Google announced that starting from January all the local Chrome extensions on windows devices will be blocked and users will only be able to install extensions for the company’s browser from the Chrome Web Store. But the changes will not affect Chrome apps and will continue to be supported normally.
Only Chrome’s stable and beta channels on windows will be affected, while the Dev and Canary channels will continue to support local extension installs.
Google has taken this step to stop the spread of malicious extensions on Windows devices as they were receiving a lot of complaints from Windows users.
Google, analyzed this on their official blog that these malicious extensions are not hosted on the Chrome Web Store, so it is very challenging for the company to bound the damage that can be caused by these extensions.
The scammers have figured out the way to mutely install extensions without even asking for permission from the user and these extensions can predominate browser settings and can also replace the new tab page without approval which will alter the user experience in undesired ways.
Google has further asked the developers to migrate their extensions to the Chrome Web Store and that they can even keep their extensions hidden if they want.
If the developers don’t migrate to Chrome Web Store then the users will not be able to install their extension and those who have extensions already installed, will not be able to use it.
Some are speculating Google’s move for content control and forcing developers to register for a small $5 fee, though the company claims that this is a result of security measures.