Chrome is now starting to block extensions downloaded from outside its Web Store. Google argues the move is meant to block nefarious activity, as most problems occur with extensions downloaded from other sources. To that end, there is currently no way to allow any extensions to be downloaded from outside sources.
The announcement came last November, when Google told Developers of their intentions to make this policy change. Though they pushed the “go live” date to today, Developers had a workaround of sorts. They could either put their wares on the Web Store, or suffer in the vast realm of non-compliance.
Even more troubling is that those extensions which are already in your browser, but may not be from the Web Store, will no longer work. The Web Store scans apps and extensions for malware, which is why they want those extensions running through their portal. Fro now, this only affects Windows users.
“From now on, to protect Windows users from an attack, extensions can be installed only if they're hosted on the Chrome Web Store. With this change, extensions that were previously installed may be automatically disabled and cannot be re-enabled or re-installed until they're hosted in the Chrome Web Store” said Erik Kay, in a Chrome Blog post. He did note Developers can still take advantage of the Enterprise solutions they’ve come to know. Those on the Windows Developer Channel are also unaffected.