Google Resumes Transition To Manifest V3
Written by Ian Elliot   
Friday, 17 November 2023

Google has resumed the planned deprecation of Manifest V2, giving notice to Chrome extension developers that Manifest V2 extensions will be phased out as early as June 2024 in the prestable versions - Dev, Canary and Beta - of Chrome 127 and later.

This is the latest episode of a long-running saga, as you can see from the list of Related Articles. It was in November 2018 that Google announced Manifest V3 at the Chrome Dev Summit with the intention of improving the security, privacy, and performance of Chrome extensions. 

Manifest V3 was quickly dubbed "the adblocker killer" and it faced a lot of opposition both from developers and end users. While its original schedule was to be included in Chrome 81 in early 2020, it was eventually released in Chrome 88 in January 2020 and its ability to block adblockers had been watered down  date by introducing a new declarativeNetRequest API, which limits rather than excludes  them and is more "privacy friendly".

Google stopped accepting new Manifest V2 extensions in the Chrome Web Store in 2022 but has repeatedly extended the deadline for disabling existing Manifest V2 extensions, which had been set for January 2023 at the time of Manifest V3's release. Now it has given the "at least six month's notice" promised in April 2023, see Manifest 2 Stay Of Execution Further Extended.

According to David Li, who has made the Resuming the transition to Manifest V3 announcement, the reason for delaying deprecation given a year ago was to address developer feedback around migration issues. His post list's changes that have been made to Manifest V3 in response to feedback which he feels has increased support for Manifest V3:

  • Introducing Offscreen Documents, which provide DOM access for extensions to use in a variety of scenarios like audio playback
  • Providing better control over service worker lifetimes for extensions calling extension APIs or receiving events over a longer period of time
  • Adding a new User Scripts API, which allows userscript manager extensions to more safely allow users to run their scripts
  • Improving content filtering support by providing more generous limits in the declarativeNetRequest API for static rulesets and dynamic rules

Ling also details the phase out timeline for Manifest V2 extensions:

We will begin disabling Manifest V2 extensions in pre-stable versions of Chrome (Dev, Canary, and Beta) as early as June 2024, in Chrome 127 and later. Users impacted by the rollout will see Manifest V2 extensions automatically disabled in their browser and will no longer be able to install Manifest V2 extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Also in June 2024, Manifest V2 extensions will lose their Featured badge in the Chrome Web Store if they currently have one.

Enterprises using the ExtensionManifestV2Availability policy will, however, have an additional year, until June 2025, to migrate the Manifest V2 extensions in their organization.    

  • Ian Elliot is the author of several JavaScript books including JavaScript Async which covers service workers.


More Information

Manifest V3 Transition Timeline

Migrate to Manifest V3

Related Articles

Manifest 2 Stay Of Execution Further Extended

Manifest 3 - Firefox's Big Chance?

Google Delays Manifest V3 Again

Google Stays Execution Of Adblockers

Google To Limit Ad-blockers In Manifest V3

Google Changes API Making Chrome Adblocking Harder

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Last Updated ( Friday, 17 November 2023 )