Google Chrome, the most popular web browser in the world, is set to launch a new feature that will warn users about extensions that have been removed from the Chrome Web Store for various reasons. The feature, which will be available in Chrome 117, aims to improve user awareness and security regarding the extensions they have installed.
Why some extensions disappear from the Chrome Web Store
Extensions are small software programs that enhance the functionality and user experience of Google Chrome. Users can install extensions from the Chrome Web Store, which hosts thousands of extensions for different purposes, such as productivity, entertainment, education, and more.
However, some extensions may disappear from the Chrome Web Store for various reasons, such as:
- The extension developer may decide to remove the extension from the store for personal or business reasons.
- The extension may violate the policies of the Chrome Web Store, such as spamming, phishing, or infringing intellectual property rights. Google may remove such extensions from the store and take action against the developer.
- The extension may contain malware or malicious code that can harm the user’s device or data. Google may detect and disable such extensions automatically.
How Chrome will alert users about problematic extensions
Starting in Chrome 117, Chrome will proactively highlight to users when an extension they have installed is no longer in the Chrome Web Store. The feature will be part of the “Safety check” section in Chrome’s privacy and security settings.
Users will see a list of extensions that fit into those disappearing categories. When they click on the “Review” button, Chrome will show them the extensions that went missing and the reason for their removal. Users can then decide if they want to uninstall the extension or keep it despite the warning.
However, it is important to note that extensions labeled as malware will be automatically deactivated by Chrome and cannot be re-enabled by the user. This is to protect the user’s device and data from potential harm.
Other security enhancements coming to Chrome
The new feature for alerting users about problematic extensions is not the only security enhancement coming to Chrome. Google is also working on other features that will improve user security and privacy, such as:
- Automatically upgrading all http:// URLs to their more secure counterpart, https://, which encrypts online traffic and prevents eavesdropping and tampering. This feature is currently being tested in Chrome 115 and will be rolled out in future releases.
- Displaying a warning message when users attempt to download high-risk files over an insecure connection. These files may contain malware or viruses that can infect the user’s device. This feature will debut in mid-September.
Google’s commitment to user security and privacy is evident from these upcoming features. Chrome users can expect to see more improvements and innovations in this area in the future.