How to manage Google Chrome extensions

Taylor Gadsden
TG
Taylor Gadsden
May 7, 2019

Any Google Chrome user can use extensions, small software programs built to customize a web browser, to build the internet browsing experience they need. The right extensions can transform a standard browser built for the masses into one based on your preferences and online activities. Learn to add, disable, delete and manage your Chrome extensions for the best performance.

How to install a Chrome extension

  1. Find the extension* you want in the Chrome Web Store and click Add to Chrome.
  2. If an extension requires permissions or data, approve by selecting Add extension.
  3. Use the new extension by clicking on the appropriate icon in the right-hand corner of the address bar.

*Some Chrome extensions may be blocked if you’re utilizing a public computer through work or school.

How to uninstall a Chrome extension

If you see the extension’s icon in the right-hand corner of your browser’s address bar:

  1. Right-click on the icon and select Remove from Chrome.

If you don’t see the extension’s icon:

  1. Choose More or ⋮ in the right-hand corner of your browser’s address bar.
  2. Select More tools and then Extensions, or type chrome://extensions into your navigation bar.
  3. Right-click on the extension you want to remove and select Remove.

How to manage your Chrome extensions

  1. Open the Google Chrome web browser on your computer.
  2. Select More or ⋮ in the right-hand corner of your browser’s address bar.
  3. Choose More tools and then Extensions.

Disable or enable a Chrome extension or remove using the controls on the main page. Additionally, you can select Details to allow extensions in incognito mode, repair a corrupted extension and allow an extension to read data on the websites you visit.

Frequently asked questions about Google Chrome extensions

Why should I disable my Google Chrome extensions?

You’ll want to disable and then uninstall a Google Chrome extension if it’s consistently using too much of your system’s resources, collecting and sharing your data or doing any malicious activities on your computer that you didn’t approve. Before installing an extension, do a quick search of it first just to see what other users have experienced. Typically, malicious extensions won’t go undetected by consumers for long.

What happens to Google Chrome extensions after they’re disabled?

After disabling a Chrome extension, it will sit in your add-ons library until you either re-enable the extension or uninstall it. Disabled extensions will take up space on your computer and impact your browser startup time as they collect.

Can Google Chrome extensions be dangerous?

Extensions that come from third-party websites can be designed with malicious intent. Sometimes even official platforms like Android and Google Play have a hard time filtering out malware-infected extensions. Curb your likelihood of downloading dangerous extensions by limiting the amount you add, paying attention to the permissions the extension requires and only installing from official web stores. Antivirus protection is also a great watchdog solution for red flags in a browser extension.

What’s the difference between Google Chrome plug-ins and extensions?

Plug-ins are designed to allow extra browser features without changing the core functionality of your web browser. Chrome extensions modify the browser’s core functionality to make improvements and updates. Plug-ins can be embedded inside a web page and will only affect the page where it’s placed. Extensions, on the other hand, affect the web browser as a whole.

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