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Google Unveils Schedule for Ending Support for Legacy Chrome Extensions

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Google has recently shared plans to gradually remove support for Chrome browser extensions built using Manifest V2. Beginning in June, notifications will be sent to users of these older extensions to alert them about the transition.

Chrome extensions are based on specific blueprints called manifests, which outline the permissions and capabilities of the extensions. While the introduction of Manifest V3 encountered initial opposition due to its impact on ad blockers and extensions centered on privacy, Google has been continuously adjusting its rollout in response to feedback.

Manifest V3 aims to enhance security and performance, yet its early form provoked concern among developers of content and privacy protection tools, such as ad blockers, due to its perceived limitations. This unease was particularly highlighted in GitHub discussions by the maker of uBlock Origin, who noted key functionalities like dynamic and regular expression filtering may not work under Manifest V3.

The creation of uBlock Origin Minus provides a glimpse into how the functionality of extensions must adapt under Manifest V3, demonstrating a scaled-back feature offering compared to the current Manifest V2 version of uBlock Origin.

Key Dates for the End of Manifest V2 Support by Google

Users who still operate extensions under Manifest V2 in Chrome will start receiving warnings about the changeover from Google, with messages beginning to appear on June 3rd specifically for users of the Chrome Beta, Dev, and Canary builds.

On the same day, any Manifest V2 extensions currently highlighted as “featured” will lose such status.

Within Chrome’s operation area for extensions, a rundown of soon-to-be unsupported extensions will be accessible, providing users with details about the change and alternatives to consider for replacement extensions.

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Gradually, in the following months, Chrome will start deactivating Manifest V2 extensions. There will be a grace period during which individuals can temporarily reactivate their extensions, but this will ultimately be phased out.

These changes will initially impact Chrome’s early adopter versions, but will eventually roll out to the regular Chrome browser as well.

Corporate users are given a grace period of one year, with the possibility to apply the ExtensionManifestV2Availability policy. Yet, this policy too will be phased out by Google come June 2025.

Pro Tip: You can check which of your installed extensions rely on Manifest V2 by switching on the flag at chrome://flags/#extension-manifest-v2-deprecation-warning in Chrome.

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