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 Extensions News tag lists articles about some of the topics listed here. (It even has an RSS feed.) The Chrome schedule lists stable and beta release dates.
Chrome 118: Changes to opening file: scheme URLs
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
Previously navigation triggered from extension API calls for
windows.create() emitted an error for some chrome:// URLs. Additionally, calling
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
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
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
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
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
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
We published new Google Analytics and geolocation guidance and samples:
- An updated version of our Google Analytics guidance explaining how you can use Google Analytics 4 in your Chrome extension. We've also added a working Google Analytics 4 sample to our Github sample repository. Check out
google-analytics.jsfor the relevant code related to Google Analytics.
- A new Geolocation guide and three samples demonstrating how to access geolocation in service workers, content scripts, popups and side panels.
Chrome 115: Specify multiple reasons in chrome.offscreen.createDocument()
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
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
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
There are two new samples available that demonstrate how to use WASM in an extension:
- Using WASM in Manifest V3 shows the general method for including a WASM module.
- Using WASM as a module in Manifest V3 shows how to use it in a module.
Special thanks to GitHub contributor @daidr for these samples.
Updated Manifest V3 migration guidance
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
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
Chrome 114: Increased storage.local quota
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
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
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
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
Google Analytics 4 now in the Developer Dashboard
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
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=ExtensionWebFileHandlersflag, starting in 112
- Starting in 113, paste
os://flags/#extension-web-file-handlersinto 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
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
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
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
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 109: Is an extension enabled
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.
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
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
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 108: Setting badge colors
chrome.action namespace has two new methods to give you more control over the appearance extension badges. The
getBadgeTextColor() methods allow an extension to change and query its toolbar icon's badge text color. When used with
getBadgeBackgroundColor these new methods let you enforce design and brand consistency.
Blog post: More details on the transition to Manifest V3
Docs update: Known issues when migrating to Manifest V3
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
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
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
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
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
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
Manifest V3 extensions can now access favicons using a new URL pattern:
chrome://favicons API. See the Favicon API docs for more information.
Docs update: Developer trader/non-trader disclosure
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
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
Chrome 103: Changing MV3 shortcuts take effect immediately
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
Chrome 102: New manifest field "optional_host_permissions"
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
Chrome 102: injectImmediately property in scripting.executeScript()
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
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
Manifest V3 extensions can now include
wasm-unsafe-eval in their
content_security_policy declarations. This change allows Manifest V3 extensions to use WebAssembly.
Docs update: Chrome Web Store item discovery
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
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
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
This change did not fully address the underlying issue. We will share another update when we are confident that native messaging ports are behaving as intended.
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
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
chrome.i18n.getMessage() API is now supported in extension service worker contexts.
Chrome 99: match_origin_as_fallback in Canary
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
filesystem: URLs. See the content scripts documentation for details.
Chrome 99: extension service worker support for file: schemes in Canary
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 99: promise support for messaging APIs in Canary
Docs update: Chrome Web Store review documentation
Chrome 98: scripting.executeScript() and scripting.insertCSS() accept multiple files
Docs update: review violation troubleshooting updates
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
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.
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.
Chrome 96: dynamic content scripts
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
Docs update: Manifest V2 support timeline
Chrome 96: declarativeNetRequestWithHostAccess permission
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
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
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
Methods on the Manifest V3 version of the
chrome.storage API now return promises.
Policy update: two step verification enforcement
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
Chrome 93: cross origin isolation support
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
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
Chrome extensions had
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
Chrome 92: module service worker support
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()
chrome.action.getUserSettings() method allows extensions to determine if the user has pinned the extension to the main toolbar.
Chrome 90: chrome.scripting.removeCSS()
Chrome 90: returning promises from scripting.executeScript()
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
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
Chrome 89: customizable permissions for web accessible resources
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
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
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.