Chrome Extension Installations Get More Secure

Google is changing the way users can install Chrome extensions. You’ll now only be able to do so by visiting the Chrome Web Store itself.

Sites will no longer be able to have a one-click button that directly installs the extension, known as an inline installation. Instead such buttons will have to lead to the relevant page in the store.

According to Google, it’s necessary to cut down on misleading extensions doing what it euphemistically describes as “causing [the] Chrome extension to change unexpectedly.”

The theory is that forcing users to see the relevant listing in the store makes it much less likely they’ll be mislead into installing something that isn’t as advertised. According to Google, extensions people get through an inline installation are significantly more likely to be uninstalled than those that come via the Web Store.

The changes will be brought in gradually. Inline installation buttons for newly-released extensions are already automatically redirecting to open a new tab with the relevant Web Store page. On September 12, any existing inline installation buttons will automatically be redirected.

In December, any such buttons will stop working altogether.

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