Published on November 27th, 2023
Say Goodbye To Ad-Free Browsing? 5 Key Takeaways
- Chrome Extension Phaseout
- Impact on uBlock Origin Users
- Gradual Rollout and User Feedback
- Manifest V3 Enhancements
- Positive Response from AdGuard
Google is set to phase out older ‘Manifest V2‘ Chrome extensions, marking the end of the current version of uBlock Origin, a popular ad blocker for the browser.
The phaseout is scheduled to commence in June 2024, with Google disabling older Chrome extensions built with the “Manifest V2” system.
Users affected by the rollout will see Manifest V2 extensions automatically disabled, and they won’t be able to install such extensions from the Chrome Web Store.
Initially, the phaseout will only cover Manifest V2 extensions on beta versions of Chrome, including the Dev and Canary builds.
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The company has not specified when it will extend the disabling of Manifest V2 extensions to the stable release of Chrome.
Google plans to roll out this change gradually, gathering user feedback and data to ensure Chrome users understand the transition and can explore alternative, up-to-date extensions.
The news has raised concerns among uBlock Origin fans on Chrome, with worries that Google’s move may result in an increase in ads.
Google’s attempt to phase out Manifest V2 in favor of Manifest V3, aimed at providing better security for Chrome extensions, has faced resistance from ad-block providers.
Manifest V3 also has the potential to restrict access to content filtering on the Chrome browser.
A year ago, Google paused the winding down of Manifest V2 due to developer complaints.
However, the company has now announced the resumption of the phaseout, incorporating several enhancements to Manifest V3.
These improvements include “improving content filtering support by providing more generous limits in the declarativeNetRequest API for static rulesets and dynamic rules.”
Ad-block provider AdGuard has responded positively to the ongoing changes.
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AdGuard CTO Andrey Meshkov mentioned Google’s progress on V3, noting that the company has been responsive to feedback from third-party developers.
Meshkov stated that despite losing some functionality, ad blockers will still be able to offer nearly the same quality of filtering demonstrated with Manifest V2.