Chrome Web Store

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Chrome Web Store
The The Chrome Web Store as seen on Chrome
The Chrome Web Store as seen on Chrome
Launch dateDecember 2010; 12 years ago (2010-12)

Chrome Web Store is Google's online store for its Chrome web browser. As of 2022, Chrome Web Store hosts about 123,000 extensions and 29,000 themes.[1]


Chrome Web Store was publicly unveiled in December 2010,[2] and was opened on February 11, 2011, with the release of Google Chrome 9.0.[3] A year later it was redesigned to "catalyze a big increase in traffic, across downloads, users, and total number of apps".[4] As of June 2012, there were 750 million total installs of content hosted on Chrome Web Store.[5]

Some extension developers have sold their extensions to third-parties who then incorporated adware.[6][7] In 2014, Google removed two such extensions from Chrome Web Store after many users complained about unwanted pop-up ads.[8] The following year, Google acknowledged that about five percent of visits to its own websites had been altered by extensions with adware.[9][10][11]


Malware remains a problem on Chrome Web Store.[12][13][14][15] In January 2018, Researchers from security firm ICEBRG found four malicious extensions with more than 500,000 combined downloads.[12][16] In February 2021, Google blocked "The Great Suspender", a popular extension with 2,000,000 users after it was reported that malicious code was added to it.[17][18][19]

Chrome used to allow extensions hosted on Chrome Web Store to also be installed at the developer's website for the sake of convenience.[20] But this became a malware vector, so it was removed in 2018.[21]


  1. ^ "Breaking Down The Chrome Web Store". ChromeStats. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  2. ^ Kincaid, Jason. "Sales Are At A Trickle On Google's The Chrome Web Store". TechCrunch. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  3. ^ Kay, Erik; Boodman, Aaron (February 3, 2011). "A dash of speed, 3D and apps". Chrome Blog. Google. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  4. ^ Empson, Rip (5 December 2011). "New The Chrome Web Store Proves To Be A Boon For Developers Above (And Below) The Fold". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  5. ^ Vikas SN (2012-06-29). "The Lowdown: Google I/O 2012 Day 2 – 310M Chrome Users, 425M Gmail & More". MediaNama. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
  6. ^ "Adware vendors buy Chrome Extensions to send ad- and malware-filled updates". Ars Technica. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  7. ^ Bruce Schneier (21 Jan 2014). "Adware Vendors Buy and Abuse Chrome Extensions".
  8. ^ Winkler, Rolfe (19 January 2014). "Google Removes Two Chrome Extensions Amid Ad Uproar". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Ad Injection at Scale: Assessing Deceptive Advertisement Modifications" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-06-05.
  10. ^ "Superfish injects ads into 5 percent of all Google page views". PC World. IDG.
  11. ^ "Superfish injects ads in one in 25 Google page views". CIO. IDG. Archived from the original on 2019-12-11. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  12. ^ a b "Security firm ICEBRG uncovers 4 malicious Chrome extensions - gHacks Tech News". 16 January 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  13. ^ "Google's bad track record of malicious Chrome extensions continues - gHacks Tech News". 11 May 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  14. ^ "Chrome Extension Devs Use Sneaky Landing Pages after Google Bans Inline Installs". BleepingComputer. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  15. ^ "Chrome's inline extension install ban already bypassed - gHacks Tech News". 11 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  16. ^ "Google Chrome extensions with 500,000 downloads found to be malicious". Ars Technica. 17 January 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  17. ^ "Google kills The Great Suspender". Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  18. ^ "The Great Suspender Chrome extension's fall from grace". BleepingComputer. Retrieved 2021-05-30.
  19. ^ "What happens when a Chrome extension with 2m+ users changes hands, raises red flags, doesn't document updates? Let's find out". Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  20. ^ "Using Inline Installation - Google Chrome". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  21. ^ "Improving extension transparency for users". Chromium Blog. Retrieved 2018-12-15.

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