How to use Manifest V2 extensions until June 2025

Overview

According to this Chromium Blog post, Google will start rolling out version 127 of Chrome today. With that new version, ad blockers using Manifest V2 will show a warning that the extension will stop working soon. In the coming months, those extensions will stop working.

Near the bottom of the article, there is this little gem of a sentence…

Enterprises using the ExtensionManifestV2Availability policy will be exempt from any browser changes until June 2025.

This article show you how to use the ExtensionManifestV2Availability policy to take advantage of this exemption.

Procedure to enable ExtensionManifestV2Availability

You can take advantage of this ExtensionManifestV2Availability Enterprise policy setting without using an Enterprise network policy set up. This document gives details on what the ExtensionManifestV2Availability flag does, and its available settings. However, the Windows registry setting information is not very helpful. Here is how to do it…

  • Create a new text file and add the following content to it…
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome]
    "ExtensionManifestV2Availability"=dword:00000002
    
  • Save the file and rename it with a .reg file name extension.
  • Double click the file, enter your administrator credentials if necessary, and Windows RegEdit creates the new registry key and set its value to 2 (2 = Manifest v2 enabled).
  • Verify that the setting is working by opening Google Chrome, and entering chrome://policy/ as a URL. You should see a screen like the follow, showing a correctly enabled policy.

    Google Chrome ExtensionManifestV2Availability policy

  • As a final test, go to any page that uses ads and/or trackers, and verify that your Manifest V2 privacy extension is still working.

    uBlock Origin on NSA

Conclusion

Google has changed it’s mind about the timeline for deprecating Manifest V2 many times. There is nothing to stop them from changing their mind about allowing this hack to work until June 2025. The corporation may decide that they see enough adoption of Manifest V3 to end Manifest V2 support early. If you value your privacy, you may wish to migrate away from Chromium based web browsers to a more privacy-centric browser like Mozilla Firefox.