Google promised control of each Chrome extension’s permissions back in October, and that long-promised feature finally arrived near the end of December. Extensions no longer require “all your data on the websites you visit.”

You won’t see any sort of prompt when installing an extension. If that extension asks to “Read and change all your data on the websites you visit,” all you can do is agree and click “Add Extension.” But, after the extension is installed, you can now revoke that permission.

How to Change an Chrome Extension’s Permissions

To control an extension’s access to your data, right-click the extension’s icon on your toolbar and point to “This can read and change site data.” Choose your preferred option:

  • When you click the extension: The extension can’t see any of your data until you click it. When you do, it can access data from the current tab. If an extension does something automatically whenever you visit a website, it won’t work until you click it.
  • On [current website]: The extension can only run and see data from the current website. It can’t see data from all websites.
  • On all sites: This is the default. The extension can see and change data on all websites. It can automatically run and do things whenever you load any website.

Which option you choose depends on what you use the extension for and how much you trust it. But you now have a choice. You can now install an extension but only give it access to your data on a handful of websites, or just when you click it.

The “Learn more about site access” button takes you to a Google support page that explains how this works.

How to Customize the Websites an Extension Can Access

You can also manage the list of specific sites an extension can run on from the Extensions page. To access it, click menu > More Tools > Extensions.

Click the “Details” button for the extension you want to control.

To the right of “Allow this extension to read and change all data on the websites you visit,” choose “On specific sites.”

You can now control the specific list of sites the extension can access from the “Allowed sites” list. Click the “Add” button and type an address to add a website, or click the menu button and click “Remove” to remove an allowed website from the list.

This is the same as choosing the “On [current website]” option from the extension’s context menu, but you can see all websites the extension has access to and easily manage them.

RELATED: Why Do Chrome Extensions Need "All Your Data on the Websites You Visit"?

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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