- There are plenty of software extensions available in Google’sChrome Web Store that can improve the web browsing experience, save you money shopping, and generally make life easier.
- These include tools that automatically dig up coupon codes when you’re shopping online to password managers that log into websites for you.
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Google’s Chrome browser is already wildly popular. After all, it claimed 62.7% of the worldwide market share for web browser usage over the past 12 months as of May 2019 according to StatCounter’s Global Stats, which is based on aggregate data collected from a sample of more than 10 billion page views per month across more than two million websites. That puts it far ahead of rivals like Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox.
But even so, there’s still room for improvement. Google’s Chrome Web Store offers plenty of extensions that can make the web-browsing experience easier and more convenient. Extensions are almost like apps for your web browser; they’re small programs that run within the Chrome browser that allow you to customise how Chrome works and add new features.
From improving Chrome’s performance when you’ve got too many tabs open to making better use of your next blank tab, here are nine of our favourite Google Chrome extensions.
Google Arts & Culture
The blank page that appears when opening a new tab in Chrome can feel like a waste of space. That’s why there are several extensions available to help you make better use of this screen real estate, one of our favourites being Google Arts & Culture. This extension displays beautiful works of art in your browser whenever you open a new tab. The selections range from Van Gogh to Monet to more contemporary artists as well.
If you frequently find yourself struggling with slow performance after opening dozens of tabs in Chrome, try using Session Buddy. This extension manages your browsing sessions so that you can save open tabs and easily find them later, saving Chrome from eating up too much memory and bogging down performance.
But what really makes Session Buddy helpful is the way it enables you to group tabs under specific categories. That makes it easy to find all the tabs relevant to a given topic, whether it’s research for a school-related assignment or planning for your next vacation.
Finding recent downloads isn’t always the best experience in Chrome. Download Manager gives you a dedicated space for content you’ve downloaded from the internet, replacing the standard downloads bar in Chrome. You can also pause, resume, and cancel downloads currently in progress through this tool.
The Great Suspender
The Great Suspender is another useful extension for intelligently managing your currently open tabs. The extension suspends tabs that haven’t been used after a certain period of time to reduce the amount of memory Chrome uses, therefore boosting performance. If there are websites you’d prefer not to suspend, you can also choose to whitelist those URLs.
Everyone likes to save money, and Honey makes it easy to do so. The extension automatically digs up coupon codes and applies the discounts to your shopping cart when you check out. And if you’re shopping on Amazon, it will offer price history charts and sales alerts.
Typos can sully even the most well-written emails and social media posts, which is why Grammarly can come in handy. Grammarly checks for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes on Gmail, Facebook, and LinkedIn among other websites.
Managing the dozens of passwords you probably have for different services and accounts can be a daunting task, and re-using the same password for multiple services is never a good idea. But password managers like LastPass make this much easier by doing all the remembering for you. LastPass stores your passwords and automatically logs you into websites as you’re browsing the web. Just make sure you remember your master password, and LastPass will take care of the rest.
The Google Dictionary extension for Chrome will save you the trouble of opening a new tab and navigating to a website like Dictionary.com to look up definitions. Once the extension is installed, you can just click the dictionary icon to find the full definition of any word without interrupting your current task. Google Dictionary also offers the option to store words that you look up so that you can more easily remember them.
Like Google Arts & Culture, Papier is another extension that seeks to help you make better use of your blank open tab in Chrome. Papier turns your new tab into a notepad, which can be especially useful if you want to quickly jot down an idea or a reminder without having to open a Google Doc or a similar word processor.