When Google first released the Chrome web browser one of the reasons it felt so fast was because of what it didn’t do: Unlike Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer, Chrome didn’t supports extensions or add-ons… at least not back in 2008.

Over the past few years that’s changed and there are now hundreds of useful extensions for Chrome which can add functionality to the web browser. Many of the best extensions are available from the Chrome Web Store… but not every add-on is available in Google’s app store for Chrome.

Nonetheless, starting with the release of Chrome 35 for Windows, Google will no longer make it easy for users to install extensions unless they’re hosted in the Chrome Web Store.

chrome extensions

Google says it’s doing this to help protect users from malware. If you can’t easily install an extension just by visiting a website, the odds decrease that someone will be able to trick you into installing malware with the click of a button.

Earlier this year Google had actually announced plans to make this change starting with Chrome 33, but it looks like it took a little longer than planned to implement.

It’s not impossible to install extensions from outside the Chrome Web Store. Developers can still load local extensions if they’re using a developer version of Chrome, and businesses that want to load custom extensions on a group of computers can continue to user enterprise tools to do that.

Unfortunately if you’ve already installed extensions from third-party sources, they’ll be disabled when you upgrade to Chrome 35. If you want to use them again, you’ll need to visit the Chrome Store and hope the developer has made the extension available there.



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11 replies on “Google Chrome for Windows now blocks extension from outside the Web Store (for safety)”

  1. They’ve also disabled an extension that I installed from a PURCHASED PROGRAM, and I’ll be damned if I pay an extra fee to buy it from their store (IF the programmers make a version to go there) when I’ve already PAID for the full program. As far as I’m concerned, Google owes me 1/3 of the purchase price of the program since I can’t use it on 1/3 of the browsers it works with.

  2. Google should provide opt-out option for their browser updates instead of auto-updating everyone, since many users do not want this. Guess it would be too much to ask for Google to follow their own motto of “USER choice, consent, and control.”

  3. I quit using Chrome earlier this year, back to Firefox. Prior to that I had to manually install an older, preferred version, of the Shareaholic extension. The new version wants you to create an account or else it doesn’t work worth a damn. Nowadays I’m looking to use products with companies that have a single focus instead of companies that are trying to do everything. The Sony and Google’s of the world have burned me too many times with lack of support or dropped features down the road.

  4. “Google says it’s doing this to help protect users from malware”
    … and make it harder for people to block ads in Chrome, ads which Google reap most of its profits from.

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