When Chrome was first released back in September 2008, the only thing that kept many Firefox supporters from switching was the sheer number of add-ons that Firefox offered.
By 2010, the number of extensions in the Chrome Web Store had already surpassed 10,000. The total number of extensions available today is no longer publicly displayed, but it is estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands.
As the Chrome extension library grows, so does the risk of installing and enabling extensions that can cause problems. While the Chrome Web Store has rules to prevent malicious extensions from entering, some of them do.
Likewise, there are some extensions that simply infringe on user privacy more than necessary. Often we bite the bullet and take the good along with the bad – some extensions are hard to live without. However, did you know you can control the permissions of Chrome extensions?
Instead of going into details on how to uninstall Chrome extensions, let’s talk about how to tame them!
How to change Chrome extension permissions
How to change permissions for Chrome extensions
There are two different ways to change permissions for Chrome extensions, and both involve changing the site’s access to the extensions.
The first way is to interact with the extension icon in the extensions panel, and the second is to directly modify the list of site domains in the extension settings. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Change Chrome Extension Permissions Using Extension Icons
The Chrome Extension Bar is the area of ??the browser to the right of the address bar where you see several icons of installed extensions.
If you right-click the icon of one of the extensions and hover over “This can read and modify site data”, you will see three options that allow you to quickly change the permissions of the extension:
- to the extension
- On the site you are currently visiting.
- On all sites
In the first option, the extension does not have read / edit access by default until you click the icon. The other two speak for themselves.
This is useful if you have one particularly loud extension. If one of your extensions is constantly using network data or sending you notifications, limiting it to one of these settings is a great way to get it under control without completely removing it.
Change Chrome permissions. Extensions by extension settings
If you like the function of restricting the sites on which the extension can read and modify data, but do not want to visit each site separately, you can enter them manually in the extension’s settings.
To do this, click on the hamburger menu icon to the right of the extensions bar, then navigate to More Tools and Extensions.
A full page of all the extensions you installed will open. For the extension for which you want to change permissions, click the Details button below it.
On the next page, you will see the same three options as seen through the extension bar icons. However, if you select “On Specific Sites” here (assuming this was not initially selected), you will be able to add sites at separate URLs.
If the extension you are modifying already had this option selected, or after you added at least one site, you will see a complete list of allowed sites. From there, you can add or remove others from them.
You shouldn’t let Chrome extensions control your browser. Unfortunately, Chrome extensions by default require so much control over reading and modifying site data, but you can at least change the permissions for those that are causing noticeable problems in these two ways.