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!
- 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.
- Find the add-on you want to enable or disable.
- Turn off an extension by clicking the blue icon to the right. Once it turns grey, the extension is off.
- Turn on an extension by clicking the grey icon to the right. Once it turns blue, the extension is on.
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.