Google Chrome users can try out a secret feature in the browser which will improve its performance and strengthen privacy settings. Google Chrome is the world’s most popular browser, with latest stats giving the software a jaw-dropping 68.26 per cent slice of the marketplace. Chrome didn’t get into the number one slot and forge such a commanding lead by resting on its laurels though, with new features regularly getting added to Chrome.
If you read about a game-changing feature that arrived on a rival browser, then it’s likely that it launched on Google Chrome first.
And continuing this trend, the Mountain View firm has recently started work on a great new Chrome feature that users can try out right now.
As reported on in a post by Techdows, a new Chrome experiment has gone live which gives your browser extensions a health check.
The ‘Extensions Checkup’ when enabled warns Google Chrome users about any add-ons that can affect browser performance and a user’s privacy.
This gives an extra level of security to Chrome in case any extensions – which invariably are made by third-party devs – manage to evade Chrome Web Store policing.
If you’re running the stable version of Chrome 83 then you can enable this new extensions feature.
READ MORE: Google releases surprise new Chrome extension that has handy feature
To do so visit chrome://flags page and then search for ‘extensions checkup’. In the corresponding drop down menu you’ll be presented with a number of choices…
• Enabled on Startup – Performance-Focused message
• Enabled on Startup – Privacy-Focused message
• Enabled on Startup – Neutral Focused message
Techdows advises Google Chrome users to enable option three or four as options two and five don’t convey any messages.
If you turn on option three you will receive this message on the Google Chrome extensions page: “A healthier, happier Chrome.
“Some extensions can slow you down – especially ones you didn’t mean to install.
“If you don’t recognize an extension, or if your browser isn’t working as expected, you can turn off or customize extensions here”.
While if you turn on the fourth option you instead will be greeted with this message: “Check your extensions.
“Some extensions can see your browsing activity – including personal information.
“If you don’t recognize an extension, or if your browser isn’t working as expected, you can turn off or customize extensions here.”
It remains to be seen whether Google does anything to further enhance and develop this welcome functionality.
The addition of the ‘Extensions Checkup’ feature comes as a study revealed the existence of over 100 malicious Chrome extensions downloaded millions of times.
The research revealed that the search engine giant has removed 106 extensions from the Chrome Web Store that were caught collecting sensitive data.
These 106 extensions were part of a batch of 111 Chrome extensions that Awake Security identified as malicious.
These extensions were able to – among other things – take screenshots, harvest authentication cookies and grab keystrokes letting them gain user passwords.
Awake says the 111 Chrome extensions they identified were downloaded over 30million times.