5 Great Chrome Add-Ons You Should Install Now

iStock
iStock

No matter what you’re using your web browser for, there’s probably a browser extension that could improve the experience. Google Chrome’s add-ons can help you resist impulse buys, correct your grammar, and more. Here are five free add-ons for Chrome that will help you be your best self:

1. ICEBOX

A screenshot of Icebox
Finder

Icebox by Finder prevents you from immediately buying the first thing that catches your fancy online. The extension lets you put future purchases “on ice” for whatever amount of time you choose. Once that time period elapses, you can go buy the item—if you still want to, that is.

Get it for Chrome here.

2. UNPAYWALL

A Nature study online features a green box that says 'Click here, read for free.'
Unpaywall

If you need to use research studies during your day (or just read a lot of science news), you’ve probably been stymied by an academic journal’s paywalls before. Unpaywall lets you skip past those. The extension trolls the web for free PDF versions (often uploaded by the paper’s authors) of the study you’re looking for, letting you legally read paywalled articles without a subscription. The company estimates that it finds around 47 percent of the papers its customers search for available for free.

Get it for Chrome here.

3. GRAMMARLY

A screenshot of Grammarly reads 'Its not my fault Im a bad speller.'
Screenshot, Grammarly

Even the most diligent of email-drafters occasionally writes there instead of their. Grammarly’s browser extension catches your spelling and grammar mistakes no matter what you’re doing online, making sure you keep your its and it’s in line. (It’s also available for Safari and Firefox as well as desktops and smartphones.)

Get it for Chrome here.

4. NEWS FEED ERADICATOR FOR FACEBOOK

Spending too much time on Facebook? News Feed Eradicator takes away the temptation. When you go to Facebook, instead of seeing your feed, you’ll see an inspirational quote meant to keep you away from the site—like the Roman poet Horace’s “Rule your mind or it will rule you.”

Get it for Chrome here.

5. TAB FOR A CAUSE

A screenshot of the Tab for a Cause dashboard
Tab for a Cause

Tab for a Cause (also available for Firefox) gives you reason to feel good about all those browser tabs you have open. The extension helps raise money for charity with every tab opened. When you hit that “New Tab” button, the page will automatically redirect to the Tab for a Cause page, which hosts several small ads. The company gives the money it makes from that advertising to charities like Water.org and Conservation International. You get points for every tab you open, and then you can choose where to donate the advertising revenue you personally generated.

Get it for Chrome here.

This Nifty Potato Chip Bag Hack Is Amazing the Internet

Keep that crispy, crunchy freshness inside the bag—no tools needed.
Keep that crispy, crunchy freshness inside the bag—no tools needed.
etiennevoss/iStock via Getty Images

If you don’t have enough chip clips to keep your snack bags shut—or if you have a habit of misplacing them—there’s no shortage of household items you can use instead. Clothespins, binder clips, rubber bands, and ponytail holders all get the job done, and you could even use an especially durable paper clip or bobby pin in a pinch.

But, as many people on the internet just discovered, all you actually need to seal your half-eaten bag of potato chips is the bag itself. Last week, actor and host of Bravo’s Top Chef Padma Lakshmi posted a video on Twitter of her tightly closing a bag of Fritos without any makeshift chip clips.

First you fold the two sides of the bag down as far as they’ll go, so the top of the bag is shaped like a triangle—similar to how you’d wrap a present. Then, roll up the bottom of that triangle a few times until you’ve created a pocket, under which you can tuck the triangle’s point. After that, simply roll the top of the bag down a few times, and you’ve successfully sealed the bag.

At the end of the video, Lakshmi turns the bag upside down and gives it a few shakes to show everyone just how secure it is. She tweeted the hack with the caption “How am I just finding out about this now?” and, considering that the video has been viewed more than 10 million times, it’s safe to say that she’s not the only one who didn’t know about the hack.

Wondering what other life hacks you might be missing out on? Find out how to chill a soda in three minutes, remove scratches on CDs, and more here.

6 Fun Backgrounds to Use on Your Next Video Call

You might be stuck in the living room, but it doesn't have to look like it.
You might be stuck in the living room, but it doesn't have to look like it.
Ridofranz/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re struggling to find a perfectly decorated wall in your house to serve as the backdrop for your video calls with friends, family, and coworkers, we have good news: Video conferencing platform Zoom lets you customize your very own virtual background.

To do it, log into your Zoom account, go to “Settings” on the left side of your screen, and choose the "Meeting" tab. Scroll down to the “In Meeting (Advanced)” section, and then scroll down farther to make sure the “Virtual background” option is enabled. After that, open the Zoom application on your desktop, click on the “Settings” wheel in the upper right corner, and go to “Virtual Background.” There are a few automatic options, but you can choose your own image from your computer files by clicking on the plus-sign icon.

Now, the only thing left to do is decide which image will best set the tone for your next video call. From the New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room to Schitt’s Creek’s Rosebud Motel, here are six of our favorites.

1. The Rosebud Motel lobby from Schitt’s Creek

schitt's creek rose motel lobby
It's not the Ritz-Carlton.
CBC

You can imagine that David is just out of frame, doing his best to carry on a silent—albeit with lots of expressive gesturing—conversation with Stevie at the front desk. (More Schitt's Creek backgrounds here.)

2. Carl and Ellie’s house from Up

carl and ellie's house from up
Balloons not included.
Walt Disney Pictures

If you’re hoping to create a calming atmosphere, look no further than the cozy little sitting room where Carl and Ellie grew old together in 2009's Up. (More Pixar backgrounds here.)

3. The attic study from Knives Out

knives out attic study
Nothing bad has ever happened here.
Lionsgate

If your own study isn’t quite teeming with intriguing souvenirs and leather-bound volumes, feel free to borrow this one from the mansion in 2019’s Knives Out. (More Knives Out backgrounds here.)

4. The USS Enterprise from Star Trek

star trek's uss enterprise bridge
A great way to get your coworkers to fess up to being huge Trekkies.
TrekCore.com, Twitter

Blame your spotty internet connection on the fact that you’re traveling through the galaxy at the speed of light with this background from the bridge of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise. (More Star Trek backgrounds here.)

5. The New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room

new york public library reading room
You reserve the right to shush any coworkers who forgot to mute themselves.
New York Public Library

Bibliophiles who can’t make it to the library can still pay a virtual visit to the sumptuous Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library’s iconic Fifth Avenue location. (More New York Public Library backgrounds here.)

6. The Werk Room from RuPaul’s Drag Race

rupaul's drag race werk room
Sashay away from the screen if you're taking a bathroom break during the call.
VH1

Dazzle your coworkers by calling in from the vibrant room where all the magic—and most of the drama—happens on RuPaul’s Drag Race. If you happen to be decked out in an ensemble made entirely of things you found at the Dollar Store, even better. (More RuPaul's Drag Race backgrounds here.)

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