The Chrome browser is a blank canvas and Chrome Extensions are the paint that can make it into a work of art.
Much like shades of paint, there are tens of thousands of Chrome Extensions to choose from, making it hard to find the essentials you need to improve your web browsing experience.
We have put together a list of our 10 favorite Chrome Extensions and the real life problems they solve. From security to grammar correction, these Extensions cover it all. Let us know in the comments section if you use a Chrome Extension that you think should have made the list!
1. Check Gmail From Anywhere On The Web
Check your email and even compose emails without ever visiting the Gmail interface. With Checker Plus for Gmail, you can keep reading that article you were in the middle of and quickly check your email via a dropdown that displays in your current tab. If you have headphones you can give your eyes a rest, this app will even read your emails out loud to you!
2. An Easier Way To Open Non-Google Attachments In Drive
Usually if someone sends you a Excel file or a Powerpoint you have to download it, re-upload it to Google Drive, then choose the app you would like to use to edit it. Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides, built by Google, takes out all the extra work. Simply click on the attachment and it will open in the appropriate Google format.
3. Clean Up Open Tabs Without Losing Them
Having over 10 tabs open at a given time can seriously slow down your computer. If you are like me and often have 20 or more tabs open at once, then everything seems to slow to a crawl. OneTab adds a button to your chrome window that will close all your tabs at once and save their URLs to a list for you to access later. This means you can open the few tabs you need right now without losing track of the others you may need later. Your computers CPU will thank you for using this one.
4. Pause Tabs When They Aren’t In Use
This is another Extension that helps serial tab openers. Rather than close all your open tabs like OneTab, The Great Suspender will suspend tabs when they are not used for a set amount of time (this amount of time is customizable). The benefit of this is that the tabs will all remain visible but since they are suspended they will not take up memory and slow down your browsing.
5. Two Browsers For The Price Of One
Many sites, including most government run websites, are optimized for Internet Explorer. If you are using Chrome, the last thing you want to do is boot up a second web browser just to visit one site. Luckily, the IE Tab Chrome Extension adds a second URL bar to your Chrome browser that you can use to browse the web as if you are using Internet Explorer.
6. Save That Article For Later
A very simple extension that serves a very useful purpose. If you come across an article on the web that you want to read later just save it to Pocket and you can read it later… right in your pocket! This extension is paired with a mobile app so everything you save on Chrome is also accessible on your mobile device!
7. Make your grammar be good
Grammarly is spell check on steroids. No matter where you are composing text in Chrome, Grammarly will check it for grammar and spelling errors. To take things one step further, it can also check for plagiarism, a function that could prove useful for educators.
8. Text From Your Phone… From Your Laptop?
Do you ever find yourself disrupting your workflow to reply to a text message on your phone? MightyText wants to make sure that never happens again. MightyText pulls in all your phone contacts and lets you receive and respond to text messages from a web interface. Install this Extension and you can leave your phone in your pocket for the day.
Note: This is only available for Android
9. Save Time In Wikipedia
Wikipedia can turn into a rabbit hole. You view one article, see a term you don’t know, click on it, then on that page you see another term you don’t know and before you know it you have forgotten which article you were originally reading. Wikipedia Quick Hints allows you to view Wikipedia definitions by hovering over the word so you never have to leave the page you are reading.
10. A Chrome Extension That Protects You From Other Chrome Extensions
Chrome Extensions are built by third party developers and it is hard to know the extent of their access. It is possible for a Chrome Extension to contain software that could be malicious to your computer or your security. Shield for Chrome scans all your existing Chrome Extensions as well as any new Extensions you install to ensure they do not contain any harmful software that could pose as a security risk.