Chrome extensions: clarifying our extension policies for a safer, more consistent web store

Rebecca Soares
Rebecca Soares
Benjamin Ackerman
Benjamin Ackerman

Update Aug 4, 2021: It may take several weeks for the Two Step Verification requirement to be enforced across all Chrome Web Store accounts. This post has been updated to reflect this clarification.

Over the years we've made a number of product and policy improvements to help ensure that people can safely install extensions on the Chrome Web Store. As part of this work, we've updated best practices, and named undesirable behaviors in key areas like security and trust. Today we're updating our security requirements and further clarifying a few policies to keep the quality of extensions high, and the experience for developers consistent:

Deceptive installation tactics update

  • Offering multiple extensions as part of the same installation flow isn't allowed. Similarly, extensions can't disruptively upsell other extensions or apps. Such behaviors violate our Deceptive Installation Tactics and Notification Abuse policies.

  • The set of functionalities promised by extensions must be stated clearly and in a transparent manner. All principal and significant features of your extension must be clear to the user and not buried in unrelated text.

  • The outcome of any user interaction should match the reasonable expectations that were set with the user.

  • Requiring unrelated user action to access promised functionality is not allowed.

Spam and repetitive content

  • Multiple extensions with highly similar functionality, content, and user experiences are considered repetitive. If these extensions are each small in content volume, and provide the same single purpose, developers should create a single extension that aggregates all the content. For example, publishing multiple wallpaper extensions, when these would be better served as a single extension, is prohibited.

Two step verification

  • Developers are required to enable Two Step Verification for their Google Account in order to publish new extensions, or to update existing extensions.

Taken together, these policy clarifications help preserve the wide variety of extensions in the Chrome Web Store — from productivity tools to shopping helpers — while also respecting user choice and strengthening security.

The Deceptive Installation Tactics and Repetitive Content policy clarifications will go into effect on August 2, 2021. After that date, extensions in violation of these clarified policies may be removed from the Chrome Web Store and disabled.

The Chrome Web Store will begin enforcing the Two Step Verification requirement in August, 2021. Once this enforcement is applied to a given developer's account, they will no longer be able to publish new or update existing extensions until they enable Two Step Verification. It may take several weeks for this requirement to be enforced across all accounts.

We're grateful to both users and developers for helping us make the Chrome Web Store a safe and secure way to extend the browser. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Photo by Marco De Hevia on Unsplash