My 5 Favorite Google Chrome Extensions

Posted on November 7, 2017

One great thing about the Chrome browser is that it has a massive library of extensions and themes to make it truly yours. However, there are so many extensions out there that it’s hard to find the best of the best. Luckily for you, I have compiled a list, in no particular order, of 5 extensions that I have personally found useful in many cases. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin
Adblock Plus
uBlock Origin is much more effective than Adblock Plus.

While many people use the more popular AdBlock and Adblock Plus extensions, I personally prefer uBlock Origin over both of them. Not only can it block ads, it can also block tracking scripts, malware sites, and other annoyances - all while using less memory.

AdBlock/Adblock Plus have also been doing shady stuff lately, such as letting companies pay them to let ads and tracking scripts through. uBlock Origin doesn’t do that. It shows no mercy for the bad stuff on the Web, and that’s why I love it.

Note: As with antivirus software, you should *never* install multiple ad blockers at once, as it will increase memory/CPU usage as well as do other bad things.

Tampermonkey

A Google Docs night mode script running using Tampermonkey.

Tampermonkey is to Chrome as Greasemonkey is to Firefox. Tampermonkey lets you load, create, and use userscripts - which are essentially mini-extensions - into Chrome. There are many uses for userscripts, such as changing something you don’t like about a page, adding useful features to a website, or even just having some fun!

If you’re a developer, you can write your own userscripts using JavaScript. If you’re not a developer, you can check sites like GreasyFork, the Userscripts.org mirror, and OpenUserJS; however, be safe when downloading random scripts from the Web, as some may be dangerous.

Boomerang

The Boomerang menu in a standard email.

If you use Gmail, this extension is a must-have. Boomerang’s original purpose was to let you “boomerang” emails, which means that you can let it resend an email to you at a later date. However, it has grown since then into an all-in-one tool for Gmail with a ton of features!

Some more of its features include scheduling emails, tracking responses, and “pausing” your inbox (not letting any messages through your inbox; don’t worry, you’ll still receive the emails after you unpause it). However, my personal favorite feature is Respondable, which uses AI and machine learning to help you write emails that make sure the recipient responds to you.

Pushbullet

Pushbullet makes sending messages, links, and files between devices easy as pie.

To be honest, I didn’t really think I needed Pushbullet for a while. I just didn’t feel that it was necessary and that it was a waste of space. However, that all changed when I actually tried it. Pushbullet is pretty much the missing gateway between your phone and computer. It lets you transfer files, message friends, and check notifications — all from your desktop or laptop.

It also has support for Web notification feeds, so you can know what the latest news is, get informed about new XKCDs, and more. You can even text with your own number while on your computer! All of these features are guaranteed to help you stay in touch and connect your devices seamlessly.

SimpleExtManager

Sure, chrome://extensions exists, but it's not as simple as this.

Too many extensions/apps? Need an easier way to manage them? No problem. SimpleExtManager is an extension that lets you, well, manage other extensions. It provides a simple UI to enable/disable, uninstall, and manage settings for extensions, apps, and themes. You can also group extensions together to manage them in mass.

Conclusion

The 5 extensions listed above are just a few examples of some that I have found useful over the years. Sure, there are alternatives to most of these, but few are as good as, say, uBlock Origin. There are many extensions on the Chrome Web Store, but few will match up to these.