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.

Chrome web store (extensions)

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.

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8 replies on “Soon Chrome will only run extensions from the Chrome Web Store”

  1. As a developer I am not that concern about those changes. I have an extension known as Browser Clock on chrome web store and it does get lots of downloads everyday so chrome web store is indeed the number one choice for chrome developers that wish to reach out for more chrome browser users

  2. This is like the UK porn ban. It’s being sold to the public as a means of security, when really it’s about censorship and control. I use the torch browser which is chromium based. I’m hoping it’s not effected by this since it’s not technically chrome. If it is, guess I’ll be a FF user!

    1. this is only for apps…anything you do in the browser is still open, and incognito if you want no trace to be had easily…

  3. This is ridiculous. Before long the only people who actually own their computers and can install whatever they damn well please will be people running Linux, and UEFI might kill that yet.

  4. All my Windows PCs use Comodo Dragon. It’s based on Chromium, so I guess I’m not sure whether I’ll still be able to install 3rd-party extensions. The blog post only mentions Chrome, not Chromium or other browsers based on Chromium.

  5. As long as the chains only go on Windows users, go for it. Sheep are for shearing and besides, for 90% of them this will actually improve their life. Do it on Linux and Chromium is the answer. Giving Google absolute power isn’t something I even want to discuss.

    Not that they aren’t already jacking around with Linux users. No stable distro is officially supported anymore, keeping it available to my users as an alternate browser on CentOS 6 is far more difficult than it should be.

  6. I’m sure chromium build will still have the feature, or at least I hope.

  7. When I saw the headline I was worried as I use a few premium chrome plugins where you pay for the CRX file.

    But actually having it where some shareware / freeware app can’t force feed an extension into your browser is a godsend.

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