One of the things that makes Google Chrome such a great browser is its large collection of extensions that work for you. But just like any collection of workers, when the force gets large enough, you need to get managers to make sure everything is running smoothly.
There are so many great add-ons for the browser that we made a whole page of the most useful Chrome extensions. If you’ve installed several of these or many others, then there are some things you need, like making sure they are safe, being able to easily enable or disable them, or managing which ones run on what pages. To do all that, ironically, you’ll need a few more extensions.
Shield For Chrome [No Longer Available]
A few months ago, it came to light that some spammers buy Chrome extensions and turn them into adware. To protect yourself from becoming a victim of one of these extensions, download Shield For Chrome. It currently stops over 100 of such malicious extensions and there are some big names on this list, so there’s a chance your Chrome is already affected. A word of advice though: sometimes, Shield For Chrome will also throw a few false positives. For example, a few months ago, it started showing Google Drive as potential adware. It’s best to use common sense to figure out what to keep and what not to keep; but if you’re unsure about an extension or don’t trust its maker, the safer option is to remove it and look for an alternative.
There are some extensions that you want to run only on certain websites or disable from running on a few sites. Extension Automation makes that super simple. For example, we are big fans of Adblock Plus since it can block online ads and malware, but we do request you to whitelist MakeUseOf in Adblock. One way to do that is to click Extension Automation when you’re on our site. Choose whether you want to “Enable” or “Disable” an extension and then pick from the list of extensions available. It will automatically pick up the web page’s address, which you can change if needed. The cool part is that you can even export these settings so that Extension Automation works the same across multiple computers.
There are different extensions you may need for different purposes. There’s one set you use during your work hours, for instance, and another when you are browsing videos. SimpleExtManager streamlines your extensions by letting you create groups of extensions which can be activated or disabled in bulk with a single click. This also includes Chrome apps so it works as a shortcut launcher too. And when not being used for groups, it sits quietly in the toolbar and you can click it to individually enable or disable any extension or app, since all of them are available in a list. It couldn’t be simpler.
How Do You Manage Extensions?
The conventional way of managing Chrome extensions is to right-click on any of the extension icons in your toolbar and select “Manage”, which opens a list of all the add-ons you have installed. But the above options are obviously much better than that. Still, there’s no such thing as a completely comprehensive list or guide and our readers have time and again proven to come up with ideas, apps and other tips we don’t know. So use the comment space below to share how you manage extensions in Chrome — and Firefox users, speak up too!