Extensions for Chrome allow you to enrich, improve or personalize the Google web browser. Here’s what you need to know to find, install, enable, set up, and remove add-ons.

Extensions for Chrome allow you to enrich improve or personalize

Extensions for Chrome allow you to enrich, improve or personalize the Google web browser. Here’s what you need to know to find, install, enable, set up, and remove add-ons.

One of the reasons Chrome has been – and still is – phenomenally successful is the ability to add extensions to it: add-ons – add-onin English – which are added to a program to provide it with additional functions – or improve existing functions.

From version 4 of the browser, released in 2010, Google has implemented an extension manager to enrich its web browser. And there are more than a hundred thousand today! The best known are ad blockers like Adblock, but there are also password managers, translation tools, tab management, downloads, web page analysis, VPNs, etc. In fact, there is something for almost every taste and every need. And they are free, in their vast majority.

Once installed, an extension works almost autonomously according to the task assigned to it. Some monitor your web activity in order to activate at the right time to offer their services – this is the case, for example, of password managers. Others require intervention to wake up – for example to take a screenshot, transform an image format, send files to an online storage space, etc.

All web browsers now adopt a more or less rich catalog of extensions. Still, you have to take some precautions with these small modules. Installing too many extensions in the browser may slow it down considerably since they require RAM and processor resources. The browser then becomes very cumbersome to handle and may be unstable. In addition, it is also necessary to ensure that they are updated. Normally, their developers take care of providing the necessary updates without any user intervention. However, many extensions no longer benefit from updates. Even if they continue to work, they risk jeopardizing the security of the browser since they no longer meet the current security criteria. So be careful to monitor the date of the last update, even if Google regularly cleans the catalog.

Where can I find extensions for Google Chrome?

Google’s browser has its own online store to bring together all the extensions you want: the Chrome Web Store. It comes in the same form as an app store such as the Microsoft Store on Windows or the Mac App Store on macOS. Except that here, there are only extensions or themes (graphic modules to modify the interface) for the Google browser. If you haven’t changed the organization of the Chrome bookmarks bar, there should be a link to the Chrome Web Store there.

Otherwise, just go directly to the Chrome Web Store.

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In the center of the page, there is the selection of the moment as well as personalized recommendations according to the use you make of the browser. The left column includes several categories (Accessibility, News and weather, Entertainment, Research tools, etc.) to help you better understand your search.

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Note also that some programs that you install on your computer encourage you to install an extension for your browser to support you in all your online activities. This is for example the case of password managers or even cashback services (as we describe them here) which cannot function optimally without an extension.

Have you found an extension that would be very useful to you? The manipulations to install it are quite simple. It is not even necessary to restart the browser.

► Click on the extension name in the Chrome Web Store to access its listing. Do not forget to take a look at the date of its last update, indicated in the section Additional Information of the sheet.

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► If everything suits you, then click on the button Add to Chrome.

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► An alert pops up and warns you of the permissions that the extension requires to work. If you agree, click Add extension.

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► The extension is immediately downloaded and added to the browser.

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► In our example with the Smart PDF extension, which allows you to convert several types of files from and to PDF format using a Web service, you must activate the function to use it. To do this, click on the puzzle piece button which is one of the left-aligned icons in the address bar. The list of extensions installed in Chrome is displayed. Click on the name of the extension to put it into action.

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► Note also that to keep it within click distance, just click on the button in the shape of a Thumbtack in the extension manager.

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The extension icon will then take place to the right of the address bar.

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► Even easier, you can assign a keyboard shortcut to the extension. To do this, click, at the top left of the page, on the three superimposed lines and choose Keyboard shortcuts.

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► Locate the extension for which you want to define a keyboard shortcut in the list, then click on the icon in the shape of a pencil. Then type the desired shortcut (at least two keyboard keys. It will then suffice to produce this shortcut to trigger the function linked to the extension.

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Google’s browser gives you complete control over the extensions you add to it. You can access their settings – for those that offer them – or pause them temporarily.

► Open the extension manager by clicking on the icon in the shape of a puzzle. Then click on the three superimposed points to the right of the name of the extension you want to adjust. From the menu that appears, choose Manage extension.

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► A new page is displayed in the browser. It presents the description of the extension, its version number, its weight and its permissions. You can put it to sleep temporarily by flipping the switch at the top of the page to the position Disabled.

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► If the extension offers settings, a menu Expansion options is present further down the page. Click on it to access the settings.

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► For example, with the ad blocker AdBlock Plus, it is possible to fine-tune the behavior of the extension to filter certain content or add websites to the list of sites authorized to present advertisements for example.

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You had a bit of a heavy hand on the Chrome Web Store and you feel that your browser has too many extensions that, ultimately, are not useful to you? You can of course get rid of it with just a few clicks.

► If you want to get an overview of all installed and active extensions in Chrome, click on the icon shaped like a puzzle. From the pop-up menu, choose Manage Extensions.

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► The window that appears shows all the extensions installed in Chrome. Those with a blue switch, at the bottom right of their card, are activated. You can deactivate them by clicking on this switch. They will not be deleted but simply put on hold until you reconsider your decision.

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► To delete an extension that seems useless to you, click on the button To delete. An alert then asks you for confirmation. Validate your choice. You can reinstall it later if necessary.

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