Google Blocks Extensions Not In The Chrome Web Store For Windows Users
Google today began blocking local Chrome extensions to protect Windows users. This means that as of today, Chrome extensions can only be installed if they’re hosted by the Chrome Web Store.
Further, extensions that were previously installed “may be automatically disabled and cannot be re-enabled or re-installed until they’re hosted in the Chrome Web Store,” Google says. It’s unclear what the company means by “may,” but we expect it may make exceptions for certain popular extensions for the time being.
Google is asking developers to reach out if they run into problems or if they “think an extension was disabled incorrectly.”
This policy does not affect extensions on the Dev and Canary channels for Windows, nor does it apply to all channels for Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.
According to the FAQ page:
- Users can only install extensions hosted in the Chrome Web store, except for installs via enterprise policy or developer mode.
- Extensions that were previously installed, but not hosted on the Chrome Web Store will be hard-disabled (i.e the user cannot enable these extensions again), except for installs via enterprise policy or developer mode.
Google originally announced these changes in November, saying they would take effect in January with the release of Chrome 33. Chrome 33 beta was released in January, but due to developer requests, the company pushed its plans back to May 1.
Google finally flipped the switch last week with the release of Chrome 35. The company hopes this will limit the number of malicious extensions installed on Chrome for Windows, though it comes at the expense of Windows users being able to install any extension they want.