About two years back, in September, 2009, browser extensions were added to Google Chrome. Extensions enhance the functionality of a browser. As per Wikipedia, there were about 11500 extensions for Google Chrome as of February 4, 2011. This number of extensions must have enormously increased since then. Google Chrome was designed to be a browser with simplicity, speed and security. These features plus the availability of a large number of browsers has made Chrome a popular browser. As per StatCounter (that tracks visitors to a large number of websites, thereby also tracking their browser types), as of October, 2011, Chrome had already acquired a massive 25% market share of browsers worldwide. With increasing number of extensions becoming available for Chrome with varied functionality, people use several extensions at the same time. But, it clutters the toolbar in Chrome. Luckily, Chrome provides an easy way to hide the extension icons (selectively), though the way to show a hidden extension is not so obvious in Chrome. But, nonetheless, there is a way to show the hidden extension icon in Chrome. It may be pointed out that in spite of hiding an extension icon, the extension continues to be fully operational. Thus, this gives a way to unclutter the toolbar in Chrome while at the same time utilizing the functionality of the extensions hidden from toolbar. Moreover, some extensions may be deliberately required to be hidden from other Chrome users on the same computer to avoid their detection in bona fide interests (such as an employer hiding an extension from his employees or a parent hiding an icon from his ward).
How to hide an extension icon in Google Chrome?
Hiding an extension icon in Google Chrome is pretty simple and easy. Right-click on the extension icon and from the popup menu, select Hide button command. The extension icon will be hidden from the Chrome toolbar now. It will remain hidden even in all the future sessions of Chrome till you again choose to show the extension icon. See the picture below to see this command:
How to show a hidden extension icon in Google Chrome?
As I mentioned above, Google Chrome does not have a transparent method of showing an extension icon again after it has been hidden. This method is a bit obscure. However, here is the method to show an extension icon in Chrome after it had been previously hidden. Type chrome://extensions in the address bar of Chrome to go to the Extensions page. This page shows all the extensions installed in your Chrome browser:
You may notice that it shows Show button command for the extension whose extension icon has been hidden by using the method described above. Now to show this extension icon again, simply click this Show button command. The extension icon that was hidden earlier, will be displayed now in the toolbar in Chrome.