Google’s Chrome Web Store has a rich and growing selection of apps and extensions that you can use on your desktop Chrome browser or on any Chrome OS device. However, the problem with some of them is that they automatically install a button next to the omnibox, making it incredibly easy to access that particular app or extension, but also cluttering up your screen in the process:
As you can see, I already have quite a lot of buttons next to my omnibox – a Gmail notifier, Google Chat, Google Voice, Google Calendar, Google Tasks, Google+, Facebook, and Google News. I use all of them frequently, and all of them serve a specific purpose and keep me notified of new messages or events, but simply put, there’s no room up there for anything else.
Luckily, it’s really easy to hide the extensions that you still want to actively use, but that you don’t necessarily want to always see. Say, for example, that I want to hide the Google Chat extension. Chrome already runs this extension in the background, anyway, and a window will pop up if I get an incoming message or call, so there’s really no need to have it clutter up my screen.
All I have to do is right click over the button (on Chrome OS, you can click with two fingers), and then select Hide button. It will disappear from beside my omnibox, but will still run as normal in the background. And that’s it!
If you decide you ever want your extension to appear there again, simply go to your extension list (located at chrome://extensions/), find your extension, and click on Show button. It will pop up right where you left it.
This is great for extensions you have that might interact with web pages, but that you also want to set up and then and forget about (i.e. user agent switchers, ad blockers, etc.). Hopefully this will help keep your only Chrome set up a little bit cleaner.