Enable or Disable Extension Toolbar Menu in Google Chrome

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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.

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.

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

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.
  4. Launch Google Chrome using the modified shortcut.




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.
  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.

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

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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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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

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

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

    1. 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.

        1. 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

        1. Ditto, 5/30/2021 no listing for the extensions toolbar menu.

          Guess they took it out.

          SO frustrating when browser folks make a change that isn’t helpful to me.

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

    1. If they hadn’t removed the option, it would be done exactly the same in Google Chrome on a Mac or windows, or even Linux.

  4. With the coming of Chrome v91 there is no need to add the ‘–disable-features…’ instruction to the target as pressing the Extensions icon gives you the ability to pin/unpin extensions. You do have to remove that instruction though as the ‘pin’ option doesn’t work if it is there.

    1. But still no option to REMOVE or DISABLE the Extension Manager Toolbar puzzle piece icon for folks who don’t want to use it and free up space on the toolbar.

      At least as of 5/30/2021 Version 91.0.4472.77 (Official Build) (64-bit)

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