Lifehacker Pack For Chrome: Our List Of The Essential Extensions

Google’s Chrome browser is packed full of an incredible amount of extensions that add all sorts of functionality. It’s tough to sift through the store to find what’s useful though, so let us save you some time with this collection of our favorite Chrome extensions.

The Lifehacker Pack is a yearly snapshot of our favourite, must-have applications for our favourite platforms. To download the pack in its entirety, head to our Collection on the Chrome Web Store!

Productivity

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

Instapaper, Pocket or Readability

Bookmarking services are a great way to save the articles you want to read. For Chrome, you can download an extension to instantly save any article you come across to your service of choice, and they will sync up across all your devices. Which you chose is really up to you, as they're all great in their own rights.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

Feedly

Feedly is the big front-runner for post-Google Reader RSS readers. If it ended up being your choice, then the Feedly extension is a great way to provide yourself instant access to your feeds right inside Chrome. It's not required anymore, but it's still good to keep around.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

Any.Do or Wunderlist

If you're using either Any.Do or Wunderlist for your to-dos, then both of them offer fantastic Chrome extensions that sync across all your devices. This means you'll never forget what you have to do no matter where you're working. Wunderlist also now has real-time syncing across devices and shareable to-do lists, while Any.do now makes it easier to manage household or team projects. When it comes to staying on top of your tasks, you can’t go wrong with either of these.

Evernote Web Clipper or OneNote Web Clipper

If you’re an Evernote user, you should definitely use the Evernote Web Clipper. It lets you save articles, pages, or just sections of a page to your notes so you don’t have copy anything or write anything down. Then you can add your own notes to the things you save, organize everything into specific projects, and more. If you’re a OneNote user, however, Microsoft serves up a web clipper of their own that’s pretty comparable to Evernote’s.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

StayFocusd

There are plenty of web sites out there that want to suck away your time. From social networks to your favourites blogs, it's easy to lose track of your day. StayFocusd blocks those time-sinking web sites so you can get work done.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

Minimalist for Everything

The web is a chaotic and messy place filled with toolbars, notifications and lots of clutter. If you want to get rid of all that, Minimalist for Everything is an extension that slims down the web to make it simpler to use. Minimalist for Everything can do all kinds of things, from getting rid of Google's navigation bar to making Gmail less cluttered.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

Lazarus

Lazarus is a lifesaver for anyone who fills out a lot of forms online, or who writes in their browser. When you're typing in a form, Lazarus saves what you're doing. If your browser crashes, Lazarus saves a backup. It's simple, but it can seriously rescue your day.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

Gmail Offline

Gmail's a great web app, but the problem is that it only works when you're online. Gmail Offline allows you to continue using Gmail even when you don't have an internet connection. When you connect again, the emails you compose will get sent off just like they would in a desktop app.

Noisli

Ambient sounds can help you fight off distractions and stay productive. Noisli, a web app that allows you to create your own background noise, is now a Chrome extension that doesn’t take up an extra tab to use anymore. Noisli lets you create your own combination of sounds and will let you set up a timer as a way to track your work.

Pushbullet

Pushbullet makes it easy to bridge the gap between your desktop and mobile OSes. You can push text, links, files, maps and more from your computer directly to your phone or tablet. You can also push data from your phone to your Chrome browser, and Pushbullet makes use of Chrome’s great notification system.

Security

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

LastPass

Lastpass is our favourite password manager, because it's free and easy to set up. With it, you'll never have to remember a password again, and all your passwords will be synced up across your various devices. The nice thing is that you can do all kinds of cool things with Lastpass, so you'll never get bored of it. It should be noted that LastPass was breached by hackers somewhat recently, but no encrypted user data was stolen and we still recommend it.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS is one of the simplest ways to make browsing the web more secure, and HTTPS Everywhere is an extension that makes it so you don't even have to think about it. With it, you'll always visit the encrypted, secure version of a site whenever you type in the URL.

AdBlock Plus / uBlock Origin

AdBlock Plus is usually just seen as a tool to block annoying ads on websites, but it's a lot more than that. It will also protect your privacy across the web, block other sections you want to hide (like YouTube comments), and even block malware. Sure, it's also an ad blocker, but it's so much more. If you want a leaner alternative that doesn’t eat up as much memory and potentially slow your system down, uBlock Origin can provide just as much safety and privacy protection as AdBlock Plus.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

Disconnect

Disconnect's main purpose is simple: it blocks third-party tracking cookies. This means Disconnect blocks advertisers and social networks from tracking your browsing habits. On top of that, Disconnect has all kinds of tricks up its sleeves, including the ability to block people from hacking into your person info. Even better, Disconnects new privacy icons make it even easier to tell if a site's legit.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

SecureGmail

SecureGmail is very simple: click on a button, and the email you're about to send through Gmail is encrypted. The only way to decrypt it is if the recipient has a password. It's not perfect by any means, but as a quick and simple way to protect your private messages it does the trick.

Utilities

Flix Plus

Flix Plus is Lifehacker’s own made-inhouse extension for tweaking Netflix.com. You can filter recommendations, remove spoilers for movies and TV shows, use keyboard shortcuts, view ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, and so much more. We also make sure Flix Plus stays up to date when Netflix rolls out updates of their own, so you can always have best possible movie-watching experience in a browser.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

The Great Suspender

Having a bunch of tabs open in your browser is a resource hog, and if you're not careful you can slow your system to crawl. The Great Suspender takes care of this problem by automatically suspending tabs you're not using so they don't use up CPU. It's certainly not the only tool to wrangle in your tab usage, but it's one of the most useful.

TunnelBear

Region blocking makes it difficult for a lot of people to watch cool videos. The TunnelBear VPN extension lets you route your internet traffic from whatever country you like so you can stream blocked content from anywhere. You get 500MB of free data every month, but there is an unlimited plan for US$4.99/month for any five computers or mobile devices. We no longer recommend Hola Better Internet, after the discovery that they sell your bandwidth to basically run a botnet for hire.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

Social Fixer

If you're a big Facebook user, then you owe it to yourself to give Social Fixer a try. It's our pick for the best way to make Facebook better because you can do all kinds of things with it, including getting rid of obnoxious political posts, track people who unfriend you, and plenty more. It's not as powerful as it used to be, but it's still a worthwhile extension to keep around.

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

Magic Actions

YouTube can be pretty annoying sometimes, but if you want to fix some of the most common problems with it, Magic Actions is the easiest way to do it. You can set up auto-HD, stop autoplay, create a cinema mode and more.


Comments

    So this list is exactly the same as last year, just with a few less options.. I understand that great apps stay great, but how about this list actually be made useful by not repeating itself (add a link to last years instead - or at least make it clear which apps were on last years list), and actually add some reasons that an option was removed. Or, reasons why an option was added (which in this case isn't possible, as nothing new was provided).

    I have had a look at the "pack for X" lists for 2016 and they too look very similar to their 2015 counterparts..

      Hi denno020,

      Yes, some of the Lifehacker packs feature the same apps, but not all of them. We run it as a series so we can cover all the major operating systems/devices. It's also important to remember new Lifehacker readers may not have seen the packs from the previous year and would find the information useful.

      Hope this helps!

      Thank you.

      Spandas

        I'm aware that new readers will need to see the whole list, which is why I suggested linking to the previous list, or starting the article off with a "New and noteworthy changes" section, so that long time readers don't have to look through the same list they have for the past 5+ years to see if there is a new gem to try out.

      to be fair, things like feedly / any do / wunderlist are still the best out there.

    Chrome used to be decent at one point, for a period of time, but it's really pretty clunky and crap. Firefox is back to being good again, certainly better than Chrome. My fave will always be Seamonkey, makes Chrome and firefox look like baby browsers.

    You should remove Readability as one of the options for Productivity, since they have announced that the service will stop working at the end of this month (Sept/2016). This information was sent to current users by email and there is an announcement at the top of their homepage.

    Last edited 09/09/16 4:18 pm

    Can anyone tell me what benefit the Feedly extension has over just using the feedly.com website? I love feedly and use it a lot, but genuinely can't work out how the extension will help.

      i'm guess the extension just puts the button on the browser. And maybe the ability to add RSS links directly to feedly ,etc

    Ghostery
    Privacy Badger
    MailTrack (for gmailers)

    I think it is funny that a website that uses third party cookies and has a heavy use of ads recommends ad blocking and cookie blocking apps as "essential".

    I personally don't use them as I work in the online marketing industry and actually like to see the ad's that my peers are creating, but I have no problem with people who choose to use them. But it seems counter-intuitive that a website who I can only assume generates a majority of their income comes from advertising revenue (other than the occasional sponsored post) would recommend people block that revenue stream.

      Once those ad companies stop service viruses and once those ad companies stop using every trick from 1 pixel web bugs to canvas fingerprinter to track us - then I will remove my ad blocker.

      Kudos to Lifehacker for helping more people avoid the scourge of virus laden ads.

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