If you’re a developer, installing Chrome extensions from outside the Chrome Web Store is about to get a bit harder.
A little under a year ago, Google started forcing all Chrome extensions on Windows to be installed via the Chrome Web Store in order to prevent people from unwittingly sideloading malicious software.
Coders are more tech-saavy than your average user though, so Google kept Chrome’s developer channel – a way to access more frequent, experimental builds – open to sideloaded extensions. But it turns out some malcious software started forcing regular users to switch to the developer channel so unwanted extensions could be installed.
It’s not all lost though – the company says it will continue to support local extension installs during development, as well as through its enterprise policy.
Google says it’s seen a 75% drop in customer support related to uninstalling malicious extensions since it made the change on the standard Chrome channel. And for the first time, Mac users on all channels will also be forced to install extensions from the Chrome Web Store “in the coming months.”
➤ Continuing to protect Chrome users from malicious extensions [Google Chrome Blog]