Browser extensions are tools that can change the way a web browser behaves on some or all web pages you visit. They can do everything from manage your passwords to providing quick access to internet radio stations.
They can also take over your browser by overriding your default settings — and that’s something Google wants to crack down on. So starting in January, if you want to install extensions for the Google Chrome browser on a Windows PC, you’ll have to download them from the Chrome Web Store.
That’s already one of the best places to find browser extensions for Chrome which have been vetted for security purposes, rated by users, and organized by category.
But the only way to install extensions which aren’t available in the Chrome Web Store after January will be to run a version of the Chrome web browser in the dev or canary channels — or enterprise users will be able to install extensions using group policies.
Most users running Chrome beta or stable for Windows will be unable to install apps downloaded from third party websites — unless they enable a developer mode switch in Google Chrome.