By Martin Edwards
Google Chrome can have its functionality increased with extensions.
These typically have capabilities beyond those permitted to regular websites, which is both a
blessing and a curse.
Useful and popular extensions include those that block intrusive advertising or check grammar
when you’re writing. But most of the time when I see extensions in Chrome, the customer added
them unwittingly, and they are causing adverse affects such as:
- An unfamiliar homepage
- Adverts appearing on websites that don’t normally have them
Worse, an unscrupulous extension might gather data about what you do online, including your
passwords and other sensitive information.
Check and remove
- In the top-right corner of Chrome, click the menu (three vertical dots)
- Choose More Tools > Extensions
- Next to each unfamiliar extension, click Remove, then confirm this
Note: Some extensions are included as standard: Docs, Sheets, Slides and Google
Docs Offline. You don’t need to remove these.
In the removal process, an extension may give a dying breath: a new tab showing a page of its
choice, usually something like ‘Sorry to see you go. Can we have feedback?’. You’re not obliged
to do this, and can close it by clicking the ‘x’ at the top of the tab or by pressing
Command–W (Mac) or
Stay safe in future
It worries me that when I help people with unwanted extensions, they usually don’t recall
installing them, even though it requires consent. Remember, it’s really important to check what
you’re agreeing to!
No normal website needs any extensions in order to function. If you’re trying to find a recipe
and being asked to install SpeedyRecipeFinder, you’re in the wrong place. Look for a
reputable site instead.