You will no longer be able to install Chrome Extensions

You will no longer be able to install Chrome Extensions

Google today announced a major change to its Chrome Web Store policy that aims to shield users from websites that try to fool them into installing their Chrome extensions.

In order to prove that extensions in the Chrome store are legit and the best course of action, Google has written a research paper on its extension cleansing efforts.

Website developers who rely on inline installation will need to update the install buttons on their website to link to their extension's Chrome Web Store prior to the stable release of Chrome 71.

You will no longer be able to install Google Chrome extensions from outside of the main Chrome Store anymore.

Google announced that users will no longer be able to sideload new extensions starting today and will totally block inline Chrome extension installation on all platforms starting this summer.

Aware that this latter option opens up the possibility of people installing malicious extensions, Google is clamping down.

Google says that the changes are being introduced because of "large volumes of complaints from users about unwanted extensions causing their Chrome experience to change unexpectedly".

This tactic has been quite successful because users never visited the Chrome Web Store listing, and would never see an extension's bad rating or negative user reviews, which often contained warnings or important clues about the extension's real behavior. While the system has been used by legitimate companies and developers to provide extension installations directly from websites they operate, it has been abused by crooks as well.

Because of this repeated pattern of abuse, Google has now made a decision to remove the inline installation process from the Chrome browser and the Chrome Web Store altogether.

September 12, 2018: inline installation will be disabled for existing extensions, and users will be automatically redirected to the Chrome Web Store to complete the installation. Users will be redirected to the Chrome Web Store.

One of the big reasons why Google is making this move is because rogue extensions can plaster your computer with adverts or install malware.

Older extensions will continue with established behavior - showing an installation confirmation dialog that's distinct from the Chrome Web Store display. Come December and the launch of Chrome 71, the API that now allows for this way of installing extensions will go away. You can also opt to use Google Chrome's install badge for greater visibility.

Related Articles