Developer Program Policies
The developer program policies listed below play an important role in maintaining a positive experience for everyone using Chrome Web Store. These policies apply to the entire user experience of your application/extension/theme, unless otherwise noted.
Please be aware that these policies pertain to your software, content, and digital materials created for use in connection with Google Chrome and distributed via the Chrome Web Store, including applications, extensions, and themes, as well as any ads bundled or made available through the product. These policies have the same meaning as in the Google Chrome Web Store Developer Agreement. There are additional quality guidelines that apply to Chrome Apps and Chrome Extensions. Be sure to check back from time to time, as these policies may change.
Our content policies apply to your Product's content, including any ads it shows to users and any user-generated content it hosts or links to. Further, they apply to any content from your developer account that is publicly displayed in Chrome Web Store, including your developer name and the landing page of your listed developer website. Products that include content that may not be suitable for all ages should be marked "Mature" on the Developer Dashboard.
Sexually explicit material
We don't allow content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, sexually explicit material, or content that drives traffic to commercial pornography sites. We also don't allow content that promotes incest, bestiality, necrophilia, or non-consensual sexual acts. Google has a zero-tolerance policy against child pornography. If we become aware of content with child pornography, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and delete the Google Accounts of those involved with the distribution. Content which contains non-sexual nudity - such as artistic, educational, scientific, or cultural nudity - is generally allowed, but may impact the visibility of your Product.
Violent or bullying behavior
Depictions of gratuitous violence are not allowed. Products should not contain materials that threaten, harass, or bully other users. For example, Products should not contain:
- Content which makes a specific threat of serious harm against an individual person or a defined group of people.
- Content whose predominant purpose is to single out another person for abuse, malicious attack, or ridicule. Content that results in the unwanted sexualization of a person, including malicious claims about a person's sexual activities, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
- A series of posts/comments/photos that, taken together, clearly have the primary intention of harassment, even if each individual piece of content is not severe.
We don't allow content advocating against or inciting hatred towards groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or any other characteristic that is associated with systematic discrimination or marginalization.
Additionally, the visibility of your Product may be impacted if it contains generally hateful content not covered by the above definition.
We remove content that recruits, fundraises, or promotes violence on behalf of extremist groups defined by the US State Department and other international organizations. Violent extremism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims or goals outside of societal norms.
Impersonation or deceptive behavior
Don't pretend to be someone else, and don't represent that your product is authorized by, endorsed by, or produced by another company or organization, if that is not the case.
Developers should not divert users or provide links to any other site that mimics the Chrome Web Store or passes itself off as the Chrome Web Store. Your Product and its user experience also must not mimic functionality or warnings from a user's operating system or browser.
Any changes to device settings must be made with the user's knowledge and consent and be easily reversible by the user.
We do not allow products that deceive or mislead users, including in the content, title, description, or screenshots.
Don't misrepresent the functionality of your product or include non-obvious functionality that doesn't serve the primary purpose of the product. Descriptions of your product must directly state the functionality so that users have a clear understanding of the product they are adding. For example, products should not contain:
Claimed functionalities that are not possible to implement (e.g. "Who has viewed your social media account") or which are not directly provided by the extension (e.g. file converters which only link to other file conversion services)
Any metadata that misrepresents the extension's or developer's current status or performance on the Chrome Web Store (e.g. "Editor's Choice" or "Number One").
If your product has a blank description field or is missing an icon or screenshots, it will be rejected. If any of your product's content, title, icon, description, or screenshots contains false or misleading information, we may remove it.
The Chrome Web Store features products that align with our standards, values, and that we believe will produce valuable user experiences. Certain products that don't meet these standards, but which do not explicitly violate CWS policies - such as VPN extensions and Video Downloaders - may be restricted from being featured in the Store, but will still be available to users. For example, the following products are currently not featured in the CWS Store:
- Religious or political content
- Video Downloaders
- Anti-Virus tools
- Content deemed not family friendly
- Non-production builds
- Prohibited products
- Gambling content
- Extensions whose developers have questionable reputations, such as historically misleading or malicious extensions.
Don't infringe on the intellectual property rights of others, including patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, and other proprietary rights. We will respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement. For more information or to file a DMCA request, use this tool. Additionally, the visibility of your Product may be impacted if we believe it potentially infringes on intellectual property rights.
Keep it legal. Don't engage in or promote unlawful activities in your product, such as rape, illegal sex work, or the sale of prescription drugs without a prescription. We will remove content which promotes, glorifies, or encourages dangerous or illegal activity that may result in physical harm to those involved.
We don't allow content or services that facilitate online gambling, including but not limited to online casinos, sports betting, lotteries, or games of skill that offer prizes of cash or other value.
Regulated goods and services
We do not allow the facilitation of the sale of regulated Products or services. Regulated goods include pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco, fireworks, weapons, gambling, or health/medical devices.
Don't transmit viruses, worms, defects, Trojan horses, malware, or any other products of a destructive nature. We don't allow content that harms or interferes with the operation of the networks, servers, or other infrastructure of Google or any third-parties. Spyware, malicious scripts, and phishing scams are also prohibited in the Chrome Web Store.
Code readability requirements
Developers must not obfuscate code or conceal functionality of their extension. This also applies to any external code or resource fetched by the extension package. Minification is allowed, including the following forms:
- Removal of whitespace, newlines, code comments, and block delimiters
- Shortening of variable and function names
- Collapsing files together
Two step verification
To ensure the security of CWS accounts, two step verification is required for all developer accounts prior to publishing an extension or updating an existing extension. Developers can activate two step verification for their Google Accounts here. More information on Google's two step verification features can be found here.
Additional requirements for Manifest V3
Extensions using Manifest V3 must meet additional requirements related to the extension's code. Specifically, the full functionality of an extension must be easily discernible from its submitted code. This means that the logic of how each extension operates should be self contained. The extension may reference and load data and other information sources that are external to the extension, but these external resources must not contain any logic.
Some common violations include:
- Including a <script> tag that points to a resource that is not within the extension's package
- Building an interpreter to run complex commands fetched from a remote source, even if those commands are fetched as data
Communicating with remote servers for certain purposes is still allowed. For instance,
- Syncing user account data with a remote server
- Fetching a remote configuration file for A/B testing or determining enabled features, where all logic for the functionality is contained within the extension package
- Fetching remote resources that are not used to evaluate logic, such as images
- Performing server-side operations with data (such as for the purposes of encryption with a private key)
If our reviewers are unable to determine the full functionality of your extension during the review process, we may reject your submission or remove it from the store.
We don't allow products or services that:
- Facilitate unauthorized access to content on websites, such as circumventing paywalls or login restrictions
- Encourage, facilitate, or enable the unauthorized access, download, or streaming of copyrighted content or media
- Mine cryptocurrency
If your product is associated with a security vulnerability that could be exploited to compromise another application, service, browser, or system, we may remove your product from the Chrome Web Store and take other measures to protect users. In such an event, you may be contacted about remediation steps required to restore the product.
Deceptive installation tactics
Extensions must be marketed responsibly. The set of functionalities promised by the extension must be stated clearly and in a transparent manner. The outcome of any user interaction should match the reasonable expectations that were set with the user. Extensions that use or benefit from deceptive installation tactics will be removed from the Chrome Web Store.
Deceptive installation tactics include:
Unclear or inconspicuous disclosures on marketing collateral preceding the Chrome Web Store product listing.
Misleading interactive elements as part of your distribution flow. This includes misleading call-to-action buttons or forms that imply an outcome other than the installation of an extension.
Adjusting the Chrome Web Store product listing window with the effect of withholding or hiding extension metadata from the user.
Bundling other extensions or offers within the same installation flow.
Requiring unrelated user action to access advertised functionality.
For more information about this policy, please see the Developer FAQ.
Spam and placement in the store
Developers are important partners in maintaining a great user experience in the Chrome Web Store.
We don't allow any developer, related developer accounts, or their affiliates to submit multiple extensions that provide duplicate experiences or functionality on the Chrome Web Store. Extensions should provide value to users through the creation of unique content or services.
Keyword Spam is the practice of including irrelevant or excessive keywords in an extension's description in an attempt to manipulate its ranking, resulting in a spammy, negative user experience. We don't allow extensions with misleading, improperly formatted, non-descriptive, irrelevant, excessive, or inappropriate metadata, including but not limited to the extension's description, developer name, title, icon, screenshots, and promotional images. Developers should focus on providing a clear and well-written description that uses keywords appropriately and in context.
Some examples of Keyword Spam include:
- Lists of sites/brands/keywords without substantial added value
- Lists of regional locations
- Unnatural repetition of the same keyword more than 5 times
- Unattributed or anonymous user testimonials in the product's description.
User ratings, reviews, and installs
Developers must not attempt to manipulate the placement of any extensions in the Chrome Web Store. This includes, but is not limited to, inflating product ratings, reviews, or install counts by illegitimate means, such as fraudulent or incentivized downloads, reviews and ratings.
Do not post an extension with a single purpose of installing or launching another app, theme, webpage, or extension. Extensions with broken functionality—such as dead sites or non-functioning features—are not allowed.
We do not allow extensions that abuse, or are associated with abuse, of notifications by sending spam, ads, promotions, phishing attempts, or unwanted messages that harm the user's browsing experience.
We don't allow extensions that send messages on behalf of the user without giving the user the ability to confirm the content and intended recipients.
In addition to these requirements, all extensions must comply with Google's Webmaster Quality Guidelines.
For additional information about the spam policy, see the Spam FAQ.
For information about Product ranking, please see these FAQs.
User data privacy
You must be transparent in how you handle user data (e.g., information provided by a user or collected about a user or a user's use of the Product or Chrome Browser), including by disclosing the collection, use, and sharing of the data. You must limit your use of the data to the practices you disclosed. This policy establishes the Chrome Web Store's minimum user data privacy requirements; you or your Product must comply with applicable laws.
Please see this FAQ.
Personal or sensitive user data
If your Product handles personal or sensitive user data (including personally identifiable information, financial and payment information, health information, authentication information, website content and resources, form data, web browsing activity, user-provided content and personal communications), then your Product must:
- Handle the user data securely, including transmitting it via modern cryptography.
- In the designated field in the Chrome Web Store Developer Dashboard.
Prominent disclosure requirement
If your Product handles personal or sensitive user data that is not closely related to functionality described prominently in the Product's Chrome Web Store page and user interface, then prior to the collection, it must:
- Prominently disclose how the user data will be used, and
- Obtain the user's affirmative consent for such use.
The following types of personal or sensitive user data are also subject to additional requirements:
|Type of User Data||Requirement|
|Financial or Payment Information||Don't publicly disclose financial or payment information|
|Authentication Information||Don't publicly disclose authentication information|
|Web Browsing Activity||Collection and use of web browsing activity is prohibited except to the extent required for a user-facing feature described prominently in the Product's Chrome Web Store page and in the Product's user interface.|
Limited uses of user data
Upon accessing personal and sensitive user data for a single purpose, your use of the user data obtained must comply with the below requirements. The requirements apply to both the raw data obtained and the data aggregated, anonymized, de-identified, or derived from the raw data. They also apply to scraped content or otherwise automatically gathered user data.
- Limit your use of user data to providing or improving your single purpose
- Only transfer user data to third parties
- If necessary to providing or improving your single purpose;
- to comply with applicable laws;
- to protect against malware, spam, phishing, or other fraud or abuse; or,
- as part of a merger, acquisition or sale of assets of the developer after obtaining explicit prior consent from the user.
- Do not allow humans to read user data, unless:
- the user's explicit consent to read specific data for example, helping a user re-access the product or a service after having lost their password) is obtained;
- the data is aggregated and anonymized and used for internal operations in accordance with applicable privacy and other jurisdictional legal requirements;
- it's necessary for security purposes (e.g., investigating abuse); or,
- to comply with applicable laws.
All other transfers, uses, or sale of user data is completely prohibited, including:
- Transferring, using, or selling data for personalized advertisements.
- Transferring or selling user data to third parties like advertising platforms, data brokers, or other information resellers.
- Transferring, using, or selling user data to determine credit-worthiness or for lending purposes.
Use of permissions
Request access to the narrowest permissions necessary to implement your Product's features or services. If more than one permission could be used to implement a feature, you must request those with the least access to data or functionality.
Don't attempt to "future proof" your Product by requesting a permission that might benefit services or features that have not yet been implemented.
Ads in products
Ads are considered part of your Product for purposes of content review and compliance with developer terms, and therefore must comply with the above content policies. Ads which are inconsistent with the content rating of your products or extension are also in violation of our developer terms.
Ads context and attribution
Ads must be presented in context or clearly state which product they are bundled with. Ads must also be easily removable by either adjusting the settings or uninstalling the product altogether. Ads may not simulate or impersonate system notifications or warnings.
Forcing users to click ads or submit personal information for advertising purposes in order to fully use an app or extension provides a poor user experience and is prohibited.
Interfering with third-party ads and websites
Ads associated with your product may not interfere with any ads on a third-party website or application. You may show ads alongside a third-party website only if all of the following criteria are met:
- This behavior is clearly disclosed to the user.
- There is clear attribution of the ads' sources wherever those ads appear.
- The ads do not interfere with any native ads or functionality of the website.
- The ads do not mimic or impersonate the native ads or content on the third-party website, and the ads adhere to the content policy on impersonation and deceptive behavior.
Currently, AdSense may not be used to serve ads in products, per AdSense policies.
Extensions quality guidelines
An extension must have a single purpose that is narrow and easy-to-understand. Do not create an extension that requires users to accept bundles of unrelated functionality. If two pieces of functionality are clearly separate, they should be put into two different extensions, and users should have the ability to install and uninstall them separately.
Common violations include:
- Functionality that displays product ratings and reviews, but also injects ads into web pages.
- Toolbars that provide a broad array of functionality or entry points into services are better delivered as separate extensions, so that users can select the services they want.
- Email notifiers combined with a news aggregator.
- PDF converters which also aim to change a users default search engine.
Please see this FAQ for more information.
Extensions must use existing Chrome APIs for their designated use case. Use of any other method, for which an API exists, would be considered a violation. For example, overriding the Chrome New Tab Page through any means other than the URL Overrides API is not permitted.
Chrome Apps quality guidelines
To ensure a great user experience, Chrome Apps distributed through the Chrome Web Store must follow the additional quality guidelines listed below. The guidelines in this section apply only to Chrome Apps.
Packaged Apps should:
- Take advantage of the capabilities of the platform and not wrap around existing websites or simply launch a webpage without providing additional functionality.
- Detect an offline state and clearly message that state to the user.
- Recover automatically from loss of Internet connectivity, and should resume normal functioning when connectivity is restored without the user having to restart the app.
Packaged and Hosted apps should not:
- Require a local executable, other than the Chrome runtime, to run.
- Provide a webview of a website that is not owned or administered by you.
- Download or execute scripts dynamically outside a sandboxed environment such as a webview or a sandboxed iframe.
- Misuse notifications by sending spam, ads, promotions of any kind, phishing attempts, or unwanted messages in general.
Accepting payment from users
If you collect sensitive personal information through your Product for sales, you must follow these requirements:
- You must securely collect, store and transmit all credit card and other sensitive personal information in accordance with privacy and data security laws and payment card industry rules.
- You must avoid misleading users. For example, clearly and honestly describe the products or services that you are selling and conspicuously post your terms of sale (including any refund and return policies).
- If your Product requires the user to pay to obtain basic functionality, you must make that clear in the description that the user sees when choosing whether to install it.
- You must clearly identify that you, not Google, are the seller of the products or services.
- Regardless of the method of payment, you may not process payment transactions that are prohibited for Google Checkout under the Google Checkout Seller Terms of Service. This includes any illegal transaction or the sale or exchange of any illegal or prohibited goods or services, including the prohibited products set forth in the Content Policies for Google Checkout.
Serious or repeated violations of the Chrome Web Store distribution agreement or these program policies will result in the suspension of your developer account, and possibly related developer accounts. Additionally, you may be banned from using the Chrome Web Store. In extreme cases, this may also result in the suspension of related Google services associated with your Google account. Repeated infringement of intellectual property rights, including copyright, will also result in account termination. For more information on Google's copyright policies, please use this tool.
Any attempt to circumvent intended limitations or enforcement actions will result in the immediate termination of your developer account, and possibly related developer accounts.
Notifications and appeals
In the event that your product is removed from Chrome Web Store, you will receive an email notification to that effect, with further instructions if applicable. Please verify that the associated publisher account with your product can receive emails from external parties and not get flagged as spam to ensure that you receive all communications in a timely manner.