When Google launched the Chrome App 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.
However, it looks like Google is now beefing up on security and disallowing users from installing extensions, apps and user scripts from outside the Chrome Web Store. 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 Greasemonkey 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.