Google delays the death of Manifest V2 extensions to 2024
Google announced an extension of the deadline to remove support for Manifest V2 extensions in the company's Chrome browser and the open source Chromium core.
The change does not impact the core decision of removing support for Manifest V2 extensions in favor of Manifest V3. Dubbed, the adblocker killer initially, due to limitations imposed on content blocking and other types of browser extensions, Google made concessions that allows content blockers to run on Chrome after the final switch is made.
Extensions are still limited in comparison to Manifest V2, especially if multiple that use filtering functionality are run simultaneously, or if lots of filters are activated in a single extension.
Chromium browser developers have two main options to deal with those limitations. First, they may have or introduce content blockers of their own, which may continue to work even after the switch is made. Second, they may continue support for Manifest V2, or the required APIs at least.
Brave, Vivaldi or Opera run their own content blockers already. Vivaldi, for example, confirmed that its ad blocker will continue to work.
Mozilla, maker of Firefox, plans to support Manifest V2 and V3 in the browser to ensure that Manifest V2 extensions continue to be supported in the browser.
Google's initial plan was to stop supporting Manifest V2 extensions in Chrome by June 2023. For most users, support would run out in January 2023, but an Enterprise policy would enable users to extend the deadline by six months.
Manifest V2 retirement: Changes to plans
Now, Google announced an extension to 2024 in a new blog post on the Chrome Developer site and details on the phasing out of Manifest V2 support in the browser.
- In January 2023, when Chrome 112 is released, Google plans to run experiments to turn off support for Manifest V2 in development browsers (Chrome Beta, Dev and Canary).
- In June 2023, when Chrome 115 is released, Google plans to run experiments to turn off support for Manifest V2 extensions for all Chrome channels, including Stable.
Enterprise policies may be set to extend the retirement deadline to January 2024. Chrome developers who maintain Manifest V2 extensions in the Store will have featured badges removed from the extensions by January 2023. From June 2023 on, Manifest V2 extensions are no longer allowed to be published with public visibility. All existing Chrome extensions that rely on Manifest V2 will be changed to unlisted.
The delay gives developers more time, especially since several APIs do not appear ready at the time of writing. Google created a "known issues" page for developers that lists major known migration issues.
For users, it means that they do not have to worry about extensions running out of support until January 2024, provided that they either apply the Enterprise policy to extend the deadline, or have it applied by the maker of a Chromium-based browser.
Now You: are you affected by the migration to Manifest V3?