It’s honestly hard to remember browsing the web without the use of Chrome extensions. These little utilities simplify common actions like shortening URLS or checking grammar. ⚠️ Extension are great, but be careful!
Chrome extensions are like prescription drugs…you don’t want to use too many at one time! 💊 I spend a lot of time supporting teachers who use Chromebooks with students. Most classroom issues with Chromebooks can be traced back to a bad extension or students who have ALLLLLLL the extensions installed. Disabling and reviewing the extensions a student has installed is one of my top troubleshooting tips for fixing a “broken” Chromebook. In general, it is best to limit the number of extensions you are using to those that you use on a regular basis.
Tips for quickly managing your Chrome extensions
For me, there are 7 extensions that I use pretty much constantly and a bunch (nearly 100 of them!) that only use occasionally. You CAN enable and disable your extensions by clicking 3-dot menu > more tools > extensions, but this is a slow and cumbersome process. But there’s the secret that Chrome pros use to make life a bit easier. 🤫 An extension manager is the quick way to enable or disable an extension directly from the extension bar, without the need to visit the settings page. There are three really good extensions managers that I can recommend:
1️⃣ Custom Chrome: Visually this is the most pleasant extension managers I have used. Not as full-featured as other options, but perfect for managing a few dozen extensions or installing on your mom’s computer so that she doesn’t run ALLL her extensions at the same time.
2️⃣ Extensity is a robust extension manager for extension hoarders like me! The best feature of extensity is the ability to set up extension profiles to quickly enable/disable groups of extension. You can set up profiles for “shopping”, “design” or “browsing” to quickly access collections of your favorite tools.
3️⃣ Extensions Manager (AKA “Switcher): This is the extension manager that I use. The search function is my favorite feature. I don’t spend time setting up groups or profiles, I just search and enable extensions as needed. The compact design is information-dense just the way I like it!
Chrome extensions make my life easier and improve my productivity. Some extensions (like Grammarly) I use on a daily basis. Others, I only use occasionally. An extension manager makes managing my stable of extensions less of a chore.