How to Disable Extensions and Plug-Ins in Google Chrome

MacBook with Chrome Extensions page on its screen

Extensions are non-native programs that provide added functionality to Google Chrome. They're a big reason for the browser's overall popularity. Chrome uses plug-ins to process web content like Flash and Java.

Although they're free to download and easy to install, you'll occasionally need to toggle plug-ins on or off from time to time, either to increase security or to troubleshoot a problem with Chrome.

How to Delete or Disable Chrome Extensions

There are two ways to get to the right window for removing or disabling Chrome extensions. One is through the Chrome menu, and the other is by entering a specific URL into Chrome's navigation bar.

  1. Copy and paste chrome://extensions into the navigation bar in Chrome or use the menu button (the three vertical dots) at the top right corner of Chrome to access the More tools > Extensions option.

    Chrome://extensions URL in Chrome browser's URL bar
  2. Next to the extension you want to manage, either uncheck the Enabled box to disable the Chrome extension or click the trash button to remove it. The icon for disabled extensions that are still installed turns black and white, and they can be re-enabled in the future. The verbiage next to the checkbox changes from Enabled to Enable. When you opt to remove a Chrome extension, you are presented with a confirmation box, after which the extension is uninstalled and removed.

    Toggles for Application Launcher and Google Docs Offline in Extensions page via Google Chrome

If you're deleting a Chrome extension that you didn't install yourself and suspect it was installed by a malicious program, check the Report abuse box before confirming the deletion to tell Chrome that the extension might not be trustworthy.

Re-enabling extensions in Chrome is as easy as going back to the Extensions screen and checking the box next to Enable.

How to Disable a Chrome Plug-In

Chrome plug-ins such as Adobe Flash are managed through Chrome's Content Settings window.

  1. Use the chrome://settings/content URL or open the Chrome menu and follow the path Settings > Show advanced settings > Content Settings.

    chrome://settings/content in Chrome's URL bar
  2. Scroll to the plug-in you want to control and click on it. Click the slider to toggle the plug-in on or off. You may also see Block and Allow sections where you can input specific websites on which to disable (or enable) the plug-in.

    Toggle to disable Flash via the Settings/Content Settings page in Chrome

You disable Flash, for example, by clicking the arrow to the right of it and moving the slider next to Ask First (recommended) to the Off position. Individual blocked sites or Allowed sites can be added to this screen. In some plug-ins, the verbiage next to the slider says Allow

To stop websites from using plug-ins, click the arrow next to the Unsandboxed plug-in access listing in the Content Settings screen and activate the slider next to Ask when a site wants to use a plug-in to access your computer.