How To Disable Individual Plug-ins in Google Chrome

By Lowell Heddings on April 18th, 2010

Have you ever wondered how to disable useless or insecure browser plug-ins in Google Chrome? Here’s the lowdown on how to get rid of Java, Acrobat, Silverlight, and the rest of the plugins you probably want to get rid of.

Disabling Plugins in Google Chrome

If you head to about:plugins in your address bar, you’ll probably see a list of plugins, but won’t be able to disable them yet. What you’ll need to do is switch over to the Dev (Update: Or Beta) channel of Chrome, which gives you access to all the latest features—though you might be warned that sometimes the dev and beta channels might be less stable than the release channe.

Ready to proceed? Head to the Dev / Beta Channel page, and then click the link to run the installer. You’ll be prompted to restart Chrome when you’re done.

Note that Mac and Windows users can both run an installer to switch. Linux users will have to install a package.

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Note: Once you’ve switched to the Dev or beta channel, you can’t really switch to the stable channel. You’ll have to uninstall Chrome and then reinstall the regular version.

Now that you’ve switched to the dev or beta channel and restarted your browser, head to about:plugins in the address bar, and then just disable each plugin you really don’t need.

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Plugins you can generally live without?  Java, Acrobat, Microsoft Office, Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight. These will be on a case-by-case basis, of course, but the vast majority of large websites don’t require any of those. When it comes right down to it, the only plugin that most people require is Flash… and leave the “Default Plug-in” alone too.

Special thanks to @jordanconway for pointing out the solution.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/18/10
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