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Brett Nordquist (Customer Experience Engineer)

The Only 5 Chrome Extensions I Install

Written on September 15, 2017 by Brett Nordquist
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Over the  years, I've used Google Chrome as my default browser more than any competitor. A couple of times I ran into issues with a build and switched to Firefox, but that didn't last more than a few months. Chrome has served me well for over a year now on both my Puget Systems Serenity running Windows 10 and my MacBook Pro. Chrome syncs my bookmarks and extensions between my two computers without any issues. 

I don't believe you can go wrong choosing Chrome or Firefox. It really comes down to personal preference. I use a number of Google services each day which include GMail, Google Docs and Google Play Music. For that reason, I feel most at home on Chrome. 

One thing that hasn't changed regardless of which browser I've used are the extensions. I've used the same five to seven extensions for as long as I can remember. The fewer extensions you run, the fewer issues you'll have with your browser, so it's wise to only add those that add tremendous value. In fact, one of the best things you can do right now is fire up your browser and remove any extensions you don't use. 

With that said, I've found a few that add value. These are the only five extensions I install: 

goo.gl URL Shortener - We've all got that friend who sends emails or texts with URLs that scroll off the page. This extension takes a long URL and makes it short enough to share with friends or on social media. I use this most when I'm sharing links over Slack to coworkers or links to products at Amazon with my spouse. One click on the icon and your URL is copied to the Clipboard and ready to share. 

Google Dictionary - I've used extensions similar to this one that open another window to provide a full definition of a word, but I love how this one shows me a quick definition as soon as I double click on a word. I can then get on with my reading. 

New Tab Redirect - Does exactly what it says: redirects you to the site of your choice when you open a new tab. It seems this feature should be built into Chrome at this point. If I'm doing research from a specific website, I'll have each new tab open to that site. 

Click&Clean - With one click, this extension will delete typed URLs, cache, cookies as well as your download and browsing history. I have a couple of kids who jump on my computer to play Overwatch or write a report or go crazy on Pinterest. Of course, they never remember to logout of these websites so I do it for them with this extension. 

Gestures for Chrome - This extensions allows you to control your browser using gestures with your mouse. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's a huge time saver once you learn the tricks. I often begin my browsing from my homepage so I set a gesture to go to that homepage each time I right-click and drag a line down on the page. I know it sounds odd. But once you learn the shortcuts, it becomes addicting. This is the last extension I'd give up. 

My philosophy when it comes to software is only install what you use. I also generally software I can pay money for because it encourages developers to maintain their products. You can use each of these extensions at no cost, but some allow you to donate to the developer, which I encourage if you find it useful. 

What browser extensions do you use each day? 

Tags: Chrome, browser, Google, extensions
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