Web browsers act as internet gateways, guiding you to your favorite sites and streamlining your online experience. While browsers have powerful features, many have add-ons and extensions available that boost browser functionality. Here's a look at how to manage extensions and add-ons in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge.
The terms add-on and extension are used interchangeably when referring to third-party programs that boost a browser's functionality. Some browsers prefer the term add-on, while others use extension.Oleg Mishutin / Getty Images
Manage Extensions in Chrome
The Chrome Web Store lists thousands of extensions in multiple categories, including accessibility, productivity, photo management, shopping, sports, and more. Here's how to manage your Chrome extensions.
Open Chrome and select the Menu icon (three dots) from the upper-right corner.
Select Settings from the drop-down menu.
Select Extensions from the left menu.
Another quick way to get to the Extensions window is to type chrome://extensions into the address bar and then press Enter or Return.
You'll see your currently installed Chrome extensions.
To find out more about an extension, select Details.
You'll see information about and options for that extension, including its version number, permissions, site access, and more.
To uninstall an extension, select Remove and then select Remove again to confirm.
To disable an extension without removing it, turn off the toggle switch.
To install new extensions, navigate to the Chrome Web Store in the browser. Browse by category or search for an extension by name or keyword.
Select the extension you want to add to read more about it. When you're ready, select Add to Chrome.
You'll see a pop-up explaining the extension's details. Select Add extension to continue.
Some extensions are available immediately after installation. Others require a Chrome reboot to take effect.
Manage Add-Ons in Firefox
Firefox refers to installable extra tools as add-ons and then delineates extensions, themes, plug-ins, and more as specific add-on categories. We'll focus on managing extensions because these are the add-ons that bring new features to the browser.
Open Firefox and select the Menu icon (three lines) from the upper-right corner.
Select Add-ons from the drop-down menu.
The Personalize Your Firefox page displays.
Select the Recommendations tab to see recommended extensions and themes Firefox thinks you should install.
Select Extensions to manage currently installed extensions or add new ones.
Under Enabled, you'll see your currently enabled extensions. To disable an extension, turn off the toggle switch.
To manage an extension, select its Menu icon (three dots).
Select Remove from the drop-down menu to remove the extension.
To find out more about the extension, select Preferences.
You're taken to the extension's page, where you can customize settings, upgrade, and more.
Select Report to report the extension to Mozilla for privacy violations or other concerns.
Select Manage to see release notes, details, permissions, and more about the extension.
Add a new extension from the Recommendations or Extensions tabs, or scroll down and select Find more add-ons.
You're taken to the Mozilla Firefox add-on store, where you can browse extensions by category or search by keyword or name.
When you find an extension you want, select it to learn more about it and then select Add to Firefox.
Select Add to confirm. You've successfully installed the extension.
Some extensions are available after the installation is completed. Others require you to restart Firefox to use them.
Manage Extensions in Microsoft Edge
Edge replaced Microsoft Internet Explorer as the default option on all Windows installations, and it's available on macOS, as well. Enhance Edge's feature set with the browser extensions found in the Microsoft Store.
Open Edge and select the Menu icon (three dots) from the upper-right corner.
Select Extensions from the drop-down menu.
You're taken to the Edge extension management page.
To disable an installed extension, turn off its toggle switch.
To learn more about an installed extension, select Details.
You'll see the extension's permissions, site access settings, and other options.
To remove the extension, select Remove.
To add a new Edge extension, select Get extensions for Microsoft Edge.
You're taken to the Microsoft Edge Add-on Store. Browse extensions by category or search by keyword or name.
Select an extension to learn more about it, and then select Get to install it.
Select Add Extension to confirm. You've added the extension to Edge.
Not seeing the extension you want for Edge? The newer Chromium-based Edge browser can accept extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Turn on the option to Allow extensions from other stores in the lower-left corner of the Edge Extensions page. Then go to the Chrome Web Store and add the new extension as usual.
Manage Extensions in Safari
Safari, the macOS default browser, has access to powerful extensions from the Mac App Store.
To find extensions, open the Safari browser and select Safari > Safari Extensions from the top menu bar.
You're taken to the Mac App Store's Safari Extension introduction page. Select Done to continue.
In the Mac App Store's Safari Extension section, browse extensions by category or search by keyword or name.
When you find an extension you want, select Get if it's a free extension, or select the price if it's a paid extension.
Select Install to install the app.
When prompted, enter your Apple ID and password, and then select Get.
Select Open, and then follow the extension's on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
In Safari, select Safari > Preferences from the top menu.
Go to the Extensions tab.
Place a check next to an extension to enable it and see its details. Select Uninstall to remove it.