Managing Browser Extensions with Extensity

Photo: Student Working Math Problems in a Browser Window

This is the another installment in the series Exploring Useful Browser Extensions. Previous tools highlighted in the series include The Great SuspenderClearlyAnnouncifyEasyBib Tools, and more.

As more and more of the computing experience takes place in a web browser, adding extensions becomes common practice. In fact, there are many great add-ons and extensions that have been mentioned on this site. Yet, adding too many these extensions can cause problems.

The potential problems are plenty, from draining computer resources to slowing the browser to a crawl to plain old conflicts that cause things not to work properly. Anyone that begins adding a number extensions to their browser is likely to run into trouble.

Yet another extension might be just the solution. Extensity makes it easy to disable or enable individual extensions with a click.

Image:Extensity, a Google Chrome extension in the Chrome Web Store

Extensity, a Google Chrome extension in the Chrome Web Store

Once installed, clicking the Extensity button lists all the installed extensions in Chrome in a menu. Another click on the specific extension from the list turns it on or off. This provides a level of control over the extensions that is especially useful for diagnosing problematic add-ons. It also allows fine-tuning for certain kinds of work.  Plus, Extensity even includes a list of all the available installed Chrome apps that can be launched into a new tab.

Many extensions trigger an extra floating toolbar on web pages for a particular functionality but it only gets in the way. For example, the Diigo extension’s contextual toolbar adds a layer to a web page for highlights and comments, but it can get in the way. Two clicks disables the Diigo extnsion and the distraction is gone.

It is an essential extension for anyone that makes heavy use of additional browser extensions. It is currently only available for Chrome.

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