One of the best and worst things about Google Chrome is the amount of browser extensions you can find in the Chrome store. It’s the best because it gives users almost limitless ways to improve their Chrome experience, but also it’s the worst because you might not know how many great extensions you’re missing out on if you never look for them.
Chrome extensions can do everything, from totally reorganizing your email inbox to filtering out websites with adult content on them. Here’s a small sampling of the more useful Chrome extensions available right now.
Save to Google Drive
This one is fairly self-explanatory and basic, but it’s good at what it does. Save to Google Drive puts a little icon in the upper right corner of the browser that will send whatever you’re looking at to your Google Drive account for later viewing. There’s also an option in the right-click menu for greater specificity.
It works for taking screenshots as well as saving images, audio, or video. Again, there isn’t a lot to this extension, but it’s a quick and snappy way to send something to cloud storage for anyone who might need to transfer things between devices.
People were despondent when Google announced its Inbox by Gmail app would be shutting down, and it was understandable. The productivity-focused Gmail alternative gave its users ways to organize their inboxes and prioritize the things that really mattered to them.
The Sortd Chrome extension might not be a perfect replacement, but it works well enough. It seamlessly integrates with Gmail after installation and allows users to drag and drop messages into custom columns. Sortd also lets you take notes and keep a to-do list in a sidebar.
The best part is that it’s easy to go right back to the regular Gmail view for any reason, with the click of a button.
Honey is one of the more popular and highly reviewed Chrome extensions around, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a fast and simple way to find coupons while shopping online, either through an icon next to the URL or on a centralized website.
The internet has made shopping more convenient in a lot of ways, but it can still be difficult to know if you’re getting the best price on something or not. Honey does the work for you and is a helpful tool for saving money.
For as many advancements as Chrome has made over the years, downloading things still isn’t the best part of the experience. Trying to look through images, applications or other things you may have downloaded requires opening a separate tab that isn’t especially well-organized.
Download Manager is a nice alternative courtesy of the extension marketplace. It places a list of all downloads in a drop-down menu that’s accessible on the upper right corner of the browser window. You can search for specific downloads or instantly access the full, default downloads page from that menu.
Browsing the internet can be a risky proposition in 2019. Your data can be harvested seemingly anywhere at any time, and it can be difficult to know which websites are secure or not.
That’s where HTTPS Everywhere comes in. The simple Chrome plug-in allows you to switch any website from the default “http” to “https,” which in layman’s terms means it’s encrypted and more secure. It’s impossible for one browser extension to solve all of the internet’s problems, but HTTPS Everywhere
I don’t care about cookies
Plenty of websites use tracking “cookies” to store user information from anyone who happens to be browsing them. European data regulations now require those websites to tell you this and ask for your permission. While that may be a good thing, having to do this regularly can get a little annoying.
This Chrome extension isn’t flashy or complicated, as all it does is basically hit the “I agree” button for you on cookie pop-ups. It’s little more than a time-saver, but one that works.
Dalton colorblindness extension
Some people don’t have perfect color vision, but the world isn’t built for those people. When objects or images on a website aren’t easily distinguishable for the color deficient, the Dalton Chrome extension is a neat solution.
Situated in the upper right corner of the browser, Dalton brings up a simple menu with options for three different types of colorblindness. Users can pick one and adjust two color sliders to hopefully make whatever website they are looking at more readable. There isn’t a cure for colorblindness, but Dalton might help.
The internet is faster than ever, but it’s still not perfect. Sometimes you might need to check your connection speed before trying to stream a video or download a big attachment. Thankfully, Speedtest makes that pretty easy.
Just click the “Go” button and Speedtest will perform a fast connection test on whichever network you’re using. There isn’t much to it other than that, but if you have questions about your network speed, Speedtest can give you some answers.
The Great Suspender
The main problem with tabbed browsing is that it’s easy to fly too close to the sun. It can be tempting to keep dozens of tabs open, which inevitably slows Chrome down to a crawl.
The Great Suspender is a viable solution to that problem. It will automatically suspend any open tabs after a set amount of time to keep things running smoothly. Just go to the tab and click or refresh to bring it back. It also has a decent number of options so it will never suspend tabs you don’t want it to suspend.
Grammarly is not a new or obscure Chrome extension, but it is a useful one. Anyone who writes anything knows the terror of unintended typos or grammar mistakes. Grammarly will seek these out and fix them for you.
Obviously, spell-check systems already exist, but it can never hurt to have a more detailed and thorough one.