Image for article titled Try These Alternatives to the Great Suspender ExtensionScreenshot: David Murphy

I was a fan from The big braces Extension for years. Even when Google is adding new features to its Chrome browser to reduce the resources that are being disabled to gobble up browser tabs, I trusted The Great Suspender to “disable” them so I could reduce the load on my system . But The Great Suspender is untrustworthy – so much so that Google removed it from the internet Chrome web store in February 2021 as “malware”.

Before we get to that the alternatives Instead of this helpful extension, you can also use Dr. Colin McMillen, Senior Developer at SemiColin Games, shed light on some of the new nefarious parts of the expansion a month before the removal:

Here’s the longer story: The Great Suspender has a new maintainer (formerly Dean Oemcke), and this unknown entity has released some silent updates for new builds of the extension that will allow it to connect to various third-party servers and run code . The extension suddenly also asked for new permissions, such as a comprehensive way to conflict with your browser’s web requirements. Like on Github TheMageKing wrote in November last year:

“This allows the extension to do what it wants, including inserting ads, blocking websites, and forcing redirects … This change was supposed to allow for new screenshot functionality, but it was unclear.”

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They continued:

“On November 6th, @lucasdf discovered a smoking gun that the new maintainer is malicious. Although OpenWebAnalytics is real software, it does not serve the files executed by the extension. These are hosted on the unrelated website, which turns out to be extremely suspicious. This site is a month old and clearly designed to appear innocent, hosted on a public web host, and get a seemingly innocent homepage from the CentOS project. However, the site doesn’t contain any real information other than the tracking scripts and is only found in the context of this extension. Most importantly, the minimized Javascript is very different from that of the OWA project. “

While there is an innocent explanation for this, I can no longer say that this is the most likely. If you use the Chrome Web Store version of this extension without turning off tracking, an untrusted third party will run code on your computer and you will be able to change any websites that you see. The fact that disabling tracking still works is irrelevant as most of the 2 million users of this extension have no idea that this option even exists. The fact that the code is not overt malware is meaningless given the fact that it is subject to change without notice and is minimized (unreadable by humans). “

The mysterious way the entire situation was handled by the extensions new supervisor– and their complete silence on the matter (and everything else lately) – made me a little nervous that a similar situation might occur again, so I switched from the add-on in all of my browsers. I recommend you do the same even if it is available in other extension storesand try these alternatives

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Better choice than The Great Suspender for your browser

Before trying alternatives, first make sure that you use The Great Suspender to disable any open tabs before removing the extension from your browser. And when you’ve done that, it’s a good time to go through those tabs and convert so many in bookmarks as you can. An organized browser is a happy browser.

After uninstalling The Great Suspender, do not seek You can find alternatives in the Chrome Web Store. It seems like a lot of people are launching their own variants these days, but how trustworthy are they? I would stick with some alternatives that people have already used – and probably the review.

I recommended checking out this fork by The Great Suspender, who removes all persecution. It’s unclear if this variant will continue in the future since The Great Suspender has been removed from the Chrome Web Store, but it should work for some time.

But do you even need The Great Suspender? As I said, your modern browser does probably doing a decent job resource management for inactive tabs. For example, if you work on Chrome, Freeze tab is already integrated in your browser by default. After five minutes, the browser will free up memory used by tabs that you have open but are not using.

If you need more help, there are other options you can use to reduce your open tabs and free up your precious system resources. I’m a big fan of OneTab and Tabs outlinerthat store all open tabs in a single, easy-to-navigate screen (or sidebar). There are other extensions This limits the number of tabs you can open. This is an excellent way to conserve resources and limit their spread. And if you just want a replacement for The Great Suspender, there is other Extensions it works similarly.

Whatever you choose, it’s time to officially say goodbye to The Great Suspender. It served us well for years, however No king rules forever.

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Update 02/04/21: We updated this article to reflect the latest news regarding The Great Suspender’s removal from the Chrome Web Store.