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How to install and uninstall extensions in Chrome

The Chrome Web Store has come a long way since its early days. Hardly anyone compares it to Firefox’s add-on market place any more. The extensions have also improved in quality and you will find extensions that compare to those for available to Firefox users. In fact, there have been attempts to run Chrome extensions in Firefox. If you’ve never tried an extension out, or you don’t know where to get started, you’ll be surprised to know how easy it is to install and uninstall extensions in Chrome.

By default, extensions only run in the normal browsing window. If you want to run extensions in Incognito mode, you’re going to have to enable them individually.

Install extensions

Chrome extensions are mostly available in the Chrome Web Store. You can search the store, click an extension. and click the Add to Chrome button.

The extension will show you the list of permissions that the extension needs in order to work and you want to pay attention to this list. Make sure that the extension isn’t asking for permission it doesn’t need. Once you give the extension the permissions it needs, it will install in Chrome.

Extensions install on a per-profile basis so if you have multiple Chrome profiles, the extension that you install will only be installed for the current installation.

Side-loading extensions

While most extensions are available in the Chrome web store, some aren’t. These are mostly extensions that are still under development and in some cases, they’re extensions that may not be approved in the store. You can still install them but the process is different.

Before you install an extension from outside the Chrome Web Store, make sure that it is safe. They can be malicious.

To side-load an extension, open Chrome and click the more options button at the top right. Go to More tools>Extensions. On the Extensions page, you will see a switch at the top right called Developer Mode. Turn it on.

Download the Chrome extension and then return to the Extensions page in Chrome. Click the Load Unpacked button and select the extension that you downloaded and it will be installed in Chrome. Again, it will be installed on a per-profile basis.

Uninstall extension

There are three ways to uninstall an extension. You can uninstall it from the Extensions’ page in Chrome, or you can uninstall it from the extension’s page on the Chrome Web Store. If an extension adds a button next to the URL bar, you can uninstall it from there.

To uninstall an extension from its button next to the URL bar, right-click it, and select the Remove from Chrome option. Accept the confirmation message and it will be uninstalled.

To uninstall an extension from the Extensions page, click the more options button at the top right in Chrome and go to More tools>Extensions. Scroll down the list and find the extension that you want to uninstall. When you find it, click the Remove button, and confirm that you want to remove the extension.

The third way to remove an extension is to visit its Chrome Web Store page. The Add to Chrome button that you clicked to install it will be replaced with a Remove from Chrome button. Click it, confirm that you want to remove the extension, and it will be uninstalled.

When you uninstall an extension, all its data is also removed with it.

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