As some of you are aware, those of us that use Chrome but like to modify it a bit, Google started blocking the installation of Chrome extensions that weren’t from the Web Store sometime last year. Meaning we had to find creative ways to keep our extensions running, for me it was an ad blocker extension, something that is frowned upon by most website owners. What we found was this change didn’t extend to the Chrome developer channels.
All good things come to an end though. Starting today, that changes.
Google claims that, since disabling non-Web Store extensions, they observed a 75% drop in requests for support uninstalling unwanted extensions. As a result, today they will begin blocking extension side loading in the Windows dev channel, with Mac soon to follow, and “all channels” in July. Meaning albeit slowly at first they are closing the gate on third party extensions. For the generic user this is a good thing, it protects us from malicious infections but for the more clued up user it hamstrings them. Having it available on the developer version was a good happy medium.
There are still ways to get around this block. You can still install extensions manually through Developer Mode, but every time you restart chrome will automatically disable is, meaning you go through a rather annoying process of reactivating everything, which still makes it a pain for Chrome users.