The companies that make browsers have built in a lot of functionality into them. For the most part, all browsers are perfectly fine at what they do, which is that they let you surf the web, check your emails, watch videos, and more. However, thanks to browser extensions, it helps to add more features that the developer might not have thought of to begin with.

This can come in the form of extensions that you can quickly and easily capture YouTube screenshots, or extensions that help you generate and store passwords to websites you visit, or extensions that lets you sync bookmarks with other browsers, or extensions that can even check your grammar.

So if you have yet to take full advantage of extensions, then here’s how you can get started depending on the browser you’re using.

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Google Chrome

  1. Launch Chrome
  2. Go to the Chrome Web Store
  3. Search for the extension you want
  4. Click Add to Chrome
  5. Click Add extension
  6. Give a moment or two and your extension is now installed

Microsoft Edge

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge
  2. Go to the Microsoft Edge Add-ons website
  3. Search for the extension you want
  4. Click on Get
  5. Click on Add extension
  6. After a moment you should get a notification that the extension has been installed

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Launch Firefox
  2. Go to the Firefox Add-Ons website
  3. Search for the extension you want
  4. Click on Add to Firefox
  5. Click on Add
  6. You will now get a prompt that lets you know your extension was added

Safari

  1. Launch Safari
  2. Click Safari on the menu bar and select Safari Extensions
  3. The App Store will launch to the Safari Extensions page
  4. Search for the extension you want and click Get
  5. Click Install and you might need to enter your Apple ID details
  6. Once installation is complete, click Open and follow the instructions
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This is because for the most part, the browsers listed above are all built on different platforms, meaning that developers who create an extension for Chrome can’t assume that their extension will work for Safari or Firefox. In this case, Chrome and Edge are built on Chromium so extensions built for either browser should be available and will be compatible with each other.

As for the other browsers, your mileage may vary depending on the extension and whether or not the developer has bothered to create an extension for your browser of choice.

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For the most part, yes. A good majority of browser extensions are free. Google used to allow developers to charge for extensions but that came to an end in September 2020. However, for Safari, there are some extensions that are paid, so once again, your mileage may vary depending on the extension you want.

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Yes and no. Usually extensions are pretty safe, but they might not be viewed that way by people who value their privacy. This is because extensions usually have access to the websites you’re visiting, for example a password manager knows the websites you visit and what passwords you’re using.

An extension that creates text highlights will also need to be able to read the contents of the website in order to work, so if you’re uncomfortable giving this kind of access to developers, then maybe extensions aren’t for you.

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