Add-ons are tiny applications that slightly alter browser function or appearance to provide a personalized browsing experience. Depending on the browser you use, these applications may be referred to as add-ons, plug-ins, or extensions. In either case, these applications are provided by 3rd party companies and vary in type and function; from web security to weather, and even social media.
Though most add-ons are aimed at improving the web experience through personalization, there are some browser add-ons that can prevent you from accessing certain websites, or worse, put advertisements in places they shouldn't be (such as our websites). It's a good idea to only install add-ons from companies you trust and remove any you aren't sure about. Every browser goes about managing the add-ons a little differently, so we've compiled instructions for you for whatever browser you use!
- Go to the Tools icon.
- Select Manage Add-ons.
- Once opened, you can view the current add-ons (Enabled or Disabled) from the Toolbars and Extensions list; you can adjust what is displayed by selecting an option from the Show drop-down menu.
- Select an add-on from the list to view important information about that add-on below.
- Click Enable or Disable.
- Click Close to finish.
- To manage extensions on Edge, click the three dots in the upper right hand corner.
- Select Extensions.
- Click the settings icon next to the extension you would like to manage.
- To access Extensions, Appearance, or Plugins in Firefox, type the following command into the Firefox address bar: about:addons.
- In the Add-ons Manager tab, select one of the Extensions, Appearance, or Plugins panels.
- Selecting Extensions will allow you to manage the extensions.
- From here, you can choose to either Enable, Disable, or Remove an extension.
You can also access Firefox Add-ons by clicking the menu icon in the upper right-hand corner and selecting Add-ons.
Google Chrome uses the word Extensions in place of Add-ons, but they serve the same function.
- To access the extensions, type the following command into the Google Chrome address bar: chrome://extensions.
- Select the add-on you want to enable or disable.
- To turn off an extension, uncheck the Enabled checkbox next to it.
- To turn on an extension, simply check the Enable.
You can also access Google Chrome extensions by clicking the menu icon in the upper right-hand corner, selecting More tools, then clicking Extensions.
Safari uses the word Extensions in place of Add-ons, but they serve the same function.
- To access the extensions, press Command and , (comma) on your keyboard.
- Select the Extensions tab.
- Select the extension you would like to remove from the sidebar on the left.
- Click Uninstall to remove the extension.
You can also access Safari extensions by clicking Safari in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and selecting Preferences; then click the Extensions tab.
Should I remove it?
A great free tool to help you decide what programs and toolbars to keep and what to remove is Should I Remove It? Simply search the name of the add-on or toolbar and the site will provide you with a percent rating of whether you should remove it or not.