The Only 5 Google Chrome Extensions You Need

May 1 2010 by Jacob Gube | 51 Comments

Google Chrome Extensions You Need

One of Google Chrome’s best features is its minimalist interface. The browser also already has many built-in features that satisfy even the most advanced web users. In order to keep Chrome’s uncluttered user interface, it’s best to avoid installing too many extensions. Here are the five essential Chrome extensions you should use for a better browsing experience.

1. AdBlock

AdBlock

AdBlock removes advertisements on web pages. The extension is configurable and can even selectively block just certain advertisements on a website that you visit with its blacklisting wizard interface. The extension is open source (released under the GNU General Public License), very optimized, and well supported—the developer, who goes by Michael, dropped to a part-time job just to develop and support the extension. If you’re looking for even more ad blockage action, also check out FlashBlock.

Update: When this article was written, Adblock Plus — arguably the most popular ad-blocking browser extension at the time, and a plugin I wanted to include in this article — wasn’t available for Google Chrome yet. I was recently informed by a representative of the Adblock Plus open source project that the Google Chrome version is now available. It can be downloaded here. It’s worth checking out.

2. WOT

WOT

Chrome already has plenty of built-in browsing security features, and is regarded as one of the most secure web browsers to use. If you’re the paranoid type and you want to up the security of your web browsing experience, check out the WOT (which stands for Web of Trust) extension for Chrome. Other users of the extension (there are millions of them) rate websites they’ve visited, making it a socially collaborative approach to browsing security. Ratings show up on search engine results and popular website links and just for the fun it, they also protect your web-based email accounts.

3. FastestChrome

FastestChrome

FastestChrome is an extension that improves page-rendering speed and provides the user with features that increases their browsing efficiency. Some features include preloading of pages that you’ll visit next, looking up the definition of a word just by highlighting it, improved Google search results with real-time search, and more. FastestChrome is a Chrome port of the popular Firefox add-on, FastestFox (which has 10 million users).

4. TooManyTabs

TooManyTabs

Tab management for heavy Internet users is essential for efficiency. TooManyTabs improves and extends Chrome’s tab management user interface with features such as instant tab search, a bird’s eye view of all your open tabs (which is helpful when you have 20 or more tabs open in Chrome), tab sorting based on date, domain and page title, and more. Another worthwhile extension for tab management to check out is Tab Menu, which gives you a vertical menu for searching and navigating to your open browser tabs.

5. Xmarks Bookmarks Sync

Xmarks Bookmarks Sync

Nowadays, it’s rarer that a computer user only has one computer. It’s always frustrating to forget the URL of a web page you need, and then realizing that you bookmarked it with your computer at home. Xmarks, a free web service that syncs your bookmarks, has a Chrome extension that will change the way you manage your favorite links. Xmarks for Chrome synchronizes your bookmarks, gives you an intuitive feature for searching your bookmarks, backs up your bookmarks on the Web in case of a computer failure, and even shows you the popularity of a link or search engine result based on the number of bookmarks in their service. For Delicious users, you can use the Delicious Tools Chrome extension instead.

What other Chrome extensions do you find to be essential to your web browsing experience? Share your favorite Chrome extensions in the comments.

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About the Author

Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions. He’s also a web developer/designer who specializes in front-end development (JavaScript, HTML, CSS) and PHP development, and a book author. If you’d like to connect with him, head on over to the contact page and follow him on Twitter: @sixrevisions.

51 Comments

Dan

May 1st, 2010

I’m still Safari born and bred, but the lack of plugin support is making me want to shun to another browser. FireFox is ok but it seems a little sluggish on my MacBook, I’ve yet to try Chrome – maybe I should take it for a spin?

Jacob Gube

May 1st, 2010

@Dan: Firefox has been sluggish for me as well, and I use Windows, so it’s not inherently a Mac OS issue. I’d suggest trying out Google Chrome if you’re concerned about browser performance.

Dave

May 1st, 2010

Check out AdTwart- much better than AdBlock IMO.
LastPass is excellent too.

Julian

May 1st, 2010

Good extensions , true , but not the only ones you need ( if you’re a webmaster ).
I want to recommend Pendule :

Webpage Screenshot :

Speed Dial
and Pagerank status ( has builtin pagerank, alexa rank and indexed pages )

I use them daily and I find them absolutely necesary.

toputop

May 1st, 2010

Xmarks is my favorite which and be used for bookmark synchronization.Nice list.

Rob

May 1st, 2010

I love Chrome!

Some must haves for me:
Google mail checker plus
Google reader notifier
IE Tab (IE in Chrome _O_)
Smooth scroll
Speed dial

Btw: Sync for bookmarks and settings is already an option in Chrome. I don’t know if it’s already an option for release 4 but definitely in beta release 5

Joseph

May 1st, 2010

Is Xbookmarks really essential? Chrome has its own bookmark syncing built-in.

Joshua

May 1st, 2010

Those extensies are indeed real must haves. Another extensions I use are “IRC to Mibbit” and “Pastebin.com”. And of course the gmail notifier, google reader notifier and google wave notifier.

Marcin Godlewski

May 1st, 2010

Another usefull plugin is Seo Site Tools – it’s fantastic ! To remeber your password – LastPass – much better than the standard program in chrome.

jPomfret

May 1st, 2010

I just changed from firefox to chrome and I’m loving it. Much faster than firefox (I’m on PC) and I’ve found quite a few useful extensions for it! Thanks for these :)

Matthew Heidenreich

May 1st, 2010

See, I still stick with Firefox. I haven’t had any major issues with it, and it has always been a great system for me. I’m sure Chrome is good though, i’m just stubborn ;-)

elasticthreads

May 1st, 2010

@Dan, definitely give Chrome a try. And go with the dev channel version. It’s pretty solid these days and has some nice additions. Chrome is Safari with plug-ins, userscripts, and yes: a better UI (took me a while to admit it)

I’d say Safari and Chrome are about even in terms of speed

Safari is slightly, to occassionally, more stable and solid (in the way a 7.5 year old product vs a 1 year old product would be expected to be). Better OS X integration; I do truly miss Services in Chrome.

Stephen

May 1st, 2010

I haven’t used xmarks for so long. After switching from Firefox to Chrome, I just used Chrome’s built in bookmark sync since I don’t use any other browsers for general surfing.

delimce

May 1st, 2010

Nice article, i’ve just installed FastestChrome, i have few days using GC. it’s rocks

Louis

May 1st, 2010

Jacob, wouldn’t your advertisers object to your promotion of the first item on this list? Isn’t that a bit of a self-defeating recommendation?

webste owner

May 1st, 2010

Awesome- adblock. As a website owner I can’t wait for the day all sites charge for content so I can charge pennies per page view. Kill the free web!

emanuer

May 1st, 2010

@Jacob Gube
as a loyal reader I enjoy your addons/extensions articles as found some really good ones.
I just really think you are missing one of the most useful addon ever; Lastpass.

I use it on my Firefox, Palemoon, Chrome and I always have all login info available. I have incredible strong passwords and can use any computer without the need to worry about passwords. (except on my iPhone… that is quit bothersome)

So, give it a try, I think you will like it.

Keenan Payne

May 1st, 2010

I hate to say it, but adblock sucks. I mean it completely screws people with websites out of money when they depend on it via ads. I mean if that’s what you want then fine but it’s not what keeps great content on the internet.

lolno

May 2nd, 2010

lawl. still waiting for the msut have extensions.

Aled

May 2nd, 2010

I use the built-in Chrome bookmark sync which syncs to your Google account via Google Docs. It’s fully automatic and a lot faster than Xmarks.

Brayden Styles

May 2nd, 2010

Still love my Safari, Firefox has been hella slow lately on my MBP, tried chrome when it first came out i will have to give it another go i think… seems like it’s 50 50 for users maybe i’m wrong a poll would be interesting thought?

Mr. Nice Guy

May 2nd, 2010

I use NONE of th above!!
They are all useless!
How could you think adblock is essential when you got tons of ads on this page bro!
EOM

inspirationfeed

May 2nd, 2010

Great list, i love google chrome.

Jay

May 2nd, 2010

Umm, every web browser has a minimalist interface. Chrome is no different than Safari or Firefox in this respect. In fact, I think Chrome is more complex looking because the tabs appear above the url bar. Makes it look messy.

ekom

May 2nd, 2010

IMO the Google Chrome load faster than Firefox, the reason Firefox is still my default Browser because the huge amount of extensions, most are for web development and seo stuff, hope Chrome can get more developer to build nice extensions.

mintocity

May 3rd, 2010

Excellent … keep up the good work. Thanks once again.

Jordan Walker

May 3rd, 2010

Yep, Google Chrome is the bees knee.

nightfever

May 3rd, 2010

Xmarks is very useful if you use various browsers (works on FF, Chrome, Safari, IE).

Stephen

May 3rd, 2010

I’m just waiting for a non-alpha version of 1Password to work on Chrome. It’s the only thing holding me back from using Chrome as my default browser.

Sid

May 3rd, 2010

Chrome is a excellent browser :) .. these are the addons i too prefer. but firebug lite should also be on this list.

Jae Xavier

May 3rd, 2010

Good collection of plugins. Another one worth mentioning (but forgot the name) does split-screen viewing.

wpBlast

May 3rd, 2010

I just made the switch to chrome today, after Safari crashed on two sepertae occasions. I’m loving it, and what a perfect post to come across as well!

Mike

May 6th, 2010

Great Post, I am finding any extension to add Google Toolbar as it seems that its not supported by G

steven

May 6th, 2010

I currently use firefox because of the extensions. Hopefully chrome can catch up because it is so much faster than ff.

Alex Ney

May 11th, 2010

Thanks for your list!

Did you read the ratings about the MyWOT Plugin (e.g. Firefox Addon Site?)
It tracks everything about the user and is a privacy risk for a browser.

If i am not sure about a site i use MyWOT or better http://www.webutation.org (more data) manually to lookup a websites reputation.

kiel

May 14th, 2010

+1 for the first 3 add-ons!

Ileane

June 9th, 2010

If anyone doesn’t like AdBlock I suggest Readability for Chrome. It allows you to read a blog post without the clutter but not until after all of the ads have been served to you. Goolge Mail Checker Plus in awesome and also Aviary makes taking screenshots easy!!

blueshell

June 22nd, 2010

Thanks for sharing the five essential Chrome extensions. This is very useful!

Ilkka

July 28th, 2010

I like my own extension (“Start!”).

Kayode Odeyemi

September 18th, 2010

Nice extension list. I like the share extension which allows you share any site you like with your friends on any social networks you can ever think of. I also like the Google bookmarks integration. Since my bookmarks are stored in the cloud, I will never loose my bookmarks again :).

Donna

September 21st, 2010

As someone once said to me about a brilliant inventor, he is too smart to have any common sense. The common sense here being: Google is a giant corp as greedy as the rest; can’t you all see Adblock is a surreptitious ploy leading to “pay” Internet by ridding free Internet’s ad revenue. And then just like cable TV after they got enough subscribers hooked, they start slipping in the advertisements that viewers are now paying for as well. The herds of all brands do follow right into the bogs. Aside from that: after reading my fill on the subject matter–I’ve decided not to switch to Chrome. Gonna stick with Safari which meets my needs.

L

October 12th, 2010

Google quick scroll would by my addition to the list.

Rohan

October 22nd, 2010

Never heard of WOT before, will definitely check it out!
My contribution to the list:
I’m a new Mac user and since I don’t have a task bar anymore I keep accidentally opening the same url in different windows. I made this super simple extension to solve the problem, I just turn it on for sites that I never need open in more than one place (eg. GMail, Pandora), and if I accidentally open that second tab, it closes it and brings up my old one. Use it every day:
Only One: https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/ffkdlcmdgpagmbokblekleghfkjgpjdo?hl=en

Adam

March 2nd, 2011

Have you seen speeddial2 extension? it has support for delicious bookmarks too. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jpfpebmajhhopeonhlcgidhclcccjcik

linli

March 22nd, 2011

Thanks Jacob, this was so helpful ;)

Candace

May 2nd, 2011

My most used are the Evernote Web Clipper and MeasureIt.

Sami

July 9th, 2011

Agree with all of your plugins, except MyWot.
Great concept , but with the fraud rating from gang of E-thugs that hang out there I wouldn’t trust the ratings as far as I could throw them

Alasdair

August 3rd, 2011

The Template extension provides quick and easy access to lots of information about the current page and environment;

cookies, browser version, directory, encoded, favicon URL, file, fragment, host name, operating system, options, parameters, path, port, protocol, query string, relative, segments, selected text, shortened URL, and title

Just to name a few…

Better yet, using a unique template system it allows users to easily create their own templates making the possibilities endless and includes a built-in step-by-step guide to help you write your own.

Check it out!

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dcjnfaoifoefmnbhhlbppaebgnccfddf

Melanie Reyes

October 12th, 2011

Is there an add on for web developer like firebug of firefox?
anyway, thank you! really helped a lot. :)

Roy

June 21st, 2013

Why would you recommend a worthless extension like WOT which is based on anecdotal and hearsay evidence instead of something USEFUL like HTTPS Everywhere, BitDefender Quickscan or Ghostery?

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