What's new in Chrome extensions

Check this page often to learn about changes to Chrome extensions, extensions documentation, or related policy or other changes. You'll find other notices posted on the Extensions Google Group. The Chrome schedule lists stable and beta release dates.

New guidance for real time communication

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We have just published guides on real time options in extensions. Real-time updates provide an instant communication path from your servers directly to your extension installations. Additionally, we have new guidance for using chrome.gcm, Web Push.

New guidance and sample: Testing service worker termination

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We have just published a guide on how to Test service worker termination with Puppeteer. The accompanying sample demonstrates this in Puppeteer and Selenium.

Updated sample for native messaging

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We have just published an updated sample for native messaging. This API allows your extension to start and communicate with another application. Thanks to GitHub contributor Shubham-Rasal for the work on this.

Chrome 121: New lastAccessed property on tabs.Tab

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A new property named lastAccessed was added to the tabs.Tab object. This property indicates when the tab was last activated. The returned value is in milliseconds since epoch.

Chrome 121: Unsupported "background" keys now issue a warning

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In the change from Manifest V2 to Manifest V3, children of the "background" manifest key were changed to accommodate replacement of background scripts with extension service workers. Formerly, adding the Manifest V2 keys "scripts", "page", or "persistent" to the "background" key of a Manifest V3 extension would throw an error. The presence of these keys now triggers a warning.

This is being done to enable using a single manifest file in extensions in multiple browsers, per a proposal in the community group.

Chrome 120: Minimum alarm granularity reduced to 30 seconds

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Beginning in Chrome 120, Manifest V3 extensions can use the chrome.alarms API with delays or periods of 30 seconds, rather than requiring values of 60 seconds or more.

Blog post: Resuming the transition to Manifest V3

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The Manifest V2 support timeline has been updated. See our November 2023 blog post for details.

Blog post: Improvements to content filtering support in Manifest V3

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Learn about how we improved the declarativeNetRequest API in our new blog post.

Blog post: What's new in Chrome 120 for Extensions

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Chrome 120 Beta was recently released. For a summary of the important updates relevant to extension developers, read our new blog post: What's new in Chrome 120 for Extensions. This release also marks a major milestone as it removes the final two items (userScripts, file handler on ChromeOS) from the list of critical platform gaps.

PSA: Change to handling of privacy policy URLs in Developer Dashboard

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Privacy policies in the Developer Dashboard are now added at the item level. This allows you to provide a different privacy policy per item. Read more about this change in our PSA.

Video: A chat with Matt Frisbie

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We've just published a new video on the Chrome for Developers YouTube channel chatting with Google Developer Expert and author Matt Frisbie. Watch it here.

New guidance on testing extensions

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We've just published new guidance on how to write automated tests for extensions, including how to write unit tests and both general guidance and a tutorial on end-to-end testing.

Blog post: What's happening in Chrome Extensions - October 2023

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We've just published the second edition of What’s Happening in Chrome Extensions. The post discusses what the extension team has been working on for the past few months, including, addressing service worker stability issues, and making good progress on closing all MV3 platform gaps. We also share exciting upcoming API releases like the Reading List API and the User Scripts API.

Increased static ruleset limits in Declarative Net Request API

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Following feedback in the Web Extensions Community Group, we are significantly increasing the limit on enabled static rulesets from 10 to 50. Additionally, we are increasing the total number of allowed static rulesets from 50 to 100. This is currently available in Canary.

Improved guidance around remotely-hosted code

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A requirement for Manifest V3 is that extensions may no longer use remotely-hosted code. Although this has been part of our migration guide from the beginning, we thought it was worth improving the guidance around this issue. That page now provides more information, describing what's still possible in Manifest V3 and providing more information on strategies for upgrading.

There is a related addition to the Troubleshooting Chrome Web Store violations. A new section describes common reasons that extensions with remotely-hosted code are rejected.

Chrome 118: isUrlFilterCaseSensitive now defaults to false

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Starting in Chrome 118, the isUrlFilterCaseSensitive property in the chrome.declarativeNetRequest API has been changed to default to false. If you wish to keep the old behavior, you can explicitly set isUrlFilterCaseSensitive to true in your declarativeNetRequest rules.

This follows discussions in the Web Extensions Community Group. Firefox and Safari have already implemented a similar change.

Documentation on cookies and web storage APIs

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We published a new guide on how cookies and web storage APIs work in Chrome extensions. It includes details on cookie and storage partitioning changes in Privacy Sandbox, an ongoing project to deprecate third-party cookies through the creation of a series of new web platform APIs, and details on how they work in extensions.

Extension samples now searchable

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We recently created a page that lets you search Chrome extension samples. The search page has multiple options. A search box lets you search for text in sample titles. You can restrict the search by permission or extension API. An additional filter lets you restrict search to either API or functional (use case) samples.

This new sample page was built by a Google Summer of Code participant, Xuezhou Dai, who also contributed several new samples. You can read about their experiences this past summer in their post on our blog.

As before, our code samples are still available on GitHub for cloning or forking.

Chrome 118: Changes to opening file: scheme URLs

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Beginning in Chrome 118, extensions will need the "Allow access to file URLs" setting enabled from the chrome://extensions page to open file:// scheme URLs using the Tabs or Windows APIs. You can programmatically check for this access by calling chrome.extension.isAllowedFileSchemeAccess(). Firefox already restricts file URLs, and Safari supports the change. For more information, read the post in the extensions Google Group.

Chrome 117: Expanded URL protections on extension API navigations

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Previously navigation triggered from extension API calls for tabs.update(), tabs.create(), and windows.create() emitted an error for some chrome:// URLs. Additionally, calling tabs.update() with a JavaScript URL was forbidden. In 117, these protections on JavaScript URLs have been expanded to the tabs.create() method and a number of additional chrome:// URLs have been added to the list of forbidden URLs that applies to all of the previously mentioned methods.

Improved guidance for the declarativeNetRequest API

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The chrome.declarativeNetRequest API blocks or modifies network requests by specifying declarative rules. This lets extensions modify network requests without intercepting them and viewing their content, thus providing more privacy to users. It's also tricky to use. With that in mind, we've rewritten the guidance in a way that we think paints a clearer picture of how to implement declarative rulesets. Read the new section at the link above.

Using your Google Analytics account with the Chrome Web Store

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The Chrome Web Store offers integration with Google Analytics, which allows you to see analytics for your Chrome Web Store listing in addition to the view offered in the Developer Dashboard. For more information, read Using your Google Analytics account with the Chrome Web Store.

Chrome 115: DevTools steps over content scripts by default

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Injected content scripts are now in the DevTools ignore list by default. This doesn't affect breakpoints, but it does mean that content scripts will be stepped over during debugging and exceptions from these scripts will be ignored. When a content script is open in the Sources tab, a banner alerts you if this is on and provides an option to remove your content script from the ignore list. To turn this behavior off, open DevTools, go to Settings then Ignore list. To learn more, see What's new in DevTools.

Chrome 116 beta: More than we can fit here

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Chrome 116 is a big release for extensions. You can now open side panels programmatically. A new method lets you learn if there's an active offscreen document. Service workers got serveral improvements. There's enough improvements in 116 that we've written a blog post to cover them. Chrome 116 is in beta as of July 19.

Blog post: What's happening in Chrome Extensions

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We've just published an overview of this year's changes and improvements to extensions. The post discusses the year's big new features, including the Side Panel API, service worker enhancements, and offscreen documents. You'll also get a peek at what we're working on for this quarter. The article lists much more, with links to all.

New guidance and sample: Learn how to use Google Analytics 4 in your Chrome extension

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We published new Google Analytics and geolocation guidance and samples:

Chrome 115: Specify multiple reasons in chrome.offscreen.createDocument()

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You can now specify multiple reason enums when calling chrome.offscreen.createDocument(). Use this when an offscreen document will be used for multiple different purposes. The browser uses the supplied reasons to determine the lifetime of the offscreen document.

New tool: Extension Update Testing Tool

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We've just released the Extension Update Testing Tool, a local extension update server that can be used for testing updates to Chrome Extensions during local development, including permission grants. The tool shows the user's update flow, including keeping an extension disabled until a user grants any newly requested permissions. This tool is particularly useful for simulating the permission changes requested when updating an extension from Manifest V2 to Manifest V3.

Chrome 114: New Side Panel API

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Introducing the new Side Panel API, a companion surface that allows users to access tools alongside the content they are browsing. To learn more, visit the Side Panel API reference. Additionally, we've added many side panel samples to our GitHub sample repository. We also share more about side panels in the new blog post Designing a Superior User Experience with the New Side Panel API. Our quality guidelines policy and best practices have also been reviewed to provide further guidance on creating high-quality side panel extensions.

Your feedback is important in crafting this API; please share your thoughts and feature requests in the chromium-groups. Stay tuned for new updates as we continue to enhance the Side Panel API.

New Samples: WASM in extensions

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There are two new samples available that demonstrate how to use WASM in an extension:

Special thanks to GitHub contributor @daidr for these samples.

Updated Manifest V3 migration guidance

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We've updated the Known Issues section of our Manifest V3 migration guidance with an updated list of extension platform gaps that we intend to close before announcing a new Manifest V2 deprecation timeline.

Recording audio and video with Manifest V3

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We've just published a new article called Audio recording and screen capture, which covers recording audio or video from a tab, window, or screen in Manifest V3. This article describes multiple approaches to recording involving the chrome.tabCapture API and the getDisplayMedia() function.

Chrome 114: Increased storage.local quota

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We have increased the quota for the storage.local property to approximately 10 MB. This was agreed to in the Web Extensions Community Group. This brings storage.local in line with storage.session which was changed in Chrome 112.

New extension service worker tutorial and help

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Service Workers are an integral part of Chrome Extensions. We just published a tutorial explaining the basics of registering, debugging, and interacting with Service Workers. We've also added a new Service worker guide explaining important concepts in more detail. We'll be expanding this section in the coming months.

More troubleshooting tips for Web Store violations

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To help with Chrome Web Store publishing, we added new guidance in two areas. Guidance for minimum functionality centers around providing users with benefits and enriching their browsing experience. Guidance for affiliate ads is about making users are aware of extensions using affiliate links or codes for monetization, and giving them some amount of control by requiring user action before inclusion.

New instructions for the Extension Manifest Converter

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We've rewritten the README for the Extension Manifest Converter to make it easier to see what you need to do after running the tool. The converter helps helps migrate extensions built on Manifest V2 to Manifest V3. The new README describes what the tool does using words that closely match those in the migration guide's checklist. The converter doesn't do everything, but it does eliminate many tasks that don't require a human judgement call.

Chrome 113: New reasons for offscreen documents

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We have added two new reason types to the Offscreen Documents API. Use LOCAL_STORAGE to access the web platform's localStorage API. Use WORKER when creating web workers.

Google Analytics 4 now in the Developer Dashboard

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The Chrome Web Store Developer Dashboard now supports Google Analytics 4 (GA4). We've simplified setting up Google Analytics and made access management for group publishers more straightforward. If you previously used Google Universal Analytics to track your store listing activity, you will need to take action by July 1, 2023 to ensure that you continue receiving data about your store listing. For more information, see the post on the Chromium Extensions Google Group.

The File Handling API comes to ChromeOS

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The File Handler API is available for experimentation on ChromeOS in Canary for versions 112 and 113. It lets extensions on ChromeOS open files with specified MIME types and file extensions. To implement file handling add a set of rules to the manifest.json. This feature works the same as for Progressive web apps. For more information, see the article elsewhere on this site.

To enable file handling:

  • Starting in 112, launch Chrome using the --enable-features=ExtensionWebFileHandlers flag, starting in 112
  • Starting in 113, paste os://flags/#extension-web-file-handlers into the Chrome omnibox and select 'Enabled' from the dropdown menu.

We hope to launch this feature in Chrome 115, in late June. Watch this space for updates.

New Samples: dynamic declarations and programmatic injection

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We've built a new sample for the chrome.scripting API. It demonstrates dynamic declarations, where a content script is registered at runtime, and programmatic injection, where a script is executed in a tab that is already open.

New Samples: Declarative Net Request use cases

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Three new samples are available demonstrating the Declarative Net Request API. Each demonstrates implementation of a single use case. The first shows how to block cookies. The remaining two demonstrate blocking and redirecting URLs.

Chrome 112: Increased storage.session quota

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From Chrome 112, the quota for the storage.session property has been increased to approximately 10 MB. This was agreed to in the Web Extensions Community Group: https://github.com/w3c/webextensions/issues/350

Chrome 109: Offscreen documents

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Offscreen documents are now available in Manifest V3 extensions. These help with the transition from background pages to extension service workers by providing support for DOM-related features and APIs. For more information, read the blog post.

Chrome 110: Is an extension enabled

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The chrome.action.isEnabled() method programmatically checks whether an extension has been enabled for a specific tab. This saves you from maintaining the enabled state of your tabs. This new method takes a tab ID and a reference to a callback and returns a boolean. It has one limitation: tabs created using chrome.declarativeContent always return false.

(The chrome.action namespace recently got new methods for controlling the appearance of extension badges. For more information, see Setting badge colors.)

Chrome 110: Change in service worker idle timeout

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Previously, an extension service worker would frequently shut down at the five minute mark. We've changed this behavior to more closely resemble service worker lifetime's on the web. An extension service worker will be shut down after either thirty seconds of inactivity or if a single activity takes longer than 5 minutes to process. For more information, see Longer extension service worker lifetimes.

Post: Pausing Manifest V2 phase-out

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The Manifest V2 deprecation timelines are under review and the experiments scheduled for early 2023 are being postponed. For more information, read the update in the chromium-extensions Google Group.

Chrome 110: Setting badge colors

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The chrome.action namespace has two new methods to give you more control over the appearance extension badges. The setBadgeTextColor() and getBadgeTextColor() methods allow an extension to change and query its toolbar icon's badge text color. When used with setBadgeBackgroundColor and getBadgeBackgroundColor these new methods let you enforce design and brand consistency.

Blog post: More details on the transition to Manifest V3

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We have clarified the Manifest V2 deprecation timeline. The Manifest V2 support timeline has also been updated to reflect this information.

Docs update: Known issues when migrating to Manifest V3

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We've put together a list of major features currently in development and open bugs. Our goal with this page is to help developers better understand the current state of the platform and what features they can target as they prepare for the future.

Chrome Web Store: "large promo tile" image upload removed

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Chrome Web Store has removed the "large promo tile" upload UI from the item Store Listing tab in the developer dashboard. This change does not affect the end user experience as these images were not used in the consumer UI. See this chromium-extensions post for additional details.

Chrome 106: Allow pages on file:// urls to access web accessible resources

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Opaque origins such as sandboxed iframes and dynamic import should also be able to access web accessible resources, according to crbug.com/1219825#c11.

Chrome 106: Fixed bug allowing incorrect final arguments on some async API functions

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Previously, Manifest V3 calling async APIs could provide an invalid final argument and Chrome would not error. With this fix Chrome will now correctly error and report that there was no matching signature. Developers are encouraged to check their extensions on Canary for any errors in case they accidentally using incorrect signature for an API call that will be broken by this bug fix.

Blog post: Chrome Web Store analytics revamp

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Chrome Web Store has a revamped item analytics experience for the Chrome Web Store Developer Dashboard. The new dashboard is easier to understand at a glance and consolidates the most useful information up front. Read the blog post for more information.

Chrome 105: promises for the Identity API

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Functions on the Identity API now support promise based calls. This comes with a slight change to the surface for identity.getAuthToken(), where the asynchronous return set to a promise based call will have "token" and "grantedScopes" as parameters on a single object (as opposed to the callback version receiving them as separate arguments to the callback).

Chrome 104: New favicons API for Manifest V3

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Manifest V3 extensions can now access favicons using a new URL pattern: chrome-extension://<id>/_favicon/, where is the ID of your extension. This replaces the Manifest V2 platform's chrome://favicons API. See the Favicon API docs for more information.

Docs update: Developer trader/non-trader disclosure

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Added the trader/non-trader developer identification that informs developers to accurately self-declare their trader/non-trader status.

Chrome 103: Wasm in Manifest V3 requires wasm-unsafe-eval

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Chrome no longer grants extensions script-src: wasm-unsafe-eval by default. Extensions that use WebAssembly must now explicitly add this directive and value to extension_pages in their content_security_policy declarations.

Chrome 103: Changing MV3 shortcuts take effect immediately

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When changing a Manifest V3 extension's keyboard shortcut on chrome://extensions/shortcuts, updates are now applied immediately. Previously the extension would have to be reloaded before the change would take effect.

Chrome 102: Dynamic content scripts in main world

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Dynamically registered content scripts can now specify the world that assets will be injected into. See scripting.registerContentScripts() for details.

Chrome 102: New manifest field "optional_host_permissions"

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Manifest V3 extensions can now specify the optional_host_permissions key in manifest.json. This allows Manifest V3 extensions to declare optional match patterns for hosts just as Manifest V2 extensions could using the optional_permissions key.

Chrome 102: injectImmediately property in scripting.executeScript()

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chrome.scripting.executeScript() now accepts an optional injectImmediately property on it's injection argument. If present and set to true, the script will inject into the target as soon as possible, rather than waiting for document_idle. Note that this is not a guarantee the script will inject before the page is loaded since the page continues to load while the API call is being made.

Chrome 102: Omnibox API support in Manifest V3

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The Omnibox API can now be used in service worker-based extensions. Previously, some of this API's methods would throw on invocation due to internal dependencies on DOM capabilities.

Chrome 102: wasm-unsafe-eval allowed in Manifest V3 CSP

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Manifest V3 extensions can now include wasm-unsafe-eval in their content_security_policy declarations. This change allows Manifest V3 extensions to use WebAssembly.

Chrome 102: New storage.session API

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Manifest V3 extensions can now use in memory storage storage.session .

Docs update: Chrome Web Store item discovery

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Discovery on Chrome Web Store gives an overview of how users find items on the Chrome Web Store and how our editors select items to feature.

Chrome 101: Improved declarativeNetRequest domain conditions

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declarativeNetRequest rule conditions have been updated to allow extensions to better target requests based on the request's "request" and "initiator" domains. The relevant condition properties are initiatorDomains, excludedInitiatorDomains, requestDomains, and excludedRequestDomains. See also this chromium-extensions thread.

Chrome 100: Resolved issue with scripting.executeScript() on newly created tabs

Fixed a longstanding issue where calling scripting.executeScript() on a newly created tab or window could fail.

Chrome 100: native messaging port keeps service worker alive

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Connecting to a native messaging host using chrome.runtime.connectNative() in an extension's service worker should keep the service worker alive as long as the port is open.

Chrome 100: omnibox.setDefaultSuggestion() supports promises and callbacks

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The omnibox.setDefaultSuggestion() method now returns a promise or accepts a callback to allow developers to determine when the suggestion has been properly set.

Chrome 100: i18n.getMessage() support in extension service workers

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The chrome.i18n.getMessage() API is now supported in extension service worker contexts.

Chrome 99: match_origin_as_fallback in Canary

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Content scripts can now specify the match_origin_as_fallback key to inject into frames that are related to a matching frame, including frames with about:, data:, blob:, and filesystem: URLs. See the content scripts documentation for details.

Chrome 99: extension service worker support for file: schemes in Canary

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Service worker-based Manifest V2 and Manifest V3 extensions can now use the Fetch API to request file:-scheme URLs. Access to file:-scheme URLs still requires that the user enable 'Allow access to File URLs' for the extension in the chrome://extensions page.

Chrome 99: promise support for messaging APIs in Canary

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Promise support has been added to tabs.sendMessage, runtime.sendMessage, and runtime.sendNativeMessage for extensions built for Manifest V3.

Docs update: Chrome Web Store review documentation

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Added a new reference page that provides an overview of the Chrome Web Store review process and explains how developer program policy enforcement is handled.

Chrome 98: scripting.executeScript() and scripting.insertCSS() accept multiple files

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The Scripting API's executeScript() and insertCSS() methods now accept multiple files. Previously these methods required an array with a single file entry.

Docs update: review violation troubleshooting updates

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The Troubleshooting Chrome Web Store violations page has been updated to provide developers with more detailed guidance for common reasons for rejection.

Chrome 96: expanded promise support to 27 more APIs

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This release contains significantly more promise updates than any previous release. Updates include both general and ChromeOS-specific extensions APIs. Expand the following sections for details.

Extensions APIs

A number of APIs now support promises in Manifest V3.

Also, APIs that use the ChromeSetting prototype now also support promises. The following APIs are affected by this change.

ChromeOS APIs

Chrome 96: dynamic content scripts

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The chrome.scripting API now supports registering, updating, unregistering, and getting a list of content scripts at runtime. Previously, content scripts could only be statically declared in an extension's manifest.json or programmatically injected at runtime with chrome.scripting.executeScript().

Docs update: Manifest V2 support timeline

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The Manifest V2 to V3 transition timeline was announced in this blog post and a more detailed timeline page was published.

Chrome 96: declarativeNetRequestWithHostAccess permission

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The new declarativeNetRequestWithHostAccess permission allows extensions to use the chrome.declarativeNetRequest API on sites the extension has host permissions for. This also enables existing Manifest V2 extensions that use webRequest, webRequestBlocking, and site-specific host permission to migrate to the chrome.declarativeNetRequest API without requiring the user to approve new permissions.

Chrome 95: inject scripts directly into pages

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The chrome.scripting API's executeScript() method can now inject scripts directly into a page's main world. Previously, extensions could only inject directly into the extension's isolated world. For more information on isolated worlds, see the documentation on content scripts.

Chrome 95: promise support for Storage API

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Methods on the Manifest V3 version of the chrome.storage API now return promises.

Policy update: two step verification enforcement

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The policy update blog post published on June 29, 2021 has been updated to correct the two step verification deployment timeline.

Chrome 94: declarative net request static ruleset changes

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The chrome.declarativeNetRequest now supports specifying up to 50 static rulesets (MAX_NUMBER_OF_STATIC_RULESETS) and enabling up to 10 rulesets (MAX_NUMBER_OF_ENABLED_STATIC_RULESETS) at a time.

Chrome 93: cross origin isolation support

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Both Manifest V2 and Manifest V3 extensions can now opt into cross origin isolation. This feature limits which cross-origin resources can load an extension's pages and enables the use of low level web platform features like SharedArrayBuffer. Opt in will be required starting in Chrome 95.

Policy update: developer program policies updated

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The Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies have been updated with clarifications to the deceptive installation tactics, spam, and repetitive content policies. This update also includes a new two step verification requirement to publish on the Chrome Web Store. Read the blog post for more information.

Blog post: extension actions in Manifest V3

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Chrome extensions had chrome.browserAction and chrome.pageActions APIs for years, but Manifest V3 replaced both with a generic chrome.actions API. This post explores the history of these APIs and what has changed in Manifest V3. Read the post.

Blog post: introducing chrome.scripting

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The chrome.scripting API is a new Manifest V3 API focused on, well, scripting. In this post we dig into the motivations for this change and take a closer look at it's new capabilities. Read the post.

Chrome 92: module service worker support

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Chrome now supports JavaScript modules in service workers. To specify a module a module in your manifest:

"background": {
  "service_worker": "script.js",
  "type": "module"
}

This loads the worker script as an ES module, which lets you use the import keyword in the worker's script to import other modules.

Chrome 91: chrome.action.getUserSettings()

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The new chrome.action.getUserSettings() method allows extensions to determine if the user has pinned the extension to the main toolbar.

Chrome 90: chrome.scripting.removeCSS()

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The new chrome.scripting.removeCSS() method allows extensions to remove CSS that was previously inserted via chrome.scripting.insertCSS(). It replaces chrome.tabs.removeCSS().

Chrome 90: returning promises from scripting.executeScript()

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chrome.scripting.executeScript() now supports returning promises. If the resulting value of the script execution is a promise, Chrome will wait for the promise to settle and return its resulting value.

Chrome 90: chrome.scripting.executeScript() results include frameId

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Results returned from chrome.scripting.executeScript() now include the frameId. The frameId property indicates the frame that the result is from, letting extensions easily associate results with the individual frames when injecting in multiple frames.

Chrome 89: new API for managing tab groups

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The new chrome.tabGroups API and new capabilities in chrome.tabs let extensions read and manipulate tab groups. Requires Manifest V3.

Chrome 89: customizable permissions for web accessible resources

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Web accessible resources definitions in Manifest V3 have changed to let extensions restrict resource access based on the requester's origin or extension ID.

Blog post: Extension Manifest Converter

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The Chrome Extensions team has open sourced "Extension Manifest Converter", a Python tool that automates some of the mechanical aspects of converting extensions to Manifest V3. See the announcement blog post and get it from GitHub.

Chrome 88: Manifest V3 general availability

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Manifest V3 is a major update to the extensions platform; see Overview of Manifest V3 for a summary of new and changed features. Extensions may continue to use Manifest V2 for now, but this will be phased out in the near future. We strongly recommend that you use Manifest V3 for any new extensions, and begin migrating existing extensions to Manifest V3 as soon as possible.