Google again changes how the infamous Manifest V3 will reach Chrome users. It gives developers one more year for using Manifest V2-based add-ons, including ad blockers. The latter heavily depend on features that were removed from the latest Manifest, making content filtering less effective.
Manifest V3 defines what extensions can and can't do, and has certain limitations that Manifest V2 content blockers did not have. Specially, it limits the number of rules for extensions that reduced ad blocker efficiency.
Initially, Google set the end of life date for Manifest V2 extensions to January 2023. But now the company shifts the deadline to 2024 and reveals t he following details.
- January 2023: with Chrome 112, Google will provide experimental flags to disable support for Manifest V2 in pre-release channels, i.e. Beta, Dev and Canary.
- Extensions that use Manifest V2 will no longer have the "featured" badge in Web Store.
- June 2023: with Chrome 115, the flags to turn off Manifest V2 will be available in all Chrome versions, including stable.
- New Manifest V2 extensions will not be allowed for publishing.
- Existing Manifest V2 extensions will be unlisted.
Interestingly, Google didn't name the exact date on when Manifest V2 extensions will stop working in Chrome. Instead, the company noted that this may happen at any moment.
Extension makers are already working on Manifest V3 versions of their software. Two popular ad blockers, uBlock Origin and Ad Guard, already have the updated versions that take the new restrictions into account. As you could expect, both add-ons have less features than their Manifest V2 counterparts.
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