Thursday, April 7, 2016
Chrome Extensions are like prescription drugs...you don't want to take too many at any one time!
Unlike Chrome Apps, extensions remain active and "on" (there are some exceptions). This can result in reduced battery life, longer page load times, and a general loss processing power for your device, especially if you are on a machine with 4GB or RAM or less. Additionally, you will occasionally encounter extensions which conflict with one another, making pages load slowly, strangely, or not at all.
I usually have between 5-10 extensions running at any given time. I have many more than that installed, but only the extensions that I actively use on a daily basis are enabled.
Here are some quick tips for managing extensions.
1. Review your extensions and remove any that are unfamiliar (some can be malicious) and any extensions that you no longer need.
To manage your extensions, visit the Chrome Menu (i.e. the "hamburger") > More Tools > Extensions.
2. Disable extensions that you want to keep, but don't use on a regular basis.
From the extension manager page simply click the checkbox next to an extension that you want to keep, but don't need active.
3. Install an extension manager utility
I do a lot of training for schools and am constantly switching my extensions on and off. There are two very helpful extensions that you can use to manage your extensions (very meta, I know!).
Extension Manager: a great chrome extension that lets you turn your extensions on/off without visiting the extension page. One of my favorites!
Context: allows you to group extensions into a "context" to quickly enable / disable a selection of extensions. This is super helpful for me as I have groups for "work" "special education" and "training" so that when I do demos I can quickly turn on all of the extensions with a single click.