The Great Suspender: A quick guide on how to get it back on Chrome

Before we begin, a quick obituary to The Great Suspender, the best Chrome extension till date —we will think of you with every new tab that we open and hoard on our browser windows 😞

The Great Suspender (2013–2021) | Twitter @greatsuspender

How did this happen, you ask? The kind folks at Gizmodo, Mashable, XDA Developers, The Verge have put together all the details.

TL;DR this open-source Chrome extension used by 2M+ users was sold to an unknown entity which starting tracking user activity without proper consent, and Google then labelled it malware & banned it from the webstore.

Now getting down to business — here’s how you can get the Great suspender back on your Chrome in no time.

  1. Download v7.1.6 of The Great Suspender from their now celebrated GitHub page.
  2. Save and unzip this folder (tgs-7.1.6) to a location of your choice (and for Pete’s sake remember where in the mess of downloads / documents / desktop folder you save it to!)
  3. Open a new tab on Chrome, type in chrome://extensions (Medium doesn’t allow hyperlinking this — sorry!) and hit enter / return / go.
  4. Find the little Developer Mode Toggle in the top right corner of this tab and flip it on to reveal three options as below.
Toggle the ‘Developer mode’ switch to reveal these options on chrome://extensions

5. Tap on “Load unpacked”, find the now unzipped tgs-7.1.6 folder — if you can’t find it, you clearly didn’t pay attention to #2 above 😒

6. Click on the folder to highlight it, and then click on the “Select Folder” button in the popup that has opened up.

7. Exercise some patience while the process completes — maybe kill time by observing a now broken page similar to the one below that was previously suspended by TGS.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT HIT THE RELOAD BUTTON — ELSE YOU WILL LOSE YOUR TAB FOREVER

8. Open one of your now broken suspended tabs with a similar URL as mentioned, and look for “&uri=” towards the end of the text — following this will be the URL to your suspended page. The simplest recovery (IMO) would be to delete all text preceding “&uri=” (inclusive) and hit enter / return / go.

chrome-extension://lchholdcmgccgmcjkhfkjfnibajegool/suspended.html#ttl=Masala%20Dosa%20%7C%20Dosa%20Batter%20Recipe%20%7C%20Potato%20Curry%20-%20YouTube&pos=0&uri=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDqkxZ3UVzc&t=1s

9. Go back to your standard habit of hoarding tabs and let this sideloaded TGS manage them tabs for you.

Of course, for those of you who wish to further optimize this process, the kind folks of reddit have several suggestions and alternatives.

Caveat: Verified to be working as described at the time of publishing. Follow this guide at your own discretion.

There are references to a fork of the TGS repo where all “tracking” has seemingly been removed and also to a precompiled version of TGS on the webstore going by the name “The Marvellous Suspender” albeit by an unknown developer. Explore / use at your own discretion.

Quick shoutout to Dean Oemcke! Hope he chooses to revive and relaunch TGS’s ignored cousin, The Great Discarder!

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