What are Chrome extensions?
Chrome extensions are small programs which let you add features to your browser. They are usually free but can have premium versions.
How do I install them?
- In Chrome, click the three dots in the top right corner.
- Click More tools/Extensions. Here you will see any extensions you already have (can be switched on or off here).
- Click the three lines in the top left.
- At the bottom, click Open Chrome Web Store.
- Search for the extension you want.
- Click it, then Add to Chrome.
- If you create and log into a Chrome account, you can sync your extensions across your devices.
Watch a quick Chrome extensions video.
A word of warning
Some extensions are malicious. They can track what you are doing and even steal your data, so do your research before installing them. Read How to Make Sure a Chrome Extension is Safe Before Installing It.
Some useful extensions
Mercury Reader - declutters the page when reading online. Lets you change font, font size and switch between light and dark themes.
Grammar and spelling
Google Dictionary - defines words online.
Changing the format
Night Shift - changes the colour of your screen to reduce eye strain. You can schedule this (e.g. to cut down blue light at night).
Concentration and Planning
Strict Workflow - a timer which encourages you to work in 25-minute sessions with five-minute breaks. Can also blacklist distracting sites.
Note Board - Sticky Notes - an online noticeboard with 'sticky notes' you can customise and rearrange. Good for planning.
Avast - lets you check whether or not a website has been rated as safe.
HTTPS Everywhere - protects you online by switching you to a secure 'https' site whenever possible.
Privacy Badger - stops websites tracking you against your wishes and blocks pop-up ads.
OneTab - if you have lots of tabs open, this will convert them into a list on one page, freeing up memory. Click them again to reopen or save and export.
Wayback Machine - if a webpage is not available, it will check to see if there is an archived version which you can open.
Loom - easily make videos and screencasts and share with others.
Unpaywall - finds legally-available free copies of journal articles.
Extensity - if you have too many extensions open, they will slow down your computer. This extension helps you easily manage all the others by enabling and disabling them.