It’s important for users to know what extensions they have enabled since extensions can sometimes influence Chrome’s functionality and performance. Many users have installed extensions from the Chrome Web Store, but some users have extensions that were silently installed without their knowledge.
Until now, it has been possible to silently install extensions into Chrome on Windows using the Windows registry mechanism for extension deployment. This feature was originally intended to allow users to opt-in to adding a useful extension to Chrome as a part of the installation of another application. Unfortunately, this feature has been widely abused by third parties to silently install extensions into Chrome without proper acknowledgment from users.
Two new features in Chrome 25 will help users run only the extensions they want to use:
Extensions installed by third party programs using external extension deployment options will be disabled by default. When a third party program installs an extension, the Chrome menu will be badged, and users can click through the Chrome menu to see a dialog containing an option to enable the extension or to remove it from their computer.
In addition, all extensions previously installed using external deployment options will be automatically disabled. Chrome will show a one-time prompt to allow the re-enabling of any of the extensions.
Windows application developers should ask users to install Chrome extensions from within Chrome. A great way to allow users to install a Chrome extension related to your Windows application is to link users to your website and use inline installation.
If you have questions, please get in touch with us on the Chromium extensions group.