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How do You Re-Enable Non-Web Store Extensions in the Stable and Beta Channels of Chrome?

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Google recently made a significant change to the stable and beta channels of Chrome, one that disabled any extension that did not come from the Web Store. While this will help improve security for many of Chrome’s users, how does someone with a legitimate non-web store extension get it to work again?

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

The Question

SuperUser reader AardVark71 is looking for a way to re-enable his extensions and scripts in Chrome 35:

Does anybody know how to re-enable your own extensions after they were disabled by the Chrome 35 update? It is mainly Greasemonkey scripts in my case, thus simple .js files previously dragged-and-dropped into the extension windows.

When I started Chrome up today, I got a warning that some non-Chrome Web Store extensions were disabled.

More info was giving on this link:

—————————————————

Extensions Disabled by Chrome

You are seeing this notification because one or more of your Chrome extensions have been turned off to make Chrome safer. The extensions did not come from the Chrome Web Store or were installed without your permission.

For your protection, you can only use Chrome extensions that you get from the Chrome Web Store.

To see a list of your extensions:

1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.

2. Select Tools.

3. Select Extensions.

Extensions that have been disabled are grayed out and you will not be able to re-enable them.

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I was hoping that I could still enable them by activating developer mode for my extensions, but still no luck. Any tips anyone?

P.S. This is not a duplicate from Activating a Chrome extension that is not from the Chrome Web Store. This is specifically related to the Chrome 35 update.

Are there any options that AardVark71 could try in order to re-enable his extensions and scripts?

The Answer

SuperUser contributors Fazer87 and Braiam have the answer for us. First up, Fazer87:

There are really only a couple of options open to you since the ability to run non-web store extensions has been programmatically disabled. There are no plans to re-enable it (or at least none made public).

You can try installing releases from the Developer or Canary channels which may allow you to continue using these extensions (as mentioned in Google Chrome help forum):

—————————————————

What if I want to run non-web store extensions?

Advanced users can continue to use our Dev & Canary channels to run any extension. Please note that these channels are updated very regularly, and may contain features and bug fixes that are actively being developed.

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Alternatively, I have heard that quite a few people install the Tampermonkey extension which allows them to run user scripts. Might be worth a look.

Followed by the answer from Braiam:

You can not re-enable them. You need to work around this issue using any of the following alternatives (I will list them by grade of difficulty).

Developer Mode Route

1. Download the crx file and unpack the extension using your favorite decompresser. Take note of the directory where you placed it.

2. Open the extension page and activate “Developer Mode”.

3. Click “Load unpacked extension…”

4. Search through your directory tree for the location where you unpacked your extension and click OK. If your extension is called “my extension”, then select the “my extension” directory.

Advantages: You do not have to install anything else.

Disadvantages: Chrome nags you to disable the extension every time you start it up.

Moving from the Release Channel

Install the Developer or Canary channel versions of Chrome. Just go to the corresponding links and install the browser. Note that the Canary version will install a parallel version of Chrome, which will be independent.

Advantages: No nagging. You get all the newest features earlier.

Disadvantages: You also get all the bugs earlier. Installing Canary effectively uses double the disk space versus a single installation of Chrome, and you also have to migrate all your extensions over.

Install a Chromium-Based Browser

Since Chromium is open source, there are several forks of the project. I am not sure if Chromium has the restriction in place, but other projects may not.

Moving from Windows Altogether

This restriction is put in place only for Windows due security concerns with the OS. Mac and Linux builds are not affected. You could give any Linux distribution a try.

The “Developer Mode Route” is courtesy of capetoide in the AllMangasReader Forum.

While not perfect solutions, these approaches can help you get back to browsing with all of your extensions or scripts intact and working.


Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya (Asian Angel) is our very own Firefox Fangirl who enjoys working with multiple browsers and loves 'old school' role-playing games. Visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 06/17/14