How to manage Chrome app and extension permissions?

By ivan.diskin | January 16, 2019 |

greater than 4 minutes

In December 2018, Google finally made good on its promise to provide users with the ability to control extensions on the Chrome browser. Typically, when you install extensions, you are forced to give them privileges that allow them to read all the data on the websites you visit. Some changes are on the way.

During the installation operations for an extension, a prompt often shows up to get the required permissions. Now, given the changes made in the new Chrome update, users are no longer expected to see such prompts when they are installing an extension.

If the extension is specific enough in requesting access to read and change the data on all the websites you visit, you will have to agree (and click on the Add extension button). Nevertheless, the most important thing here is that you can now easily revoke the permission you once afforded to a particular extension.

How to control Chrome extensions permissions?

Here, we have to assume that the extension (whose permissions you are trying to control) is currently active and its icon is visible on your toolbar on the Chrome program window. In that case, go through the steps below:

Right-click on the extension icon on your toolbar, then point to “This can read and change site data.” At this stage, you get to select your preferred option for this extension. See the choices below:

  • When you click the extension: If you go with this option, the extension will be allowed to view your data only after you click on it. Invariably, the accessed data comprises of the content of your current tab (the tab you are on when you click on the extension).
  • If you installed an extension to perform a specific task whenever you visit a site, the extension will not do its job unless you click on it (if this option is in use).
  • On (your current website): This option implies that the extension gets to see or work with the data from your current site. In other words, the capabilities to access data from other sites are severely restricted.
  • On all sites: This option is the default setting for the vast majority of extensions. With this setup in place, the extension is allowed to view data from all sites and alter things if it wants to. This way, the extension can execute operations or perform specific tasks whenever you load up websites without any input from you.

Well, we have just provided a brief explanation on the options that are available to control the privileges afforded to extensions on Chrome. Carefully go through the details and make the right choice. Factors like how frequently you use the extension, what you use it for, and how strongly you trust it should influence your decision.

Now, you can still push through the installation of an extension fast enough, then later decide on the permissions you want to give it.

How to see all the websites an extension has access to on Chrome; How to customize the allowed websites list?

Besides the recently introduced options that let you provide extensions with varying level of privileges, Chrome also allows you to manage the list of specific websites that an extension is allowed to view data from or work on. The required parameters or settings are accessible from the main Extension menu.

Go through the instructions below:

  • First, you have to click on the Menu icon (the image formed from 3 dots arranged vertically on your Chrome program window). Wait for a list of options to show up, then click on More tools. Select Extensions (from the short list).
  • At this point, we have to believe you are on the Extensions screen. Go through the extensions there and locate the extension that you want to control. Click on the Details button for it.
  • You should see the Allow this extension to read and change all data on the websites you visit setting. Click on the drop-down menu on the right to see the available options. Select On specific sites.
  • Under the Allowed sites menu, you should see the list of websites the extension is currently allowed to view data from or alter things. You should be able to take things up from here.

If you want to put a website on the list, all you have to do is click on the Add button and input the URL of the site. Similarly, if you want to get rid of an allowed website on the list, you have to locate its URL, then click on the Remove button beside it.

We know too well that Google Chrome is ahead of the curve when it comes to providing options that users can employ to control and manage extensions. Besides being the first browser to introduce a permission system for its extensions, it has gone a step further to provide the capabilities needed to control extensions individually.

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