Are you one of those who use ad blockers while browsing? If so, we have bad news for you: Google is moving forward with its plans to transition to Manifest V3 and consequently will limit ad blockers.
Although the new extension API of Google Chrome, Manifest V3, was announced in 2019, Google halted its deployment last year due to the massive amount of criticism it received. Manifest V3 aimed to improve Chrome’s security and performance, but its implementation also disrupted the functionality of many extensions. Specifically, the most affected were going to be ad blockers and VPN extensions, which would lose some of their essential functions along the way.
With things settling down, Google is restarting the gradual withdrawal of Manifest V2. Starting from June 2024, the company will definitively deactivate it in the Beta, Dev, and Canary channels of Google Chrome. From that moment on, Manifest V2 extensions will completely cease to function, and they won’t be installable from the Chrome Web Store if you’re on those beta channels.
However, the arrival of these new changes to the stable version of Chrome (the one available for download from Google) still remains somewhat unclear. Google explains that they will wait at least a month to “observe and stabilize the changes” in the beta channels before rolling them out to Chrome definitively.
Why is Manifest V3 so controversial?
Browser extensions have never been exempt from controversy. With Manifest V3, Google essentially aims to limit extensions’ access to the personal data stored within Google Chrome. Another reason they cite in favor of the change is that Chrome would use fewer resources and, consequently, perform better.
However, these limitations result in extensions like the famous Adblock being much less effective. Furthermore, the shift to Manifest V3 wouldn’t only affect Chrome but all web browsers based on Chromium, such as Microsoft Edge, Opera, or Brave. Firefox, on the other hand, will also implement Manifest V3 but with far fewer restrictions than those imposed by Google.