4 Common Chrome Extension Issues & How to Fix them

Chrome browser extensions are an awesome tool, But they can cause a lot of problems if they’re installed incorrectly, We’ve assembled some common issues that readers have come across, and how to fix them, If you’re a web developer or a tech-savvy business owner looking for tips on how to get the most out of your extensions, this is a great place to start.

The extension isn’t working

If your extension isn’t working, it could be for a few reasons, First, make sure you have the latest version of the extension and that you have the latest version of Chrome, If it still isn’t working, try clearing your browser cache and cookies and restarting your browser, Try using the Extension Developer Tools (EDT) to view basic information about the extension, Some of this information is available in the browser’s help section, but make sure to read this article to determine if your extension’s information is accurate or not, For more detailed feedback, head to the extension’s support page.

Your browser likely has a feature similar to the one in the screenshot below, BUT, you won’t get much help there, You turn the extension’s icons to checkboxes to see if they work, and you check the box indicating that something has changed, But that’s it, Have you ever asked Google Assistant one question, then realized you didn’t remember to log something in the next minute? Here’s a simple trick that could help you catch these forgetful moments.

With the Google Assistant extension installed on Google Chrome, just ask Google to log you in at any time, While some Google accounts require a photo to sign in, you can just type in your username without a photo, Now, whenever you make an entry in Chrome, Google will remind you to save your photo, Any additional activities the next time you log in will automatically pull your saved photo into the confirmation dialog, SUPER COOL, One of the greatest uses of extensions is the ability to make thanks or to tip other people, If you install one of the popular Chrome extensions, you can use it to make thank-you or tip other people, Much like We Quit, it doesn’t require you to have a vested interest in the tip, however, Just type “thank you” into the Chrome extension interface, The extension will prompt you to enter your Amazon Prime account information.

The extension keeps crashing my browser

The extension keeps crashing my browser, I’ve tried different browsers but the same thing happens, what can I do to fix this? There are a few reasons why the extension might be crashing your browser, The most common one is that the browser doesn’t support certain features that our extension uses, In that case, please use a different browser, Another common reason is that your accounts have been disabled or restricted for an extension, If you need to change the extension settings for one version, please don’t change them again for other versions,

Currently, we have two versions of this extension and we’ve had trouble with each one, Check out this help article for more information on how to change your extensions, Why aren’t the translation features working? It might be related to the permissions that your extension has, All extensions have the ability to collect information, Some extensions don’t have the necessary permissions, Your extension may also be using a different account from your regular Chrome, Please check your extension permissions to see what permissions are needed, If something seems bad (not working, doesn’t look right…) is it something I should remove or install a different extension for? Usually, we recommend that you just leave your extension because sometimes features get misconfigured; it’s worth installing another extension to make sure features are working properly and organized.

But please don’t delete your extension, It may help if we could fix the problem for you, My extension is a cryptocurrency miner, Is there a way to disable that? If you are a cryptocurrency miner and you don’t want the extension messing around with your CPU or GPU cooling, you’re going to need to disable it and install a different extension, I have several Chrome extensions, and how do I keep track of which ones I’ve installed? You can use the extensions information settings in the security section, like in the image below, When you type a browser into the search bar, you’ll see a list of extensions that are installed on your computer,

I can’t find my extension

I’m not a big fan of extensions, but if you’re going to use them, there are some things you should know:

1) Extensions should be applied by a professional, They’re not that hard to apply, but if you’re doing it yourself you’re more likely to make a mistake, For power users, getting a professional extension developer to do it for you is definitely worth it,

2) Extensions cost money, We get it, If you have millions of dollars to spend, you likely have more resources than a single web developer can muster, If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend working with a professional extension developer,

3) Search engines don’t like extensions, Extensions must have a “trusted sites” status to show up in search results pages, just like regular websites, So the only places search engines can find extensions are in the official Chrome Web Store and in extensions pages on webmasters’ or SEO agencies’ websites,

4) Some extensions are destined for hell, For example, OneZero published a report that found more than 77 popular extensions had been forcibly removed from Google’s curated extensions store after their owners found they were breaking the computer versions of Google Chrome, So if you share a developer’s personal data, a hacker could theoretically take over your Chrome browser and abuse your extensions like a virtual PC, with full control over your installation, Worst-case scenario, all your personal data could be sold on the dark web, a place where people often buy illegal goods and services, If you’re putting your data at risk, it makes sense to work with hackers and keep your extensions up to date,

5) Don’t let extension developers add your personal data to their extensions without your permission, If you have a problem with an extension in question, please reach out to the developer or the website it was installed from to find out what they’re planning to do about it, If the extension developer or website owner changes their mind, you can always uninstall the extension though.

I had to uninstall my Chrome extensions because it’s been hacked

The worst thing that can happen to a web developer is having their site hacked, If you’ve been working on a site for a long time, you probably have your own set of browser extensions that you use all the time, I personally have a lot of extensions installed on my computer, Their purpose might be good, but there’s a chance they could do something malicious (for example, tracking you), Different browser extensions need different privileges to access various parts of your site, This is to prevent hackers from having full control over your site and potentially hijacking it.

For example, you may have the basic functionality of wordpress.com without installing the widgets extension to have yourself widgets at specific locations across your site, Some news sites have this, whereas others don’t, I often see this mistake made by low-level operators who aren’t familiar with the permissions that the extension author has given them, Regardless of which browser extensions you have installed, having unapproved extensions on your site will cause problems.

Some can be exploited even when you don’t know they’re there, For example, if you have the standard Google Analytics extension installed, you’ll see a lot of details about how visitors interact with your website, Knowing this information may reveal a lot of information about your site’s vulnerabilities, Any time there’s a vulnerability, this is an opportunity for a bad actor to take advantage of your site, Filtering out extensions doesn’t work, For security, you should only install and use approved extensions on a site you control and that you have complete visibility over.

To make your extensions more secure, ensure you don’t allow anyone to edit your extensions, The way to do this is by signing into any extensions manager you use and turning on “Sign-In Required” on the extensions page, You can add an HTML comment at this juncture to stop someone from editing the extension in the future, Before After Unfortunately, this doesn’t work if you have random untrusted people on your site installing extensions,

Conclusion:

You can avoid these problems by making sure that you install your extensions correctly and that you keep them updated regularly,

The problem is that you can’t guarantee that every single extension you install will keep working when you upgrade to a new version of Chrome, There are a few extensions that are exceptions to this rule, but they’re pretty rare, Extensions can break after a critical number of upgrades, Or they can become slow to load, There are multitudes of reasons an extension might stop working, though, which we’ll cover in this piece, For now, here are some of the likely reasons that Chrome extensions would stop working.

This is the most common reason for browser extensions to stop working, Google will stop supporting certain extensions or features after a certain number of months, Rather than risk losing that support, a lot of extensions disable a function or stop working altogether, This is done for both Preinstall and Enable on Page, In the case of a security extension, Google has a little bit of information on them: Unsupported extensions, For any other non-critical extensions, Chrome will either disable them or stop making them available altogether, Depending on what extensions you use, disabling critical functionality might be a good idea for some extensions while uninstalling a competitor might be just fine for others.

These extensions and others may be affected by a specific choice Google made, Just to be clear, disabling or not removing extensions is not a condition Google has stated makes Chrome stable, The problem is that whenever an extension stops working, it can leave the user feeling insecure, Some extensions may even have a monopoly on what functions are available to you, This means all of the following don’t work, There’s no perfect answer for what to do when Google stops supporting certain extensions, The best bet for most users is to disable permissions on these extensions.

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