffic and serve ads, then block services that you don’t like. It’s not perfect; sometimes it will break sites you want to visit, and you’ll have to turn it off or pause it, although the latest release uses AI powers to help minimize the collateral damage.
As a designer, this is just the best extension ever! It allows me to capture a screenshot of an entire page reliably and securely, without needing any extra permissions.
This is the simplest way to take a full-page screenshot of your current browser window. Click on the extension icon (or press Alt+Shift+P), watch the extension capture each part of the page, and be taken to a new tab of your screenshot where you can download it as an image or PDF or even just drag it to your desktop.
*No bloat, no ads, no unnecessary permissions, just a simple way to turn a full web page into an image. *
*NEW: * The advanced screen capture technology handles complex pages—including inner scrollable elements as well as embedded iframes—unlike any other extension. If you encounter an issue, they have great customer support via a flag icon on the capture page.
Depending on the page you are scanning, it could take a minute to scan all the page, so be patient, you will know when it has captured the entire page. For the rare time that your page is too large for Chrome to store in one image, it will let you know and split it up into images in separate tabs.
Export your result to PNG, JPEG, or various PDF paper sizes—all configurable from the extension’s options.
You probably use Google Calendar every day—many, many times. Instead of letting it permanently squat on valuable tab real estate on your desktop, try the Google Calendar Chrome extension instead. It puts a small Calendar icon in the upper right of your browser window, right where you’d expect. Tap it, and a box drops down, showing you all the meetings, you have coming up. It’s just a one-shot view of the meetings and events you have coming up in the next week or two. You can customize which calendars appear, which is also nice because if you’re like me, you have a ton of them. For more display options—or to get crazy and log in to two Google Calendars at the same time—try the Checker Plus for Google Calendar extension. It’s not official but works well.
While this list is not all-inclusive, it is some of the extensions that I use the most. Look at Chrome Web Store, in my opinion, the best place for small programs that add new features to your browser and personalize your browsing experience. Just remember, use caution and make sure you only use extensions from reputable developers.
Do you have some extensions that you use that aren’t listed here? I’d love to hear about them and why you love using them.
By: Karen Fann – Badass Biz Mentor