Vivaldi shows Chrome how to handle extension icons

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 4, 2017
Updated • Jun 27, 2017
Internet, Vivaldi

One of Google Chrome's big usability issues, at least if you ask me, is that you cannot hide extension icons anymore completely in the browser.

Extension icons are either shown directly in the browser's main -- and only -- toolbar, or in the menu. There is no option to hide an icon completely, even if it does nothing at all.

If you install too many extensions in Chrome, then they will either take up a lot of space in the toolbar -- and reduce the space for the address bar in the process -- or in the menu.

Lets take a look at how the Vivaldi browser -- which is based on pretty much the same source as Chrome -- is handling things.

Vivaldi Extension icon visibility options

vivaldi extension icons

Vivaldi offers two core options when it comes to the visibility of extension icons in the browser. The first option that you have is to hide any extension icon in the browser's toolbar.

Vivaldi places extension icons in the main toolbar just like Google Chrome does. You can right-click on any extension icon however in the browser to hide the icon by selecting "hide button" from the context menu that opens up.

vivaldi hide button

Selecting the option hides the icon from the browser UI. The icon won't be moved to the Vivaldi menu or another location, but is completely hidden in the interface.

You can restore the visibility of any icon by loading vivaldi://extensions and clicking on the "show button" button that is displayed next to the extension.

vivaldi show buttons

The Vivaldi team added a new option to the most recent Vivaldi 1.7 build. If things go well, it will be part of the next stable Vivaldi 1.7 release.

It allows you to add a visibility toggle for all extension icons to the browser UI. This feature is not enabled by default, and needs to be activated before it becomes available.

Load vivaldi://settings/addressbar/ in the browser's address bar to get started. Find the Extensions group on the page, and check "show extensions visibility toggle" on the page to enable the new feature.

It adds a button with three dots to the rightmost location of the Vivaldi toolbar. A click on it hides all extension icons, another exposes them again in the interface. Handy if you don't require the icons to be visible at all times, but only in certain situations.

Other browsers?

opera hide extensions

The Opera browser, also based on the pretty much the same code, offers better options as well. You need to load opera://extensions in the browser's address bar to list all installed extensions. There you find the "hide from toolbar" option which hides the extension icon from Opera's toolbar.

Firefox, and browser's based on Firefox code, is the most flexible of the browsers. It allows you to drag and drop extension icons for one, and gives you full control over each icon's position and visibility in the browser.

Microsoft Edge finally handles things exactly like Google Chrome. It displays icons either in the address bar, or in the main menu.

Closing Words

Vivaldi users have two options when it comes to extension icon visibility in the browser's UI. They can hide individual extension icons, useful if they never use them,  or enable the toggle all function to hide all visible extension icons when they are not needed.

Vivaldi shows Chrome how to handle extension icons
Article Name
Vivaldi shows Chrome how to handle extension icons
The Vivaldi web browser offers superior extension icon visibility handling when the functionality is compared to Google Chrome.
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  1. Najwa said on June 20, 2018 at 9:17 am

    I don’t know how to use Vivaldi easily without seeing more extensions at the same time than I have room for. This is going to keep on being a problem.

  2. Steve Goodheart said on January 6, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    What this fails to note about Vivaldi is that if you have more Extensions than will fit on the size of the window, VIVALDI DOES NOT SHOW THEM AT ALL. You just have your extensions cut off. Unless you can stretch the window large enough, Vivaldi just cuts off what Extensions you can see, depending on window size. There is no pop-down menu to show Extensions that won’t fit on the toobar, as Opera and Chrome have. I don’t see this lack of basic functionality as making Vivaldi “superior” when it comes to working with Extensions. So what if I can hide some Extension, if I can’t friggin’*see* all of them in the first place? Give me that pop-down menu!

    I rely heavily on Extensions and this “invisibility” of my Extensions is a total deal-breaker for me. Also, yes, you *can’t* rearrange them in Vivaldi either, as you can in Chrome — or in Opera if you use the nifty “Shuffle Extension Toolbar” extension hack.

    Give me this basic functionality of being able to see ALL my Extension, and I will also praise Vivaldi’s extension implementation!

  3. S. P. said on January 5, 2017 at 9:12 am

    What this browser really needs is the ability to rearrange the extension icons. Why is this not possible in Vivaldia despite being possible in every other Chromium based browser?

    1. Heimen Stoffels said on January 5, 2017 at 10:58 am

      It’s not possible in Yandex.Browser either (which is also based on Chromium) so your question isn’t entirely right ;-) But yes, I agree that Vivaldi needs to add that feature.

    2. Viv said on January 5, 2017 at 10:42 am

      echo that!

  4. nottom said on January 5, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Why would you want to do that? Tom Hawack will be disappointed!

    1. Pants said on January 5, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Tom would prefer another extension for sure .. he loves getting his numbers up :)

  5. Marcin said on January 4, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Minor but welcome improvement.
    I hope in the near future we got the ability to hide extension individually.
    Here it’s some kind of “all or nothing” …

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 4, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      Vivaldi supports that already. You can hide buttons individually.

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