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, unless otherwise noted.
Please be aware that these policies pertain to your application/extension, henceforth referred to as "app", as well as any ads bundled or made available through the app. Note that these policies have the same meaning as in the Google Chrome Web Store Developer Agreement. Note also that 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, or sexually explicit material. We also don't allow content that drives traffic to commercial pornography sites. 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.
- Violent or Bullying Behavior:
- Depictions of gratuitous violence are not allowed. Apps should not contain materials that threaten, harass, or bully other users.
- Hate Speech:
- We don't allow content advocating against groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.
- Impersonation or Deceptive Behavior:
Don't pretend to be someone else,
and don't represent that your app is authorized by or produced by
another company or organization if that is not the case.
Products or the ads they contain also must not
mimic functionality or warnings from a user's operating system or browser.
Products must not contain false or misleading information,
including in the content, title, icon, description, or screenshots.
Here are some specific checks you can conduct to ensure your
item complies with our policies:
- Descriptions must directly state the functionality of the app so that users can understand the extension they are adding.
- Screenshots must demonstrate the functionality of the extension in action.
- Intellectual Property:
- 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.
- Illegal Activities:
- Keep it legal. Don't engage in unlawful activities in your Product, such as the sale of prescription drugs without a prescription.
- 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.
- Malicious Products:
- Don't transmit viruses, worms, defects, Trojan horses, malware, or any other items 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 password 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
- Prohibited Products:
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 item is associated with a security vulnerability that could be exploited to compromise another application, service, browser, or system, we may remove your item 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 item.
Deceptive Installation Tactics
Extensions must be marketed responsibly. 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 item 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 item listing window with the effect of withholding or hiding extension metadata from the user.
For more information about this policy, please reference the Developer FAQ.
Spam & Placement in the Store
Developers are important partners in maintaining a great user experience in the Chrome Web Store.
- Do not post repetitive content.
- Do not use irrelevant, misleading, or excessive keywords in app descriptions, titles, or metadata. Please ensure that your item has a description that clearly and directly relates the functionality of your extension.
- Do not attempt to change the placement of any Product in the store or manipulate any Product ratings or reviews by unauthorized means, such as fraudulent installs, paid or fake reviews or ratings, or offering incentives to rate Product`s.
- Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to link to a website not owned by the developer.
- Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to install or launch another app, theme, or extension. For example, if your app's primary function is to launch a desktop app that the user has already installed, that is not allowed. Another example is a Chrome App that just launches a website.
- Your app must comply with Google's Webmaster Quality Guidelines.
- Your app or extension may not directly or indirectly engage in or benefit from installation tactics that deceive the user or otherwise violate the Unwanted Software Policy. We may revoke your app or extension's ability to use Inline Installation if we detect any association with deceptive practices, including deceptive ads and landing pages, or installation patterns that suggest user confusion. Please see this FAQ for more information.
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, and
- In the Product's inline installation page (if applicable).
- 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.
- Other Requirements
- 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.
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 Chrome Apps & Extensions
Ads are considered part of your Product for purposes of content review and compliance with developer terms. Therefore, we would like to remind you that all of the above content policies apply. Ads which are inconsistent with the content rating of your apps or extension are also in violation of our developer terms. Please take care to use advertising that does not violate Chrome Web Store Developer Terms.
- Ads Context and Attribution:
- Ads must be presented in context or clearly state which app or extension they are bundled with. Ads must also be easily removable by either adjusting the settings or uninstalling the app or extension altogether. Ads may not simulate or impersonate system notifications or warnings.
- Ad Walls:
- Forcing the user to click on 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 app or extension 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' source 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 Chrome Extensions or Chrome Apps, 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, such as an email notifier and a news headline aggregator, or downloads a local executable. 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. For example, functionality that displays product ratings and reviews, but also injects ads into web pages, should not be bundled into a single extension. Similarly, 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. Please see this FAQ for more information.
Starting July 1, 2017, extensions must use the designated Chrome API for any changes to a user setting for which an API exists, including the Settings Overrides API (that has APIs for the default homepage, search provider, and startup page) and the URL Overrides (that has APIs for the Bookmark Manager, History Page, and New Tab Page).
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.
In the event that your Product is removed from Chrome Web Store, you will receive an email notification to that effect. Serious or repeated violations of the Developer Distribution Agreement or these Program Policies will result in account termination. 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.