Chrome is good, but it can be better! Awkward Wonder Woman reference aside, it’s true that there’s an overwhelming library of Chrome extensions to customize your browser.
However, figuring out which are worth your time can be daunting, so we’ve rounded up what we think are the best Google Chrome extensions.
These extensions aren’t glamorous, but they’re so useful you’ll wonder how you lived without them for so long.
1. Picture-in-Picture (By Google)
More than a million people know just how good this in-house extension by Google is. We even featured it in a YouTube video back in 2020. Essentially, this extension lets you pop out the video for virtually all services you can think of.
The video can then be moved anywhere on the screen and resized to your taste. The video will always stay on top of everything else on the screen and is borderless, so it doesn’t take up more room than it needs to. It’s perfect for playing some Netflix while you work.
2. Panic Button
Remember when video games had a “boss button”? You could tap it and instantly bring up a fake spreadsheet or some other work-like screen as your manager walks by. Well, Panic Button brings that crucial function to your modern browser.
Created by popular web proxy provider HideMyAss, this extension lets you hide every single tab you have open at the touch of a button. When the danger has passed, you can restore them all easily.
3. The Great Suspender
Oh yes, it’s the Great Suspender. Suspending tabs so Chrome will run well. The browser is a notorious RAM (Random Access Memory) hog, so having the ability to manually send a few tabs out of memory and to a temporary spot on your hard drive is great. If you’re using a computer that’s light on memory but don’t want to close all those tabs, this is a fantastic little tool.
4. Volume Master
Whether you’re hard of hearing or just tired of how little audio control Chrome offers, Volume Master promises to put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to sound. It lets you boost volume up to 600% for those videos or podcasts that have been recorded at too low a volume.
You can also precisely control the volume of any tab between 0-600%. Best of all, finding and switching to a tab that’s playing audio is easy with this extension. So you don’t have to go through 100 tabs to find out which one has suddenly started blaring advertisement videos.
The following are some of the best Google Chrome extensions that make using the web just a little better. They’re perfect for getting the most out of web content, whether you’re browsing for work or personal interest.
5. Save to Pocket
This handy extension lets you organize your time by collecting all the web content you want to read into a single space for later consumption. Best of all, it works as a cross-device service. For example, if you’re browsing the web at work and see something interesting, you can access your pocket on your home PC or smartphone later.
6. GoFullPage – Full Page Screen Capture
Most web pages have more content than the typical screen can display. That means you have to take multiple screenshots and stitch them together for a full picture of the website. GoFullPage turns that entire tedious affair into a one-step process. All you have to do is click a button or use a keyboard shortcut and you’ll have a full-quality image file of the entire web page.
A better browsing experience isn’t just about functionality; it’s also about aesthetics. Chrome’s default new tab screen is bland and utilitarian, which is where Momentum shines.
With this extension installed, you’ll be greeted by a random photo of something calming and beautiful every time you open a new tab. You’ll also see useful information such as the current time, a to-do list, weather forecasts, and more.
It’s a little like a smartphone lock screen, but it’s only a click or tap of a button away. It might not sound like an essential extension, but with more than three million users, there must be something special going on here.
We’re always told to “work smarter, not harder,” and these extensions are the very embodiment of that idea. If you want to get more done with the little time you have, this is where the magic happens.
Even if you aren’t a writer, you probably have to write in a professional context no matter what job you do. Since we can’t all have a stack of language reference books on hand at all times, Grammarly is the best solution for most people when it comes to writing well.
The extension allows you to easily use the Grammarly tool to ensure your writing is correct and reads well. There’s more than enough functionality for most people in the free tier of the service, but don’t forget that you also have the option of getting better assistance by upgrading to the Premium plan.
Another extension with more than a million users, BlockSite keeps you on-task by limiting or blocking distracting websites. It’s also a handy way to ensure that your kids (or you) only have access to work sites during work or school hours. There’s even a password protection feature if you need it. This is a great tool to curb our natural tendency to procrastinate.
Privacy is taking center stage on the web, but maintaining your online privacy and security can be a full-time job. The following Google Chrome extensions aren’t total solutions to the problem, but they go a long way to making it more manageable.
While you shouldn’t block ads on websites that you find helpful and want to stay in business, there are many cases where adverts can be malicious or interfere with a website’s functionality.
Many modern sites are also rife with trackers, which collect information about what you do on the web. Ghostery is one of the best extensions for Chrome to give you power over who tracks you and what information they can collect. One of its greatest features is the smart-blocking mode. This dynamically blocks ads and trackers to speed up website performance without compromising the look and feel of web pages.
11. Zenmate Free VPN
VPNs are best as a connection-wide solution, but if you need a quick solution to access a blocked website or hide your activity from your ISP then Zenmate’s free VPN service is a good choice.
The free tier only offers 2Mbps speeds, so you won’t be using it to unblock streaming services from other regions. However, as a privacy tool, it’s a brilliant service that you can activate at the touch of a button.
Don’t Overextend Yourself!
This short, curated list of the best Google Chrome extensions is a good place to start, but try not to be too enthusiastic. Loading up Chrome with too many extensions poses both a privacy risk and has performance implications. So, also uninstall Chrome extensions you don’t need and prune your extension collection down a little.