Google is set to introduce a significant change to how Chrome extensions operate with the rollout of Manifest V3, the new extension specification.

This transition, beginning next week on June 3rd, will affect the Chrome Beta, Dev, and Canary channels initially, with a broader rollout expected in the coming months.

What is Manifest V3?

Manifest V3 is a revamped framework for developing Chrome extensions. It aims to enhance security, privacy, and performance by introducing changes to how extensions interact with web pages and user data. Some of the key changes include:

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  • Replacing the Blocking Web Request API: Manifest V3 removes the powerful “webRequest” API, which was used by many ad blockers and privacy extensions to modify network traffic. It replaces it with a more limited “declarativeNetRequest” API, designed to be more secure and efficient.
  • Service Workers for Background Tasks: Extensions will now rely on service workers to run background tasks, improving performance and reliability compared to the previous background pages.
  • Enhanced Privacy Controls: Manifest V3 offers new APIs for managing user data and permissions, giving users more control over how extensions access their information.

While Manifest V3 is initially rolling out to Chrome’s testing channels, it will eventually become the standard for all extensions. Users may notice changes in how some of their favorite extensions work, particularly those that rely on network filtering.

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