How can I tell which Chrome extensions to keep and which to disable?

Jeff B July 26, 2014
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After seeing that my silverlight plugin crashes every time I go to a certain site, I decided to research my plugins. I found I have 27 different plugins. How can I tell which ones to keep and which ones I can disable? Some are easy to tell what they are but others aren’t.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Ben S
    July 28, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    First, I've written an article on how to get rid of junk extensions here:

    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-essential-steps-to-get-rid-of-chrome-hijackers-in-minutes/

    But I don't think that's your problem. Just so you know, plugins and extensions are different as other have said.

    If you'd like, copy down a list of all plugins you have at chrome://plugins and we can recommend which ones to disable. You can do the same with extensions, although those should be a bit more obvious. If you didn't install them, get rid of them.

  2. dragonmouth
    July 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Disable all of your extensions, then enable them one by one. See what effect that has on your browser or computer. If the function of the extension is something you like or want, keep it. Leave the ones you do not like or do not want to use disabled. Better yet, un-install the extension you will not be using.

  3. Hovsep A
    July 27, 2014 at 4:39 am

    open google chrome task manager using hotkey SHIFT +ESC, check any huge memory/cpu usage

  4. Jan F
    July 27, 2014 at 3:36 am

    If you are referring to the Extensions (Tools > Extensions) then you can technically disable/remove all of them. None of them is vital for Chrome ~ keep what you know and need.

    If you are referring to the actual plugins (chrome://plugins/) then it is harder to say as some of them are installed by default, some might come from third-parties. The best way to go about is click the Details button in the top right. Everything located within the Chrome folder should stay untouched. For the others check where they are installed ~ usually the path will tell you what they are and where they came from.

    If you are running Windows 8 or later make sure your browser does not run in the Metro/Tile mode! Microsoft does not allow plug-ins to run "in Metro" and therefor will usually result in it either not working or even crashing ~ this includes Silverlight.
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ie/hh968248.aspx

  5. Oron J
    July 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I'm assuming these are Chrome extensions since this the the browser you used to post your question. The answer depends partly on how the extensions got there in the first place. If you installed them, you should know what they do. There are only a handful of extensions (to do with Google Docs features mostly) which are installed by default. You can disable them too if you like - it won't cause any crashes, although of course you'll lose the functionality.

    Extensions are sometimes installed by other applications, but you should have been informed about it during the installation process. If you see any extension you don't know about, you can (and probably should) disable it. If you want to check up on a particular extension, simply google it! You can also go into the Chrome web store ("Get more extensions", find the extension there and read the reviews.