Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Though Microsoft Edge has a leg up on Internet Explorer, it’s still playing catch-up with other browsers. In 2016, Edge got a major update to support browser extensions. A year later, you might be surprised to learn that the extension library holds just 40 add-ons.
We know that there are some must-have Edge extensions, but how does the library as a whole compare to what Chrome offers? Let’s take a survey of every Edge extension to find what’s great and what’s lacking. A Tie score means that the extensions are so similar that there’s no clear winner.
Chrome Equivalent: Ghostery
Ghostery is one of the most popular tracking protection extensions. It blocks the social tracking buttons you see all over the web, along with other clutter like advertising tracking. Ghostery isn’t an ad-blocker per se, but does remove some. It lets you see how sites are tracking you and add exceptions for trusted sites.
Chrome Equivalent: LastPass
Here’s the password manager you should try if you aren’t already using one. It allows you to create strong passwords, store secure notes, and auto-fill common information. Its most important features are available for free, including cross-device support. However, the Edge extension isn’t up to par with other versions. Users complain of bugs and an outdated user interface compared to the Chrome version.
Winner: Chrome, due to its smoother interface and performance.
Chrome Equivalent: True Key
True Key is a password manager from Intel Security (formerly McAfee). It offers all the features you’d expect in a password manager, but comes with a huge caveat. The free version only allows you to store 15 passwords. You’ll have to pay $20/year to store all your logins. Frankly, there’s nothing special about True Key that’s worth the cost. LastPass or one of its many alternatives will do the same job and store all your passwords for free.
Chrome Equivalent: OneLogin for Google Chrome
OneLogin is a single sign-on (SSO), password manager, and identity management service meant for enterprise use. It’s integrated with business applications like Salesforce and GoToMeeting. For home users, there’s no reason to install this because it requires a company account. Notably, OneLogin was recently the victim of a huge security breach.
Chrome Equivalent: RoboForm Password Manager
RoboForm is another password manager. This one has been around for a while, but its Edge extension is lackluster. It carries a 2.4-star average, with users complaining that it’s clunky and crippled compared to other browser versions. Add that to a $20/year price for the cloud backup, device sync, and web access features of the premium version, and there’s not much of a reason to use RoboForm over a better manager.
Winner: Chrome, as Edge’s version isn’t as smooth.
Chrome Equivalent: Keeper Password Manager & Digital Vault
Guess what this is? If you said a password manager, you’re right. And like the others, Keeper isn’t free. It offers a free trial, then costs $30/year for a single-user account. Since you can get this functionality for free elsewhere, this isn’t worth installing unless you already subscribe to the service.
Ad-blockers and password managers are becoming a trend in Edge’s extension library, and this belongs in the latter category. However, Norton’s offering is confusing because when you visit the page to install Identity Safe, you receive this message:
The standalone version of Norton Identity Safe (2014) is currently unavailable for download.
We periodically review our older product offerings based on various factors, including compatibility with the latest technology and feasibility of providing adequate support. Based on these reviews, standalone version of Norton Identity Safe is not being offered for new downloads as of June 7, 2017.
Norton Identity Safe feature is still offered with our Norton Security products.
We’ve discussed before that you don’t need a paid antivirus, much less Norton’s bloated mess. So we recommend you skip this and use another password manager.
Social & Entertainment
Chrome Equivalent: Reddit Enhancement Suite
Reddit is a popular destination for news, humor, and communities built around specific topics. It’s a great site on its own, but it becomes so much better with the Reddit Enhancement Suite (RES). With inline image viewing, never-ending pages, and color-coded usernames, this is an absolute must-have for anyone who uses Reddit.
Went to https://t.co/lOjse6Gy96 for the first time in IDK how long. Didn't have REI (Reddit enhancement suite) installed. Left immediately.
— ???? ??????? ?? (@jasesanders) June 9, 2017
Chrome Equivalent: Moderator toolbox for reddit
We mentioned earlier that the Reddit Enhancement Suite is a must-have for all Reddit regulars. This extension is for those who serve as moderators for one of the site’s many subreddits. Moderators are in charge of removing posts that violate the rules and monitoring the sub’s health. If you’re a mod, this suite of tools helps you perform your job more easily. Those who just browse Reddit won’t need this, though.
Chrome Equivalent: Pinterest Save Button
A basic extension for Pinterest users that allows you to save a website, recipe, or other content into your Pinterest account. It’s not a vital tool by any means, as you use Pinterest’s bookmarklet for the same function, and it’s lighter on resources. Many websites also have a Pinterest social button you can use too. But if you’re a Pinterest fanatic, this is worth keeping around.
— Diana Mancuso (@TeacherMomOfTwo) June 13, 2017
Chrome Equivalent: Enhancer for YouTube
YouTube is great, but with some tweaks it gets even better. This extension lets you customize the service to your liking. Disabling autoplay, loading videos at a certain quality, and pinning the video to your screen while scrolling are all supported. Anyone who uses YouTube often should play around with this to remove some of its annoyances.
CR-Unblocker [No Longer Available]
Chrome Equivalent: CR-Unblocker [No longer available]
Crunchyroll is an anime streaming website where you can watch hundreds of shows, either free with ads or via a paid subscription. Some of its content is only available in the USA. If you’re outside America, this extension fools the site into thinking that you’re in the US so you can access more shows.
install the CR-Unblocker extension and you're done. literally takes 30 secs
— Kusu (@MaxedOutMax_) June 1, 2017
Ebates: The Free Cash Back Shopping Assistant
Chrome Equivalent: Ebates: The Free Cash Back Shopping Assistant
Ebates is one of the best cash back services around, and it’s basically identical on Edge and Chrome. The extension will automatically find coupon codes on thousands of store websites for you. In addition to this, it offers you cash back when you shop at participating stores. After some time with Ebates, you’ll be earning money back from purchases you’d have made anyway!
Chrome Equivalent: Personal Shopping Assistant (Beta)
This extension acts as an internet-wide shopping cart. It remembers what products you’ve looked for and allows you to compare prices across hundreds of stores. You can save items to boards for later or to create collections. If you shop online regularly, this is a huge help.
Winner: Edge, as the Chrome version is slightly behind in development.
Chrome Equivalent: KidStart Savings Prompt
KidStart is a service that pays you small amounts every time you shop at a participating retailer. Instead of saving you money with coupon codes, the money gets deposited into a savings account for your child. It’s free and if you have this extension installed, you’ll see a KidStart button whenever you search Google for a product that it supports. Go through its link, and you’ll earn a small amount of the purchase back into the savings account. The service is UK-centric now, so those in other territories may not have the same chances for earning.
Chrome Equivalent: None.
Give as you Live is a UK-centric service that lets you donate to charity when shopping online. This extension simply reminds you of donation opportunities and lets you access participating stores quickly. It’s not necessary for using the service but adds a bit of convenience if you’re a hardcore user.
Winner: Edge, as Chrome doesn’t have an extension for this service.
Chrome Equivalent: OneNote Web Clipper
OneNote is already an awesome note-taking app, and it gets even better with extensions like this. The Web Clipper lets you grab images, videos, or even entire articles and send them right to your OneNote notebooks. If you like to compile recipes, instructions, and other information to your notes, this is an efficient way to do so.
Chrome Equivalent: Evernote Web Clipper
We’re not sure why Evernote is in the list of Edge extensions. This isn’t actually an add-on for Edge; it’s a complete Store app for Windows 10. While Evernote is a fine service, installing this doesn’t do anything in Edge.
Winner: Chrome, because Edge’s isn’t actually an extension.
Chrome Equivalent: Autofill for Chrome by Fillr
Most browsers include an autofill functionality, but these carry some security issues. If you like the convenience of automatically filling in your address and other information, Autofill does a better job and keeps your information secure thanks to PIN protection and encryption.
Chrome Equivalent: Save to Pocket
Pocket is the leading read-it-later service. Using this extension, you can click the Pocket button to save any page to your account for clean reading later. If you often find articles you want to check out but don’t have time, this is a must-have. Like Pinterest, you can also use the lighter Pocket bookmarklet to accomplish the same task.
Chrome Equivalent: Print Friendly & PDF
Saving paper and ink when you print is always a good idea. This extension enables you to do so by removing junk elements from pages. You can delete any images, remove navigation buttons, and change the font size to waste less space on the paper. It can do the same for saving PDFs, too.
Chrome Equivalent: ImTranslator; website translation functionality is also built into Chrome.
As you might guess, this extension translates websites in foreign languages to your native tongue. It supports over 50 languages and can translate entire pages or just snippets of text. If you ever work with other languages in your browser, you should definitely keep this one around.
Winner: Chrome, as it has the functionality built-in and offers a more powerful extension.
Chrome Equivalent: Turn Off the Lights
Ever wanted to feel like you’re in a theater when watching videos online? This extension does just that. Turn Off the Lights will dim pages containing video so you can focus on what’s playing. It supports YouTube, Vimeo, and plenty of other video sites. In addition to this, the extension adds new keyboards shortcuts, mouse wheel volume control, night mode on other websites, and more. If you like your browser dark, this one is for you.
Chrome Equivalent: Zoom
True to its name, Zoom is an extension that lets you adjust the zoom level of webpages. Of course, basic zooming functionality is already enabled in Edge. This adds new features such as zooming all open tabs, adjusting the zoom for one website from the options menu, and setting the default zoom ratio. Give this a try if you zoom webpages regularly.
Chrome Equivalent: Read&Write for Google Chrome
Read&Write is an extension aimed to help students learn better while using a computer. Children can listen to documents and webpages read aloud with text-to-speech, hear translations, and highlight text. It works with Word and OneNote Online, as well as websites. The Edge version is currently in beta and is free during that time. Read&Write charges for most of its features in other browsers after a 30-day free trial.
Winner: Chrome. Edge’s version is in beta and has limited functionality.
Chrome Equivalent: crxMouse Chrome Gestures
You know how awesome keyboard shortcuts are, but your mouse comes in handy for navigation, too. This extension adds some new gestures for working with tabs, navigating webpages, and more. If you prefer the mouse to your keyboard, give this a try to fly around Edge faster than ever before.
Winner: Chrome, as its extension offers more gestures.
Chrome Equivalent: Tampermonkey
Tampermonkey is a user script manager. It’s intended for power users, as it allows you to change the way that websites behave. If you don’t know what user scripts are, you don’t need to bother with this one. But for those that like to tinker, this is a fine tool and one of Edge’s most powerful extensions.
Chrome Equivalent: Office Online
We’ve discussed how Office Online is a great free alternative if you don’t want to pay for Microsoft Office. This extension makes it a bit easier to get to your Office documents from anywhere. Click the button, and you can jump right to an Office Online app and access your recent files. It’s slightly more convenient than keeping a bookmark to Office Online on your bookmarks bar if you use the service regularly.
One good thing about Microsoft Edge is the Office Online extension. Although you have to upload all your docs to OneDrive, but that's okay.
— Chris ? ? ? (@crk5) April 29, 2017
Chrome Equivalent: ClassLink OneClick Extension
Another extension that requires a company account, OneClick is useless if you aren’t a student or teacher subscribed to the service. It includes single sign-on to web apps and file sharing. A fine tool for schools that use it, but there’s no need to install this if you’re a home user.
Chrome Equivalent: FlyView for SharePoint and Office 365 Sites
SharePoint is Microsoft’s service for building internal company websites. On many of these, it’s tough to navigate and find exactly what page you’re looking for. This extension adds an easy-to-follow breadcrumb trail and other navigation tools that help you spend less time wandering around. You probably don’t visit any SharePoint sites outside of business use, but anyone that works with them should keep this around.
Chrome Equivalent: Nimble Contacts Widget
Nimble is a customer relationship management (CRM) service for enterprise use. Unless you work in marketing for a business that uses this service, you don’t need to worry about this extension.
Chrome Equivalent: BuiltWith Technology Profiler
This extension isn’t complicated. Whenever you run it on a website, it will tell you what technologies the website is built with. Any frameworks, web servers, and other libraries display plainly for you to see. Not too useful for the average user, but perhaps valuable if you’d like to see what your favorite sites are made of.
Page Analyzer (Microsoft)
Chrome Equivalent: Page Analyzer (NJN)
An extension intended for developers, Page Analyzer lets you scan for problems on your website. It can find compatibility, performance, and accessibility issues so you can have a cleaner and stronger site. Whether you’re trying to fix an issue on your site, make it more accessible for users, or working on SEO, this is a good start.
Winner: Edge. The Chrome extension only checks for compatibility issues with certain browsers, not the site itself.
Chrome Equivalent: BrowserStack
Developers creating websites have to go through a lot of testing. Just because a website looks okay in Chrome doesn’t mean it won’t have problems in Firefox. Plus, they must test mobile browsers and even ancient browsers like Internet Explorer 8 sometimes. BrowserStack makes this simple by letting developers check their site in dozens of real browsers without using virtual machines. It’s a paid service designed for business use, so this extension is useless without a subscription.
Live editor for CSS and LESS – Magic CSS [No longer available]
Chrome Equivalent: Live editor for CSS and LESS – Magic
Here’s another extension for website developers. Using it, you can test changes to CSS in real-time. Again, if you regularly work with CSS and website design this is a neat tool, but the average user won’t see much use from it.
Chrome Equivalent: JSON Formatter
Chrome Equivalent: AdBlock
We start with an extension that everybody knows. AdBlock is the most popular Chrome extension and it’s also available on Edge. This extension blocks advertisements all over the web, which seems great but can really hurt websites that you love. Consider the morality of using AdBlock before you decide to install this.
Chrome Equivalent: Adguard AdBlocker
Another ad-blocking extension that’s a straight port of a Chrome add-on. This one offers more features than AdBlock and claims to carry a lighter footprint. Like AdBlock, remember that blocking ads may affect you even if you don’t realize it.
Chrome Equivalent: Adblock Plus
Yet another ad-blocker, Adblock Plus is popular in other browsers, too. This version for Edge is in beta at the moment, so the developers caution that it has limitations and bugs. Thus, if you must use an ad-blocker, this isn’t your best choice.
Winner: Chrome, since the Edge version is still in development.
Chrome Equivalent: uBlock Origin
Add another ad-blocker to Edge’s list. uBlock Origin prides itself on blocking ads while not bogging down your browser with the extra processing loads. We’ve said our piece about the dangers of blocking ads, so we won’t be repetitive here. At least you have a wide choice if you want to block ads in Edge.
We’ve looked at all of the 40 Microsoft Edge extensions available at the time of writing. The results are as follows:
- Chrome had the better extension in seven cases.
- Edge won the battle for three extensions.
- The other 30 extensions were nearly identical and thus ended in a tie.
Let’s also tally the types of Edge extensions we found:
- Five are password managers.
- We had four ad-blockers, not counting Ghostery.
- Four are for business use and only usable with a paid account through your company.
- Another four are only useful for website developers.
- One is in the list despite not being an extension (Evernote).
What’s Edge Missing?
For the most part, each Edge extension has a copy available on Chrome from the same developer. It’s hard to argue against the fact that Chrome is still the clear winner in the extension battle — it won more times than Edge in this roundup and has thousands more extensions to offer.
Taking a quick survey of the Getting Started “must-have extensions” and the Editor’s Picks sections on the Chrome Web Store, it’s clear how many major extensions Edge is missing. To name just a few types:
- Grammarly for Chrome — A powerful grammar and spelling checker that far surpasses what’s built-in.
- Google Dictionary — Edge doesn’t have any kind of dictionary extension for quickly checking on the definition of highlighted words.
- Pushbullet — Allows you to instantly send files to and from your phone, plus monitor notifications and send text messages.
- StayFocusd — Blocks productivity-sapping website and keeps you on track to work.
- Start – A Better New Tab — Supercharges your new tab page with your email, news, weather, and more.
There are plenty more awesome extensions in Chrome, but these five highlight major gaps in Edge’s offerings at the moment.
Which Edge Extensions Are You Using?
Extensions don’t make or break a browser, but they’re pretty important. For many people, Edge’s mediocre extension support means that they only use it for certain occasions. Password managers, savings rebates, and enhancements for Reddit and YouTube are all great. But many other Edge extensions are lackluster or only available if you subscribe to a certain service. Hopefully, Microsoft amps it up and brings dozens more extensions to Edge before long.
What do you think? Does the lack of extensions rule Edge out as a primary browser for you, or can you get by with what’s available? Let us know the Edge extensions you use, or which Chrome extensions keep you from switching to Edge, down in the comments!