Google to kill Chrome’s plugin management option

As you may already know, the Chrome browser allows you to enable or disable installed plug-ins like Adobe Flash, the PDF plugin and Widevine, the DRM content decryption plugin. However, with Chrome 57, this option will no longer be available.


The user being able to manage plugins is very important. But Google is about to remove the entire chrome://plugins page, which provides the plugin management user interface.

Chrome Plugins Page

But that's not all. Not only is Google going to remove the plugins page but Chrome will enable all plugins with the next update, even if you have disabled some of them. So with Chrome 57, all plugins will be enabled if they are installed on your PC.

While some plugins like Flash or the PDF plugin have the appropriate option to disable them, some of them have no option to disable them. The Widevine plugin, for example, can't be disabled in any way besides the chrome://plugins page.

Chrome Flash Options The only option to disable such a plugin for Chrome 57 is to delete the plugin's files.

To remove the Widevine plugin in on Windows, you should delete the following folder (thanks Martin):

C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\[Chrome Version]\WidevineCdm

In Linux, it is implemented via the *.SO file at the following location:

/opt/google/chrome/libwidevinecdmadapter.so

Note: This is the actual path for Linux Mint. Your distro may use another path. That depends on the package maintainer.

You can locate this file in Linux as follows. Open your favorite Terminal and type the command

find / -name libwidevinecdmadapter.so

This will show you where it is located.

Don't forget to close the Chrome browser before you delete its files.

Google claims that plugins like PDF, Widevine CDM and NaCl are an essential part of their browser and shouldn't be disabled by the user.

Some users are extremely unhappy with this move. They consider this change as an attempt to monopolize the web and make DRM a part of web standards.

What about you? What do you think about this change to Google Chrome? Tell us in the comments.

5 thoughts on “Google to kill Chrome’s plugin management option

  1. Rick Grunwald

    That is easy … I will just stop using the Chrome browser. I like Opera just as well
    What IS it with these companies that think they need to take over the computer and direct it to their corporate goals. I don’t believe for a minute that money isn’t exchanging hands for the privilege of force feeding us programs we do not want

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I hope Opera won’t do the same.
      Chrome and Opera are Chromium based browsers. The source code of Chromium is controlled by Google, so I won’t be surprised if the plugin manager will disappear from everywhere.

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  2. Alicia

    i am really NOT happy about Google changes to Google Chrome! :( :( :(

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  3. David Martin

    A very Microsoft-like step. I’ll have to see how it works it real life, but I agree that it’s like to push me (and others) back to Firefox.

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  4. Davis Jacobs

    There is a new browser that is quite secure, blocks ads, etc. called Brave. Works well for me in both Windows and Mac. Not sure how it behaves in Linux but give it a try.

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