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Google blocks non-Chrome web store extensions

Google is starting to enforce its rule on the Chrome extensions and applications, by blocking all extensions not hosted on the Chrome web store.

The Chrome web store was set up a few years ago as a way to download web games, apps and extensions. It has become the most popular way to download extensions, with many getting millions of downloads - mostly adblockers.


Google claims this change has been made to stop hackers from utilising Chrome’s extensions to add malware to a user’s browser. On the Chrome web store, extensions are subject to review before being approved by Google’s support staff.

Even though some extensions not available on the Chrome web store are legitimate, Google is taking no chances. Windows and Mac users will not be allowed to download any, and there is no popup window to allow users to change the settings on Chrome.

Google is clearly worried about user safety, but this is also a move to funnel all extensions through the Chrome web store. Considering Google most likely has some revenue sharing policy with the developers of extensions and apps, it is a smart move to generate more cash.

The Chrome web store is a good place to find improvements for Chrome’s speed, security and browsing ease. The major extensions are email notifications and adblockers, which we doubt Google is too pleased to see.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.