Ten Awesome Chrome Browser Addons

Category: Browsers

I'm just getting started with Chrome, after becoming fed up with both Internet Explorer and Firefox. What addons do you recommend to make it even more useful? I'm especially interested in productivity apps and things that integrate with other tools on the web.

Try These Chrome Browser Addons

You're not alone... the Google Chrome web browser has been gaining ground on its two main competitors, Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox. StatCounter, one of many sites that tracks browser popularity, even put Chrome in the number two spot ahead of Firefox by the end of 2011. Part of the reason for Chrome's climb in market share is the increasing availability of useful addons or extensions for Chrome.

I'll say up front that I use Firefox most of the time. I do fire up the Chrome browser on occasion, and it's very slick. (See my related article Is Chrome the Best Browser?) But while doing the research for this article, I have to say that I am sorely tempted to switch to Chrome, or at least use it alongside Firefox. Take a look at ten of my favorite Chrome addons, and you might find yourself switching from Internet Explorer or Firefox, too!

Xmarks is a must-have extension for Web surfers who switch browsers frequently. Installed in Chrome, it syncs the browser bookmarks that you always want available to a storage spot in the cloud, and automatically makes those bookmarks available to whatever browser you are currently using. You can even set up profiles for different browsers you use for work or personal surfing, so that only a subset of your bookmarks collection is available in each different setting. Whether you switch PCs, reinstall your OS, or change browsers, your bookmarks remain safe in the cloud without worrying over backups and importation.
Best Chrome Addons

IE Tab is essential for those all-too-frequent occasions when you must access a site via Internet Explorer or not at all. It's fairly incredible that some webmasters still create sites that only work when viewed with Internet Explorer, when it's the preferred browser of less than 40% of users. But until these dinosaurs are extinct, IE Tab will open a new tab in Chrome, and uses the Internet Explorer rendering engine to display a specified page or site. You can set IE Tab to always use IE when displaying a particular site, so you don't have to invoke IE Tab manually every time you visit that site.

LastPass is an improvement on Chrome's built-in "remember password" feature. It lets you save passwords to the cloud regardless of what browser you are using. You have the same master list of passwords available to you whether you are at home or work, using Chrome or another supported browser. A master password lets you access your cloud-stored list. LastPass can even auto-log you onto specified sites.

Angry Birds is a game that was popularized by smartphone and tablet users. But you no longer need a fancy mobile device with an expensive data plan to enjoy the fun of launching projectile birds and killing those annoying green pigs. The Angry Birds app can be installed right in your Chrome browser. In fact, you might find it an even better experience on your desktop, since there's more screen real estate, and you can control the game with your mouse instead of less precise finger swipes on a touchscreen. (There are tons of other browser games you can play in Chrome, if you've got time on your hands, or just need a break.)

Autonito automates the nifty Incognito browsing mode of Chrome for any site you specify. It's ideal for the absent-minded surfer who may forget to start Incognito mode before visiting a site that you'd prefer to surf in privacy. Just build you list of Incognito sites in the extension, and don't worry about invoking Incognito mode manually ever again.

Google Chrome to Phone is handy for Chrome users who have Android smartphones. This app will send web links, maps, and phone numbers to your Android device. For example, you can send a Google maps link from your desktop's Chrome browser, and have it open on the phone. This is great for sending driving directions to your mobile device. You can also highlight a phone number in Chrome, and tell your phone to dial it.

Google Translate will translate an entire web page into another language, with a single click. You can even configure the Translate app to detect when a page is written in a language other than your default, and automatically translate it for you.

Picnik is a set of powerful photo editing tools that work right in your browser. Crop, rotate, resize, or sharpen an image. Change exposure, colors, or add text. Do touch-ups, add effects, or frame your photos. You might even decide you don't need Photoshop! Picnik easily connects to photo sharing sites like Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, and Facebook.

Awesome Screenshot lets you capture the screen, or just a portion of it, and save it as a graphic file. Annotate your screenshot with text, arrows, circles or rectangles. You can crop the image, erase stuff you don't want to show, and then save the file. Or paste it right into a Gmail message. Brilliant.

Evernote lets you turn your all computers and phones into an extension of your brain. Use Evernote to clip interesting webpages, images, PDFs, or snippets of text. Excellent for researchers who want to save their notes and have them available and searchable on any device. You can even create to-do lists, or search for words inside PDFs or photos. Evernote works on the Windows or Mac desktop, as well as iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices.

 
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Posted by on 9 Jan 2012


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Most recent comments on "Ten Awesome Chrome Browser Addons"

Posted by:

Callie
09 Jan 2012

Evernote is not a Chrome add-on. You can add it to any browser. Also, you make IE sound like no one should use it. I am on the computer 9 hours a day (in a search capacity much of that time), and I use Internet Explorer. It workd great for me and I don't appreciate your slant on it.


Posted by:

David
09 Jan 2012

I followed the link for Picnic, but I had to search for the add-on. It should be Picnik. Looks like my wife might like this. Thanks.


Posted by:

Mikke
09 Jan 2012

I'd use Chrome, but I've never found something to replace Download Helper for downloading videos. That's been the dealbreaker so far.


Posted by:

Kit Kimes
09 Jan 2012

An extention I can't live without is 'clearly'. It is a product of evernote that lets you see articles, blogs, etc without all the distracting ads, etc all over the page.


Posted by:

GullyFoyle
09 Jan 2012

Why not recommend SRWare Iron, the privacy and security version of Chrome, which spies and sends all your activity data to Google? The same extensions work in Iron. Consider
https://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php
https://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron_download.php


Posted by:

Kraut58
10 Jan 2012


See that Autonito has already been removed from Chrome add-on. If your want to surf anonymous try www.getcocoon.com


Posted by:

Henry Jozefowski
10 Jan 2012

I am using win xp 64bit I can't get add-ons as chrome keeps on hanging so I have to use Firefox.

I would like to know how to improve things while using chrome

HJ


Posted by:

Mark
10 Jan 2012

Despite what some believe Bob, most of us appreciate your "slant", regardless of what it is. We may not always agree, but you at least offer informed opinions where others just offer opinions.

That said, let me offer 3 other great extensions for Chrome:

1. Ghostery - Ever want to know who's tracking your browsing and want them to stop? This takes care of that little problem.

2. New Tab Redirect - Just what is says. When you open a new tab you can set which web-page you would like the new tab to open by default, vs the Chrome new tab page.

3. Switch to New Tab - Notice when you click a link that a new tab opens but you don't switch to it like in IE? This fixes that so when you open new tabs you go right to the new tab.

Enjoy


Posted by:

mike
10 Jan 2012

how can i download Awesome Screenshot? No link shown


Posted by:

Rad
10 Jan 2012

Autonito sounds like a good addon. Unfortunately, it is not available.


Posted by:

Roar Vinje
10 Jan 2012

None of you ie despisers have ever given me a real reason to abandon ie.
It is slow - no, ie9 is not!
It is insecure - no, not one infection in 10 years! I just avoid risky browsing and use a good virus/internet protection.
It has no add-ons - I don't need any, I've got tabs, speed, incognito browsing, my needs are fulfilled.
Have I tried the competition? - Yes, and no bells and whistles, just a faint "Why?" in the back of my mind.
Screenshots - why an add-on, there are dozens of great screenshot program around that works outside of the browser (hmm... smart!)
The ie market share is 40% - among technically savvy people navigating to technical sites, yes, but in reality, among people just reading local newspapers... I wonder.
So I will keep on using ie9/10/11 in the future, why switch when nothing is gained by switching?


Posted by:

D.W. Whitlock
10 Jan 2012

Heres some Chrome browser extensions you might want to check out:

ADBLOCK PLUS: Blocks all annoying ads, popups and banners. Cleans up webpages. Frees up connection bandwidth otherwise consumed by the ads.

CLICK AND CLEAN: LSO Super Cookie remover. The LSO is an especially insidious user tracker thats very difficult to detect and remove. Few users seem to be aware of the LSO(Local Shared Object). Bob, would you like to elaborate?

FLASH BLOCK: Blocks all flash ads and other flash stuff that clutters your screen and eats up your bandwidth as you view webpages. If there is a flash item you want to see or hear, just click on the "f". This extension does have an exception list.

GHOSTERY: I love this extension. Blocks all of the insidious trackers from knowing every site you visit and from gathering data on you. Ghostery shows you the number of trackers blocked each time you open a webpage and shows you the names of these trackers as well. Neat. Frees up bandwidth. The typical number of trackers blocked when I browse is 5 to 15 on each webpage(!).

DISCONNECT FOR CHROME: Blocks Google from tracking you and gathering data on you as you browse. Frees up some bandwidth. Written by an ex Google programmer.

ILLIMITUX: This cool extension removes that damned 72 minute time limit on streaming video on sites such as Megavideo, Veoh amd MegaUpload. Few things are more frustrating than having your streamed video cut out at 72 minutes.

AWESOME SCREENSHOT: Great screenshot extension that will do a partial page anywhere on the page as well as a full page screenshot. Allows for elaborate user annotation as well plus a load of other cool stuff. Most impressive screenshot extension I've yet seen.

FACEBOOK DISCONNECT: Blocks Facebook from knowing every move you make on-line plus Facebook's insidious data gathering. Also gets rid of those Like and Dislike buttons. Frees up some bandwidth. A much needed extension. Written by that same ex Google programmer.

BETTER POPUP BLOCKER: Works better than the popup blocker built into Chrome.

Hope this helps. Happy browsing folks...


Posted by:

Bob
10 Jan 2012

Sorry, but if these add-ons are considered AWESOME then I'll stick with Opera - it's all this add-on junk that is sinking Firefox and clearly Chrome will end up the same. Bloatware.


Posted by:

Jim
10 Jan 2012

I can live without Chrome and without Google knowing more than it already does without my contributing to its database.


Posted by:

Tomtom
12 Jan 2012

May I propose the IBA opt out extension for Chrome.
It opts you out permanently from the double click cookie, through which Google targets much of its advertising.It's Google software, but receives little publicity.


Posted by:

Tomtom
27 Jan 2012

DEFEAT?. I read the article and comments. I opted out of gmail ads, I opted out on ad manager, I blocked cookies etc in options. I installed Adblock Plus, Better Popup blocker, Disconnect, Flashblock, Ghostery,IBA Optouts, Keep My Optouts, Protect My Choices. I got them all enabled in the right sequence.
I opened All Cookies and Site Data. I found 100+ cookies in local storage (not Flash cookies). I removed them. I closed Options. Job done. NO! I went back 2 minutes later and they were all back.
I tried everything I could think of. opened the page source, inspected the element, had a moment of hope when I disabled cache in network, but no luck I downloaded Nirsoft Chrome Cookie View. Deleted all cookies. Nirsoft thinks they are gone.
But they are still in Chrome Cookies etc.
I ADMIT DEFEAT.
But someone out there has the answer?

I am not a privacy fanatic. I know about free lunches and when I think what I get from them for "free", I can't complain.
But I hate to be beaten. And can someone tell me if they are on or off. Some are called optout, id, ai etc. and surely I need some that block others.
Sincerely yours
Down but not out, but becoming a little confused


Posted by:

Dean
02 Feb 2012

I Would love to use Chrome as my default browser. But I'm having issues with Chrome signing me out of my Gmail account every couple minutes.

When I have multiple tabs open ~ say Gmail, FaceBook and my Home page, and I'm switching between them ~ I have to keep logging back in to my Gmail account every few minutes.

I've been to dozens of forums and they all say the same thing. Clear the cache, enable cookies, bla, bla, bla. NONE of it works. This is obviously a huge problem for Chrome as evident by the number of forum members with the same complaint. But no one can seem to offer a permanent fix.

Is this something you're aware of and is there any kind of REAL solution?

- Dean -


Posted by:

jlux
26 Feb 2012

I had been using IE for years and was quite happy with IE8. I then purchased a new laptop with W7 pre-installed. It came with IE9 and no way to roll back to IE8. IE9 was just horrible. It would freeze & hang, just plain unstable. I switched to Chrome and am quite happy with it. It has a built in down loader that's faster then IE, plus since I use Gmail it's nice to have everything in one spot.
I don't hate IE, I still use IE8 on my desktop, but installed Chrome on it as well.

@Dean: Try logging out of Chrome, shut down the browser, then restart & log back in by hand (don't use auto complete) check the "keep me logged in" box. See if that solves the problem. Some time the auto complete function plays with keeping one logged in for some reason, even if you don't use it. If you clear all the info stored in your browser history & start fresh it might make a difference.
J.


Posted by:

Dave
11 Jan 2013

Tomtom ...those cookies come back for a reason 'the extentions that block them ;set the cookies and inside the cookies for each company it says 'DONT SEND THIS GUY/GIRL ANY ADVERTS.

SO U WANT TO LEAVE EM BE ...NOT REMOVE EM
THATS WHY THEY KEEP COMING BACK SILLY GUY :p


Posted by:

Dave
11 Jan 2013

jlux : Google does not come with a built in downloader (you may have added one)

it comes with No extentions at all and only basic plugins native client/silverlight if do windows updates/chrome desktop viewer (dont work unless install another app) and java if you installed it and flash preinstalled is pepper flash that runs in a sandbox environment (way more secure than Adobe)

PS: anyone who uses IE has Adobe since pepper flash is written by Google and just included in it

so you can be exploited via flash and pepper flash is like superman protecting the city of Googleville


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