How to Hide Chrome Extension Icons and Declutter Your Toolbar

Hide Extensions Chrome Featured Image

One of the reasons Google Chrome is so popular is because of the wide variety of extensions you can add that improve the browsing experience. However, a problem can arise when you have many extensions installed. All of the icons can start to add clutter to your toolbar. Using a new experimental feature called “Extensions Toolbar Menu,” you can eliminate the long line of extension icons on the toolbar, yet keep them handy for when you need to use them.

What do extensions do?

Extensions are small pieces of software that fulfill one single purpose to customize your browsing experience. They are built on web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Hide Extensions Chrome Code

These extensions can enhance your browser by allowing you to do things such as print a PDF of a webpage, pin images to Pinterest, use dark mode, or edit your grammar while typing in the browser.

What are flags?

Extensions Toolbar Menu is an experimental feature as of this writing. This means that it is not available by default on Google Chrome and must be enabled if you want to use it. Because it is considered a “flag,” all of the kinks may not be worked out yet.

Enable the Extensions Toolbar Menu

To enable the Extensions Toolbar Menu, you need to access the Flags menu in Chrome and enable it from there.

1. Open Google Chrome Browser.

2. Click the menu icon (three vertical dots in the upper-right corner).

3. Select Help from the menu and choose “About Google Chrome.”

Hide Extensions Chrome Settings Menu

4. Check the window that opens to make sure you are running at least Chrome 76 or higher.

Hide Extensions Chrome Find Chrome Version

5. Type chrome://flags/ in the address bar and press Enter.

6. Type “Extensions Toolbar Menu” in the search box to locate the feature.

Hide Extensions Chrome Experimental Features

7. Click on the drop-down menu next to Extensions Toolbar Menu and select Enable.

8. Click the Relaunch button at the bottom-right of the screen.

When your browser relaunches, you will notice that the extension icons at the end of the address bar disappear. Chrome has consolidated them under the extensions icon that looks like a puzzle piece.

This is what my toolbar looked like before enabling Extensions Toolbar Menu:

Hide Extensions Chrome Before Extension Hide

And this is what it looked like after:

Hide Extensions Chrome After Extension Hide

To access an extension, click on the puzzle icon and click on the extension you want to use.

Hide Extensions Chrome Under Puzzle Icon

Other Options for Extensions Toolbar Menu

If there are specific extensions that you use frequently, there is a way to keep them visible on the toolbar at all times.

  • Click on the puzzle piece icon to access your extensions.
  • Locate the extension you want to pin to the toolbar.
  • Click the three dots next to the extension name.

Hide Extensions Chrome Pin Extension

  • Click on Pin.

The extension will appear on the toolbar for easy access.

Extensions Toolbar Menu also lets you change the options on any of your extensions. Just click on the same three dots you would if you were going to pin the extension, and click Options. In that menu, you can change how much access an extension has to the websites you visit, select Incognito mode options, turn the extension on and off, or remove it altogether.

Hide Extensions Chrome Extension Options

If you prefer to keep a clean browser with few distractions, using the new Extensions Toolbar Menu may be something you may want to install. There could still be some bugs in it since it is experimental, but I haven’t noticed any so far. Does this work for you? Let us know in the comments.

Tracey Rosenberger Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she's excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.

4 comments

  1. All the Extension Toolbar Menu does is move the icon clutter from one toolbar to another. Your Main Toolbar may be decluttered but your Extension Toolbar will be. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just use less extensions?

  2. The dumbing down and ‘Tabletization’ of Chrome….making it look like a ‘Phone screen’ all designed for finger pointing, complete and utter GARBAGE!.

  3. Thank you very much. It’s much cleaner now. The icons don’t disappear right away after relaunch. You have to “unpin” them. But then you have a zen browser.

  4. You just saved me my afternoon. This was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you. Perfect instruction.

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