Earlier time Google was offering apps, plugins and extensions to enhance the basic features of Chrome browser. Later due to various reasons, Google discontinued plugins around Chrome version 57. The apps are also deprecated meanwhile to move into a marketplace. Now you can use extensions to get most of the custom functions you can think of. In this article let us explain how to install and uninstall extensions on Google Chrome.
Install Extensions on Google Chrome
Chrome extensions are available in two different places. You can find and install extensions on your browser from Chrome Web Store. This does not require you to login to your Google account. We will discuss installing extensions from Chrome Web Store in this article.
However, you can also search and install extensions for Google Apps from G Suite Marketplace. Here you can find apps and tools related to Google Apps like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc. You need to login to your Google account in order to install apps from marketplace. We are not discussing this in this article.
Opening Chrome Web Store
Chrome Web Store is the formal way for developers to offer extensions for Chrome browser. Follow the below instructions to install an extension from Chrome Web Store.
- Launch Chrome browser and open the command URL “chrome://extensions” in address bar.
- This will open the extensions page of Chrome where you can see all installed extensions and apps on your browser.
- Click on the hamburger “Extensions” menu and choose “ Open Chrome Web Store”.
- Chrome Web Store will open with the filtered category as extensions. Remember, Web Store has lots of themes and extensions. You can also directly open Chrome Web Store to find extensions and themes for your need. Otherwise, go to “chrome://apps” URL and access Web Store.
Searching Extensions in Web Store
Let us say, you want to install an ad block extension on Chrome. Type “ad block” in the search box.
- Chrome will show the top search predictions when you type the keywords. Hit enter or choose the keyword from the prediction.
- You will see all relevant extensions on the right pane and each extension showing “Add to Chrome” button.
Adding Extension from Chrome Web Store
When you have found the correct extension for you, click on the “Add to Chrome” button. You don’t need to login to your Google account for installing extensions from Web Store.
- Chrome will show you what the extension will access when you browser. In case of ad blocking extension, it can access all your browsing data.
- Click on “Add extension” button” to confirm the action.
- You will see the extension starts downloading and depending upon the developer, you will see the next action.
- You can see the “Added” ribbon after installation of the extension.
Configuring Chrome Extensions
Generally, after installation the extension will show you the home page of the developer’s site for configuring your extension. Chrome will add the extension’s icon next to the address bar. Click on the icon and start configuring the extension for your need.
Disabling the Extension
Extensions may cause problems to the browsing experience by slowing down Chrome or even collect your personal details when browsing. So, be carful when installing extensions from unknown developers. When you want to troubleshoot the browser first you need to disable all the extensions. You can do that by following one of the ways:
- Press “Shift + Command + N” in Mac or “Shift “ Control + N” in Windows to open new window in incognito mode. When you open the browser in incognito mode, Chrome will disable all extensions by default.
- Go to “chrome://extensions” and switch off the extension that you want to disable.
- Click on the “Details” button and disable by switching off.
You can enable the extension any time later when you need it.
Disabling the extension is a temporary action to simply switch off. However, the extension files will be still available on your browser. If you want to completely delete the extension, you can do by following one of the ways:
- When you are in “chrome://extensions” page, click on “Remove” button against the extension you want to delete.
- Right click on the extension icon next to address bar. Choose “Remove from Chrome…” to delete the extension.
- When you confirm the deletion, you have an opportunity to report abuse. You can report to Google if you see the extension is behaving in malicious manner of collecting private details which is not mentioned in the documentation.
After deletion of the extension, you need to go to Chrome Web Store and install again when you need it.
If you are an expert, enable developer mode and play around updating extensions in Chrome.