Enable or Disable Extension Toolbar Menu in Google Chrome

How to Enable or Disable Extension Toolbar Menu in Google Chrome

Google has launched a new experiment. For some users, Chrome is hiding extension icons by default. Instead of adding them to the right of the address bar, the browser hides them behind an extension menu.

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The extension toolbar menu is not a new feature. It was already announced last summer.

When the menu enabled, you can hide redundant extension buttons from the toolbar.

When the user clicks the puzzle piece icon, the extension menu opens and displays a list of all enabled extensions the user has installed. The extension list is grouped by the level of data access the extension has on the currently selected tab.

Chrome Extension Menu

Right-click on an extension and select 'Unpin' from the context menu.

Chrome Unpin Extension Button

With today's change, Google updates the behavior of the extension menu. Earlier, the user had to unpin the extension icons manually. Now, icons are hidden by default for all the installed extensions, making them harder to spot. This change has already been criticized by developers and experienced users who believe the solution is confusing to the end user.

If you want to give it a try, do the following.

To Disable Extension Toolbar Menu in Google Chrome

  1. Close Google Chrome.
  2. Right-click its desktop shortcut and select Properties from the context menu.
  3. Add --disable-features=ExtensionsToolbarMenu after the chrome.exe portion in the shortcut target box.Disable Extension Toolbar Menu Button In Google Chrome
  4. Launch Google Chrome using the modified shortcut.

Done!

Before:Chrome Extensions Toolbar Menu Button Defaults

After:

Chrome Extensions Toolbar Menu Button Disabled

You can find extra details for this method HERE.

There is also a legacy method that involves the flag. It doesn't work in Chrome 87 and above any longer.

Enable or Disable Extension Toolbar Menu with a flag

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Type the following text into the address bar: chrome://flags/#extensions-toolbar-menu.
  3. Select Enabled from the drop-down list next to the 'Extensions Toolbar Menu' option to enable the menu.Chrome Enable Extensions Menu
  4. Setting it to Disabled will disable the extension menu.
  5. Restart Google Chrome by closing it manually or you can also use the Relaunch button which will appear at the very bottom of the page.Google Chrome Relaunch Button

You are done! Now the browser shows a new button on the toolbar which hosts all browser extension buttons in a group.Chrome Extension Menu

The menu contains the Manage extensions link for convenience.

Try to install an extension now. It will go into the new menu.

Note: You can enable the similar extension menu in Microsoft Edge.

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9 thoughts on “Enable or Disable Extension Toolbar Menu in Google Chrome

  1. Ираида

    Большое спасибо! Очень удобно! Гораздо удобнее, чем раньше – всё в куче. :-)

    Reply
  2. Andrew Johnson

    I came here looking to REMOVE THE PUZZLE PIECE Extensions icon. Instead, you told me how to remove the extensions!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      No. You are wrong.
      Setting the flag chrome://flags/#extensions-toolbar-menu to Disabled will disable the puzzle button.
      This is what the article about.

      Reply
      1. Andrew Johnson

        NO, it does not!!!! The POS icon is back and, once again, CAN NOT BE REMOVED!!!!

        Reply
        1. Competent User

          Well I just got rid of the puzzle piece and kept all my extensions by using this guide so perhaps you need to follow the instructions more closely

          Reply
  3. Steven Parker

    Thanks, yet another Chrome “improvement” that requires more actions to complete a task. DISABLED!

    Reply
  4. ste

    Everything dumbed down (purposefully) because google and co think we are morons…..and morons are easy to control.

    Reply
  5. Michael Pilgrim

    doesn’t work

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It works in Chrome 87.
      In which version of the browser you are trying the above steps?

      Reply

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