Google Chrome Web Store has thousands of free extensions and themes to customize the browser. However, the extensions you install on Chrome will have full control of all the sites you visit. Many users do not know that it is possible to adjust what extensions can do on the browser. If you want to customize each extensions permissions in Chrome, here is how you can do that.
Chrome Extension’s Permissions
After installing the extension there are few ways you can go to the extension’s settings page to change the permissions. In this article, we will explain with one of the popular ad blocker extensions called “Adblock Plus – free ad blocker”. Though the process remains same, some extensions may have additional or different menu controls. Here are some of the controls you can change with each installed extension on Chrome.
- Disable individual or all extensions temporarily
- Setup site access
- Allow or disable in incognito mode
- Controlling extensions behavior on the page
- Individual options for extensions
1. Disabling Extensions
Extensions are the general cause of slowing down your browser. When you have problem, it is possible to temporarily disable an extension on all sites.
- Click on three vertical dots icon showing on top right corner of Chrome browser. on hovering the mouse, it should read as “Customize and control Google Chrome”.
- Go to “More Tools” and then select “Extensions” menu.
- Here you will see all the installed extensions on your browser. Note that, you can also reach this screen by simply going to chrome://extensions/ URL in the address bar.
- Simply turn the button off against any of the extension that you want to disable. You can also disable all the extensions and enable one by one when troubleshooting the problems.
2. Setup Site Access
Instead of disabling an extension completely, you can allow or disallow on the desired sites.
- Click on “Details” button below an extension when you are in the Chrome extensions page.
- Here you can find the list of permissions allowed for the extension. As you see the ad blocker extension can read and change all your data on all websites.
- If you do not want to provide access to all sites, then click on the On all sites” dropdown showing under “Site access” section.
- Select “On specific sites” option to see a pop-up like below.
- Type the website address and click “Add” button.
- You will see the added website as a list and an option to add additional webpages. Any time you can click on the three vertical dots icon showing against the webpage, to edit or remove it from the list.
This will make the extension to work only on the sites in the allowed list. Note that selecting “On Click” option will disable the extension by default. It will be activated on the webpage only when you click on the extension icon. In addition, you can also enable or disable the extension’s access file URLs like images, PDF or Excel files that can be accessed on the browser.
3. Allow or Disable in Incognito Mode
By default. Chrome will disable all extensions when you open the browser in incognito mode. However, you can decide to enable an extension in incognito mode by turning on “Allow in incognito” option in the settings page. This is useful to allow extensions like ad blocker to work in incognito mode.
4. Controlling Extensions Behavior on the Page
It is also possible to control the permissions and behavior of extensions when you are viewing a webpage in Chrome. To do that click on the puzzle icon showing beside the address bar. Click on the “More actions” icon showing as three vertical dots.
Again click “This Can Read and Change Site Data” menu to view the available options:
- Activate the extension only when you click on the icon
- Enable only on the site you are currently viewing
- Allow on all the sites
Here, the option you setup on the settings page as explained in above section 2 will be selected by default. In our case, we have allowed only on google.com and hence you see the extension is allowed when opening google.com. However, the extension will be disabled if you open bing.com or any other website and the option will be defaulted as “When You Click the Extension”. This means, it is possible to click on the extension and activate it on any site even you only allow certain sites in the settings.
When you allow the extension on the page (for example, selecting “On bing.com” option), the webpage address will be automatically added to the setting’s page list. You will be prompted to reload the page for using the extension on the page.
You can go to settings and see that the allowed page is added to the “Site access” list.
Note: If you change the settings back to “On all sites” or “On click”, then all previously added site details will be deleted for “On specific sites” option. You have to manually add them again.
5. Individual Options for Extensions
Some extensions like ad blockers offer numerous settings to customize the usage. Click on the puzzle icon, then the three dots against the extension and select “Options” from the list. Depending upon your extension, you will see the available options. after installing an extension, we recommend you to check this “Options” pages to customize the usage. For example, Adblock Plus allows you to block push notifications and social tracking only if you manually enable these checkboxes under extension’s “Options” page.
By default, Chrome extensions can read all the data you are viewing and typing on all webpages. It includes the password and confidential data you enter on login pages. Therefore, it is necessary for you to change the extensions permissions in Chrome to allow only on the pages you visit instead of all sites. You can change extension’s permissions either from the webpage you visit or by going to Chrome extensions settings page. In addition, make sure to check whether your extension offer any other custom settings under “Options” section.