The Most Useful Chrome Extensions Ever Made

The Most Useful Chrome Extensions Ever Made

One of the great things about Google Chrome is that it offers thousands of third-party extensions that developers have come up with to add features, boost performance, and fix problems. Here are 17 Chrome extensions that we’d have a difficult time living without.

See also: Lifehacker Pack For Chrome 2016: Our List Of The Essential Extensions

Google Dictionary

You don’t have to reach for a dictionary or open up a new tab to find out what a word means with this extension installed. Just double-click on the word that’s flummoxed you, and a definition pops up instantly. Follow the embedded link to see a more detailed explanation.

Tab Wrangler

There are a bunch of extensions out there to help manage browser tab overload, but Tab Wrangler is one of our favourites. You get the option to automatically close inactive tabs, an easy way to get closed tabs back again, and the ability to sync settings across computers.

Session Buddy


For even more control over tabs, install Session Buddy. It lets you save, close, and retrieve groups of tabs together, so you don’t need to keep hundreds of tabs open at once and waste RAM for fear of forgetting something. The user reviews speak for themselves. This is a great extension for power users.


One of the better-known and most capable privacy tracking extensions out there, Ghostery displays a detailed breakdown of all the information sites are gathering on you, giving you background on how this data is collected and enabling you to block any of this behaviour.

Flix Plus 


If you’re one of the millions of Netflix subscribers out there, Flix Plus (by our friends at Lifehacker) adds a ton of options to the web interface. Quick search links, embedded ratings, the option to hide spoiler text, a more customisable home screen, and more.

Magic Actions for YouTube

If Flix Plus is the ultimate add-on for Netflix, then this is the equivalent for YouTube. It’s piled high with features, from a cinema mode and mouse wheel volume control to options for stopping video auto-play and forcing all clips to use the highest possible quality.



In the extremely high likelihood that you use Chrome alongside a group of other devices and computers, Pushbullet is a must, allowing you to quickly and seamlessly beam messages, files, links, notifications, and more between all of your different gadgets.

Data Saver

If you’re on a slow or limited connection, or perhaps tethering from your phone, then Google’s Data Saver extension can make a big difference to your browsing speed. It compresses non-HTTPS sites in non-incognito windows before they reach Chrome.



Grammarly is an extension we’ve featured before, and it keeps an eye on all the writing you do on the web, marking potential spelling and grammar mistakes so you can fix them. A click brings up a suggested solution, and you can get details of the rules you’ve broken.

AdBlock Plus

If you dream of a web without intrusive ads then AdBlock Plus can make it a reality. It’s simple to configure and use, and like all the best ad blockers, it lets you allow discreet, well-made advertising on sites that need it to support their writers (such as Lifehacker and Gizmodo).



If you find you lack the willpower to regulate your time on the web yourself, StayFocusd does it for you. We like it for the comprehensive set of options (limit by hours or maximum duration, site blacklists and whitelists) and the unfussy interface it brings to the table.


Buffer makes managing multiple social media accounts simple, but it’s still packed with powerful features for managing posts on Facebook, Twitter, and more. Install the Chrome extension and you can queue up neatly formatted updates with a couple of mouse clicks.



Gauge is an indispensable toolkit for measuring various aspects of the interaction between your computer and the web. Where in the world sites are hosted, how long they’re taking to load, how your internet connection stacks up against other users, and more besides.


Where do all the hours in the day go? RescueTime can tell you exactly where, and help you get some of them back, monitoring your internet usage quietly in the background and showing what percentage of your time on the web is actually spend being productive.

Chrome Remote Desktop 


For anyone who’s struggled with an overly complex remote desktop tool, this extension is a breeze to use. It lets you take control of a system remotely from any other system, with the Chrome browser doing all the heavy lifting. It’s especially helpful on Chromebooks.


LastPass gets a mention in a lot of Chrome extension round-ups, and with good reason. It intuitively manages browser passwords and other sensitive data across multiple devices, and has the added bonus of being able to generate random passwords for you as well.

Earth View from Google Earth 


There’s no shortage of extensions for tricking out Chrome’s New Tab screen but we highly recommend Earth View from Google Earth — a gorgeous, high-res satellite shot every time you open it up, with quick links to share or download the image, or get to your web apps.

This article originally appeared on Gizmodo Australia


  • I hope Session Buddy does more than what is described here, because Chrome can already do that by bookmarking groups of tabs.

    • That’s not quite the same – that will simply save your tabs as separate bookmarks. You can sort them into folders and so on, but it’s a little clunky.

      Session Buddy lets you basically do that but in a nice interface where you can sort through your different sessions/groups easily, edit the sessions, delete tabs from within them and so on. It also has an autosave function that goes back 3-4 instances so if your browser crashes or you want to pull up a session from earlier in the day you can.

      I use it frequently when I need to leave work in a hurry but want to get back to the same window/tabs I had open before when I get home (I know Chrome sync should do this but I find it unreliable. I also could use the “open where I left off” function but I don’t want to enable that as I use the Speed Dial 2 extension). I also use it for saving groups of pages on different topics, say I’ve got a bunch of tabs open about home theatres for instance, some guides, reviews, prices and so on, I can just save that as a “Home Theatre” session and in one click can get back all the information and sites I had marked as being important.

      Finally, by saving all of these things within “Sessions” I am avoiding adding more folders to my already bloated bookmarks list! That’s a good thing if you could see how unwieldy and disorganised my bookmarks generally are…

      Anyway, it’s free so you could always try it and see what you think. 😉

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