Ask LH: How Should I Manage Chrome Extensions?

Ask LH: How Should I Manage Chrome Extensions?
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Dear Lifehacker, I have a dozen or more Chrome add-ons and extensions. What’s the right way to ensure browsing speed is not affected? Should I disable the ones used less frequently until required? But this seems a pain to have to turn them on and off. Any ideas? Thanks, Over-Extended

Dear OE,

I think of my browser as being like an operating system. Over time, as I add and play with different software the performance changes. Some apps make things faster while others have the opposite effect.

As you’ve said OE, disabling and re-enabling extensions is a PITA. However, you could look at SimpleExtManager or Extensions Manager. These put all your extensions just one click away so you can disable and re-enable them easily.

Have you taken a critical view of the extensions you have installed? Do you need them all? Your own suggestion, of disabling rarely used extensions until you need them, is a good move.

We’ll throw this one open to the Lifehacker family? Does anyone have any further advice? Is there a tool out there that measures the performance impact of extensions in Chrome? Tell us in the comments.


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  • In many respects, to a large degree, more and more, etc etc… the browser really IS the new OS for so much of what we do day-to-day.

    I use Chrome and enjoy the features like seamless syncing of bookmarks and settings, as well as extensions. I like that whatever changes I make are duplicated to my other computers automatically. Provides for a uniform experience.

    The other thing I like about Chrome is I never have to worry about updating the core program or the extensions. It all just happens behind the scenes. Nice.

    Every so often I will go in and see what extensions I have installed and ask “Do I really use that one…” and uninstall any that I was maybe just trying out and forgot about.

    I like to keep my Chrome lean as possible. So I usually have just the 7-8 extensions that give me what I need

  • I’ve never bloated chrome with any more than half a dozen extensions, most of them being very specific mods I can’t live without like Adblock and YouTube options.

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