Websites in 2019 aren’t as simple as they were just a few years ago. Many more features and services working hard to draw your attention in. Luckily, you are provided with a range of options to tweak your browsing experiences to your needs. Independent developers around the world have built extensions to provide you options to tame the internet. Below you find a curated list of extensions and services to take control of your browsing & web experience. Let’s jump in and hear about the extensions:

“Hello, how can I help you?”

You probably visited a lot of websites and received more help offers than you would like to. Thanks to services like Intercom and Crisp a little profile-image with a message counter as on Facebook appear in the right bottom of many websites these days. Live chat applications can be useful but more often than you might expect they just getting in the way. Especially if the open the chat automatically or draw your attention to it. HelloGoodbye.app is taking care of all the chatty services by removing them for you. It’s available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Ehm, how did I sign up for this site?

So-called social logins by social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google are getting more and more popular. By now, everyone who is using the internet intensely has seen the blue “Register with Facebook”-buttons and “Login with Google”-buttons on websites. Purely statistically speaking there is also a very good chance you used one of these buttons – around 78% of all internet users used social login before. It’s a modern and very convenient way of signing up and signing into online services. Often so convenient that you maybe forget which of the three sign-up buttons you just hit. Some people have the memory, others have their methods and tools. Say hi to WhichLogin – your helper for social media logins. If you forget your social login, this one is made for you. The browser extension automatically recognizes which social login you used and remembers it for you. For Chrome and Firefox Get this and stop creating new accounts by accident.

Who doesn’t love cookies? ?️

Latest since GDPR, the new European Privacy laws, nearly every site you visit requires you to accept their privacy policy and cookies. If this happens once a month it might not be such an issue. But if you are on a daily hunt for new websites clicking on “Accept” every 30 seconds can be very tiring. The concept of cookies isn’t new to many of us and you might want to avoid the repetitive question regarding the cookie policy. If so, the “I don’t care about cookies” extension is what you are looking for. The browser extension allows you to automatically confirm the annoying question. It’s available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera and even the Pale Moon browser.

Did I even ask for your opinion?

Most bigger websites allow you to post comments on posts and videos. Sometimes these comments are great, but more so often, they aren’t. From long lists of useless comments like “+1”, “Nice!” and “?️”, to spam and serious insults – on the average YouTube video you can find them all. Undesired opinions, good or bad, are known stress factor for many people. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Pulling the plug on viewing and reading comment can be a big relief. You can switch the comments off on most major websites using the “Shut up” extension. It’s filtering the content right off the website for your peace of mind. You can get the extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Get peace of mind by installing this browser extension.

Dark mode everywhere

Long days often lead to late nights. It doesn’t matter if you are working on your thesis or just want to relax surfing the web to discover new things. The late hours are often the best. Your relaxed surfing in darkness might ends abruptly when the next website has a very light theme with a bright white background. In a split second this becomes a pain in your eyes. Many websites already support a custom-made dark theme. For those which aren’t you should consider DarkReader. It’s allowing you to switch the light off at any website. You are free to configure the exact level of brightness, contrast, etc. for each site individually. The browser addon is available for Chrome and Firefox. The Safari version of the extension is under development.

Taking the clutter of Slack?

Slack is an incredibly popular online chat application – for both private as well as commercial users. A wide range of bots and integrations are doing they fair share to make Slack so popular. With extensive functionality often comes a more complex user interface and resource demand. Many users avoid the desktop application because it’s very resource demanding. As alternative remains accessing the Slack channel via the website. The web-interface of Slack channels is overloaded with elements and features most people don’t need in their daily life. After installing the ”Tight” Chrome extension you can use a much simpler interface. At any time you can toggle the styling to get back to the regular appearance and the full set of functionality. A Firefox version is planned, but not ready at this point.

Putting Chrome on a diet

After using Chrome for a few hours and collecting a respectable number of tabs you might notice a slow down of the browser. At the same time, the browser demands more system resources will slow down your whole operating system. In edge cases, your computer or laptop might even end up freezing completely. All in all not very desirable. You can avoid this issue by managing your tabs actively, including suspending inactive tabs. To keep the resource hunger at bay “The Great Suspender” frees up system resources like RAM and CPU by automatically suspending tabs. It’s up to your discretion to choose when you want to do so in the configuration. This extension is only available for Chrome currently.

Background music?

It got better, but we still haven’t left behind times were websites auto-playing videos or audio. This gets especially annoying if you working with a number of open tabs. Sometimes it might even be yourself opening a second tab and YouTube starts playing or just your Spotify lighting your mood on another browser tab. Management of muting isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Smart mute for Chrome is helping you get it structured. It’s muting background tabs by default and unmutes them as activate them – this way you can switch between tabs and just hear about what you are actually seeing. A similar Firefox addon exists as well.

Buster is going to bust captchas open for you

How many traffic lights have clicked on today already? Google’s reCAPTCHA service is the most common way to tell bots from humans. It allows to use a number of ways to confirm you are a human. Although useful in itself, the constant requests to select cars, schools, etc. can get annoying quickly. Your browsing experience suffers quickly if you are submitting forms often. Also, some content delivery network (CDN) providers use reCAPTCHA to block websites you visiting too often to prevent excessive usage. The Buster extension is your hero in the dark. It requests the audio-version of the captcha and uses speech-recognition to solve the challenge on your behalf. Full automatically. You can get the extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

Clean up the Twitter layout

While Twitter doesn’t receive as much public attention as other platforms. The social media network is chosen by millions to connect and chat with other people. Unfortunately, the user interface hasn’t been optimizing on user needs much recently. With this extension, it’s fixed. It’s automatically hiding the sidebars and Twitter-pushed content like “Trends”, “liked by …” and natively integrated Instagram photos as well as code examples. The Chrome extension is also open source. A Firefox addon has been built based on the open sourced extension as well.

Closing words

Browsers are much more flexible than you expect. There are many ways to customize and fix your personal browsing experience. If it’s smart muting, cleaning website layouts or managing social logins – it’s up to you to decide what you need. I’ve found the browser extensions above useful to address particular problems. You got to know where the shoe pinches most. Get started with the direct links to the extension stores to learn more and don’t be hesitant taking more control of your browsing experience!