Chrome Starts Blocking Extensions, Apps and Greasemonkey Scripts Outside Chrome Store

When Google launched the Store, it was one a good step ahead to provide users with Extensions and apps from a centralized location. However, Chrome still allowed users to install extensions and user scripts from any website making it a little insecure.

Chrome Blocking Extensions

However, it looks like Google is now beefing up on security and disallowing users from installing extensions, apps and user scripts from outside the . Users will now be prompted with a message saying “Extensions, apps and user scripts can only be added from the Chrome Web Store” when they try to install something which is not part of the Chrome Web Store.

While this is a good thing, it means that and Stylish scripts will stop working out of the box now unless a users changes Chrome’s settings or till they are included as a part of the Chrome Web Store.

So will users be able to still install extensions and scripts that are not part of Chrome Web Store? Well, the answer is Yes. Earlier this month, Martin from GHacks had posted about this problem and the potential fix. The fix is listed in a Chrome bug report which says:

You are no longer supposed to be able to install extensions off-store in Chrome. See  bug 55584  for details.

In order to install off-store extensions, the user must download them to a directory and drag them onto chrome://extensions/.

I intend to polish this UI a bit to hide the download bar so that people don’t click on it. I’d also like to add some UI that tells users that extension install is disabled off store or something, but we still haven’t figured out what that will look like.`

The bug referred in the above fix was a feature request which will allow enterprise users to disable users from installing extensions outside the Chrome Store while providing them with an option to whitelist other sources through an admin interface.

So dragging and dropping those extensions and user scripts to the extension page should currently allow you to install those extensions. You can also completely disable this feature by loading Chrome with the “–enable-easy-off-store-extension-install” flag. However, this is not recommended.

*Please note that the blocking currently does not happen in stable builds of Google Chrome.

Make Chrome Canary the Default Browser on Windows/Mac

has several versions of their browser which includes the stable version, beta version and development version. However, users can only run one instance of them at any given time. Google does provide another cutting-edge version called the Canary build. The Canary build is a nightly build and contains untested code and features which will be introduced in other version of Chrome at a later stage.

Chrome Canary Default Browser

I prefer to use Google Canary builds because they usually contain cutting edge technologies and newer features which are not yet available in other versions and gives me a chance to test them out. However, the one thing I have had a problem with the Canary version is that Google does not allow you to set it as the default browser.

The explanation they give for it is that it is a secondary installation of Chrome and cannot be set as the default browser. Well, that is a problem for me because some times the dev version (which I also used) was buggier than the Canary version and was not updated as frequently to address the reported bugs.

So I decided to find a way to set the Google Chrome Canary version as default and found a neat registry hack at this forum. All you have to do is download a simple registry file listed in the forum post and edit it to replace your username in the Registry.reg file. Once you have done that just double click and click on the “Yes” button when prompted to add the entries to your registry.

After you have inserted the registry entry, Chrome Canary will be set as your default browser. If you are looking to reverse that, just head to control panel and change the default application or use your browsers’ preference to set it back as the default browser. The forum in question requires you to register before you download the file as an alternative, you can download the file directly from here.

For Mac users all you need to do is run Safari and then head to preferences and change the “Default web browser” to Canary from the dropdown menu. You can visit this site to find visual instructions for doing that.

Google Chrome Profiles Get Cheekier – Add Icons and More Functionality

A few months ago, I had spoken about few new features in . One of the new feature was Multiple Profiles in Chrome. The Google Chrome Profile switcher allowed users to create multiple profiles using different Google accounts. While that feature was in it’s infancy earlier on, it has grown to a full fledged profile manager in the latest development and canary builds of Google Chrome.

Google Chrome Profiles

One of the new additions to Google Chrome profile manager is the ability to choose different icons for different profiles you create as seen in the screenshot above. This is similar to what you would see in an operating system like , Ubuntu, Mac OS X and now too.

The newer profile switcher now resides in the left-hand corner of the browser and provides options to switch icons for your profile, customize it, delete it and also create new Google Chrome profiles.

Google Chrome Profiles Canary

However, this is not just it. Both the Development and Canary versions of Google Chrome now contain a better profile which allows you to easily create new profiles. The Canary build also contains newer icons which are not seen in the development build. This is similar to what I have seen in and Windows 7. However, I would also like to see an option to specify custom images for different profiles in the upcoming builds.


As I told you earlier, Google Chrome dev and canary versions also have a revamped version for the profile manager which looks and feels like a regular operating system. However, one thing I found problematic with the new profile creator is that users have to use the "Customize your profile" option to add a Google account for synching data manually. It would have been better if Google implemented a wizard where they would allow users to create as well as customize the entire Google Chrome profile in one go.

Another good thing about the new feature is that switching between multiple profiles is instant and very fast. This can be very helpful when you want to quickly switch between your home and work profiles without delay. Think of it as a "Boss Key" Winking smile.

Overall, I found that the new Google Chrome profiles are cheekier than before and have been simplified. There is still more work to be done. I will wait and watch how it eventually pans out.

Google Chrome To Include Profile Switcher For Multiple Profiles

Update: Google Chrome 13 now supports creating multiple profile for different windows. Check out this post on the new changes in Google Chrome 13.

is one of the best browsers available today and with the Chrome Sync feature, it allows you to easily sync all your bookmarks, passwords, extensions, themes and auto-fill across multiple browsers. Chrome Sync is definitely a good option, however, users still face a problem if they want to have separate profiles for work and home.



The latest Canary Build of Google Chrome 12 (v12.0.741.0 canary build) now has a new feature which will allow you to have Multiple Profiles for different Chrome Windows. According to the description of the feature, Multiple Profiles associates every browser window with a profile, and adds a profile switcher in the upper right corner. Every profile has its own bookmarks, extensions, apps, etc..


Once you enable the Multiple Profiles feature, you will see a profile switcher at the right hand side corner. Users will be able to seamlessly switch between different profiles by clicking on this.   Users can also create a new profile through the switcher or through the options as seen in the first screenshot.

The Multiple Profiles feature seems to be under work right now and does not allow users to create a second profile yet. However, it looks they might add the new feature soon and ship it to the canary and development channel.

Multiple Profile is definitely a great feature and one that I have been waiting for a long time. To enable Multiple Profiles in Chrome (Canary Build Only) type about:flags in your address bar and head to the bottom of the page. Once there, enable “Multiple Profiles” feature and restart the browser.

Google Chrome 12 Now Available in Canary Build

Barely a few days after Google released the Google Chrome 10 to the stable channel. They have updated the Canary Build to Google Chrome 12. Chrome Development channel is still on 11 which means that it will get rolled out to other channels soon.

Google Chrome 12

The latest version has been bumped to 12.0.701.0 whereas the current development build is at version 11.0.696.3. I haven’t seen any new changes to the user interface or settings in this build, but I do know that there are some really big changes in them.

I will continue looking at what changes have been pushed to this build and will update this post with more information about them. One thing I am happy though is that couple of bugs I had reported have been fixed in this build.

Google Chrome 10 Available In Canary Build, 2 Times Faster Than Chrome 9

10 is now available in the Canary build of the browser. The new update includes the Crankshaft technology for the V8 JavaScript engine. The new Canary build is currently at version 10.0.603.3 and is definitely faster than the current Chrome 9 on the dev channel.

Google Chrome 10

I ran a test using Chrome’s V8 Benchmark suite and Chrome 10 almost has a 50% 70% increase in performance over Chrome 9 as you can see. This bodes well with the claim Google made about Crankshaft almost doubling Chrome’s current speed.


Google Chrome Canary Build is not for the for the faint-hearted, it is based upon code which is untested so you might want to stay away from it if you don’t like crashes. However, you can install Canary Build as a separate installation so it should not be a problem as such. Interested? Go ahead and download Chrome Canary build from here

(Source: DSQ)