Prevent Users from Installing Extensions on Google Chrome

How to Prevent Users from Installing Extensions on Google Chrome. System administrators often apply various kinds of restrictions to the software on the local network in order to secure the operating system and apps. Even such innocuous things as extensions and themes in the Google Chrome browser can be harmful, so admins often restrict them. However, this may be needed not only by a system administrator, but also by an ordinary user who has decided to increase the level of security on the child's home computer. So let's take a look at how to prevent users from installing extensions in Google Chrome.

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If you have a Windows edition with a Local Group Policy Editor installed, e.g. Windows 10 Pro, use the following method. Windows 10 Home users should use option two below that involves editing the Registry. First of all we need to install the Group Policy templates for Google Chrome.

Install Chrome Group Policy Templates

  1. Download the archive with the Group Policy templates from the official Google website (here's a direct link).Download Chrome Templates
  2. Extract the archive contents it to any folder location of your choice.Extract Chrome Templates To Any Folder
  3. Open the Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc).
  4. Right-click on the Computer configuration > Administrative Templates item on the right and select Add / Remove Templates from the menu.Add Remove Templates In Group Policy Editor
  5. Click the "Add" button in the next window.Add Button In The Templates Dialog
  6. Specify the path to the chrome.adm template in the path-to-the-unpacked-archive \ windows \ adm \ en-US folder.Add Chrome Templates To Local Group Policy
  7. Wait for a couple of seconds for the chrome line to appear, click on the Close button in the Add/Remove dialog.Close The Templates Dialog
  8. Once added, you will get a sub-item Classic Administrative Templates (ADM). It hosts the required policies.Classic Administrative Templates ADM

Since you have added the policy templates for Google Chrome, you can now use them to apply restrictions to the extension list in the browser. Here's how.

How to Prevent Users from Installing Extensions on Google Chrome

  1. Open gpedit.msc.
  2. Navigate to Classic Administrative Templates (ADM)\Google\Google Chrome\Extensions on the left.Prevent Users From Installing Extensions On Google Chrome 1
  3. On the right, double-click on the Configure extension installation blocklist entry.Configure Extension Installation Blocklist entry
  4. Set the policy to Enabled and then click on the Show... button under Options.Prevent Users From Installing Extensions On Google Chrome 3
  5. In the Show content window that opens, double-click in the first text row in the Value column and type asterisk (*), which means that Chrome is prohibited from installing any extensions.Prevent Users From Installing Extensions On Google Chrome 4
  6. Save all settings in all open windows.

You are done!

If you now try to install the extension to your browser, you will see the "Blocked by admin" warning message.

Prevent Users From Installing Extensions On Google Chrome 5

Now let's imagine that you need to exclude some extensions from being blocked and allow their installation. It is an easy task.

How to allow installation of certain extensions

  1. Go to the extension page on Google Web Store.
  2. Copy its identifier from the address bar. It is highlighted in the screenshot below.Chrome Extension ID
  3. In the Group Policy editor, double click on the Configure the list of allowed extensions policy.Classic Administrative Templates ADM
  4. Set the policy to Enabled and click the Show button.Set The Policy To Enabled And Click The Show Button
  5. Paste the previously copied extension ID into the Value box.Allow Installation Of Certain Extensions In Chrome
  6. Repeat the above steps for all extensions you need to whitelist.
  7. Re-open the Chrome browser if you have it running, and install the required extensions.Extension Installation Whitelisted In Chrome

Finally, if you are running Windows 10 Home, the Local Group Policy editor is not available in this edition of the OS. Here's an alternative solution you can use.

Prevent Users from Installing Chrome Extensions in Windows 10 Home

  1. Download the following ZIP archive with REG files: Download ZIP Archive.
  2. Extract the contents to any folder of your choice. It includes two files  - block all extensions.reg and whitelist extensions.reg.
  3. Open these files with Notepad and correct them according to your preferences. Each extension identifier is noted as string parameters under numbers "1", "2" , "3" and so on.Prevent Users From Installing Chrome Extensions in Windows 10 Home
  4. After editing the files, save them and double click on them to apply the changes.
  5. Re-open the Chrome browser if you have it running.

How it works

The above registry files modify the following Registry keys:

  • For whitelist: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome\ExtensionInstallAllowlist
  • For blocked extensions: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome\ExtensionInstallBlocklist.

Each of the subkeys can have string (REG_SZ) values named  "1", "2" , "3" and so on. Each of the values contain IDs of the extensions you need to block or whitelist.Windows 10 Home Block Chrome Extension Installation

The added identifiers are given purely for example, they will correspond to the IDs of your extensions. If you need to add several extensions to the whitelist, create entries 2 , 3 , 4, 5, 6 and so on according to the example, put the "equal" sign and enclose the extension identifier in double quotes, and then merge the registry file.

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