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gmail chrome extensionGmail is the most favored email address of nerds and computer experts.  Although Gmail is an amazing service, it still has it’s quirks. And besides, there are a couple of features that you really don’t need, or have been wanting them to add for years.

Although these services aren’t usually hand-tailored, you can make them your own, and customize them with userscripts or by using browser add-ons.

Below are four of the best Google Gmail Chrome extensions, to better your Gmail experience!

Better Gmail (Unofficial)

This extension aims to remove a couple of Gmail discomforts, like ads and sponsor messages. You can choose to hide the footer, chat and the invite friends field to somewhat clean up your page. A couple of additional features, including an unread count in favicon, attachment icons and the ability to handle mailto links with Gmail by default, are also added.

chrome extension for gmail

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The Firefox counterpart of this Gmail Chrome extensions goes by the same name, and was made famous by Lifehacker. Better Gmail on Google Chrome can be considered an unofficial port of the idea; in essence, just a compilation of userscripts to improve upon your day-to-day Gmail experience.

Google Mail Checker Plus

If you’re like me, and feel like checking your email every 5 minutes, listen up. This extension adds a Gmail icon with unread count on the Google Chrome address bar. But, contrary to some alternatives, it also allows you to read those emails without having to open a new tab.

gmail chrome extension

Additional features include desktop and sound notifications and – if you haven’t already installed Better Gmail – the association of mailto links with Gmail. Google Mail Checker Plus also allows you to monitor your own domain’s Google Apps email address.

Autopen Signatures

If you want to use rich formatting, images and HTML in general, Gmail’s default signature options do not measure up. In short, you’re going to need an extension. Autopen does all those things. After linking it to your Gmail acccount, it allows you to create different signature profiles using a rich-text editor.

chrome extension for gmail

But the reason why I recommend Autopen lies somewhere else. If you’re using only one log-in, but several Gmail addresses, Autopen automatically inserts the right signature when you’re composing an email with a specific email address. Once you’ve got those signature profiles set up, there’s no need to look back.

Gmail Sender’s Picture

If you’re a frequent visitor to blogs, you might already have a Gravatar set up. If you’re wondering, that’s a picture that’ll automatically appear next to your comments, associated with the email address you’re using. There are other systems in the ether that tie your email address to a picture – not in the least your Google account’s profile picture.

gmail chrome extension

This extension tries to find such a picture for your correspondents, and adds them to the emails. This grants them a degree of personality, as well as give you another visual aid for quickly skimming your email.

Do you know of any other Google Gmail Chrome extensions that might improve upon your Gmail experience? Share them with us – and your fellow MakeUseOf readers – in the comments section below!

  1. Simon Slangen
    July 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip(s) Nathan, Josh909, Rapportive really looks incredible.

    EDIT: to use Rapportive in conjunction with Better Gmail (Unofficial), be sure to turn off the "Remove Ads. Fix Page width. Reposition print button." option in the latter.

  2. josh909
    July 12, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    I would highly recommend checking out Rapportive - http://rapportive.com/

    Essentially it's simple social CRM built into gmail. It's still in development (so not perfect yet) however I have been using it for a week and love it.

  3. josh909
    July 12, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    I would highly recommend checking out Rapportive - http://rapportive.com/

    Essentially it's simple social CRM built into gmail. It's still in development (so not perfect yet) however I have been using it for a week and love it.

    • Aaron Couch
      July 13, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      I was just going to say the same thing when I saw your comment. Great advice! Follow it people. It should have been added to the list.

  4. Nathan Snyder
    July 12, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I'll put in a plug for Rapportive. It finds information connected to email addresses and replaces the advertisements with it. http://rapportive.com/

    • Simon Slangen
      July 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks for the tip(s) Nathan, Josh909, Rapportive really looks incredible.

      EDIT: to use Rapportive in conjunction with Better Gmail (Unofficial), be sure to turn off the "Remove Ads. Fix Page width. Reposition print button." option in the latter.

  5. Herb
    July 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Gmail recently introduced rich text signatures, so Autopen may not be necessary any more. You can have unique ones for each email address.

    • Simon Slangen
      July 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm

      You're right! The feature seems to have been added whilst this article was being published!

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