Browser Fall Cleaning

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Ever give much thought to the number of add-ins you have installed in your favorite web browser? Yeah, me either.

But, now that many of us are in Spring Fall cleaning mode (I drafted this post in the Spring….), why not take a few minutes to review the add-ons that you have installed in your browser of choice (assuming that you know what a browser is – mine is Firefox).

You may be surprised at the number of ‘extras’ that pile up in your web browser over time. Are you really using all of the browser extensions you have? Google Toolbar, Yahoo Toolbar, (insert anti-virus/malware/spyware name here) Toolbar, etc., and the list goes on endlessly. For me, the answer is no. I routinely install new extensions to test / play / learn and more often than not, forget to remove them if I’ve lost interest or moved on to the next useful plug-in.

Many of these extensions / add-ons / tools are like are the crud that we’re hoarding in the basement or attic – put there because we knew that we would have use for it – eventually – but have since forgotten about it and it is now collecting dust and simply taking up space. In terms of your browser, toolbars take up precious screen real-estate, resources can take a hit and in some cases, sites may not behave properly.

For example, Firebug is one great Firefox add-on and one that I use frequently to analyze sites (Fiddler is a good one for you IE users), but some sites don’t play nice with this app and can cause a poor user experience.

There are tons of useful extensions out there. Just take the time to clear out the ones that are stuck in the attic and you’ll have the room to bring home the next new shiny add-on that’s new and improved.

Agree? Disagree? Have useful comments? Feedback is welcomed.