Current Version plugins

Google is working on an Extension Icon for Chrome

Recent versions of Google Chrome Canary include a new experimental feature that adds an extension icon to the main Chrome toolbar.

Most extensions for Google Chrome add an icon to the main toolbar. The icon supports default options, e.g. hiding the extension icon or uninstalling the extension, but often also functionality provided by the extension.

I prefer how Vivaldi, another Chromium-based browser, gives you more control over extension icons.

Chrome has a single toolbar only for navigational icons, the site address, menu, profile icon, and extension icons.

The new Extension icon that Google is working on may be a solution for extension icons taking up too much place on Google Chrome’s toolbar.

The functionality provided at this time is rather limited, on the other hand. It seems that Google is still working on the integration of the feature in Chrome.

Extensions Toolbar Menu

chrome toolbar extensions icon

The feature is hidden behind an experimental flag right now. You need to run a recent version of Chrome Canary to enable it.

Note: Experimental features may come and go without announcement by Google. It is possible that a feature will land in Chrome Stable directly, that it remains hidden by a flag, or that it is removed at one point.

Here is how that is done:

  1. Load chrome://flags/#extensions-toolbar-menu in the Chrome address bar to open the Experiments page in Chrome.
  2. Toggle the status of the Extensions Toolbar Menu experiment to Enabled. (Set it to Default or Disabled to return to the status quo).
  3. Restart Google Chrome.

You should see a new extension icon on the Chrome toolbar. A click on the icon displays all active extensions provided that you are not on an internal page, those beginning with chrome://, or another restricted page.

The functionality is limited to that right now. It would not make a whole lot of sense to add an icon to Chrome that would just display a list of installed extensions in the main interface.

More likely is that some functionality is not implemented yet. Google could integrate extension management functionality to the icon, e.g. to use functionality it exposes in its menu and options to hide or uninstall the extension.

Hiding extension icons has no effect on the listing in the extension menu. Chrome users could use the feature to hide some of the icons and access the functionality they provide from the extension menu instead.

The Extension Icon is just one of the new features that Google landed in Chrome recently. One of the best new features added to Chrome recently is Chrome’s extension activity monitor.

Now You: What is your take on the feature? What would you like to see?

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