Installing browser extensions definitely enhances user experience. Extensions can help users accomplish many tasks without having to leave the browser at all, and that’s precisely why a lot of users love them. Though its not unusual for people to get tricked into installing malicious extensions, they can alter the user experience in a number of ways, such as changing the browser’s homepage without approval. Such extensions aren’t normally found in the official extension stores. Chrome already employes a couple of safety mechanisms such as disabling silent installs and extra warnings upon installation, but the company is now putting its foot down when it comes to such extensions. Starting January, Chrome on Windows won’t support any extension that isn’t hosted on the official Chrome Web Store.
This change will affect both Chrome stable and beta channel users on Windows. Local installation of extensions will continue to be supported during development process, installs via Enterprise policy will continue to be supported as well. All Chrome apps will be supported normally. The Chrome team tells developers to migrate their extensions to the Web Store if they’re currently hosted outside it, users won’t be impacted in any way. Furthermore, developers will also have the option to hide their extensions from the Web Store listings.