Manage Sandboxed and Unsandboxed Plug-Ins in Chrome

Set plug-in permissions for your computer using the Chrome browser

laptop bound in chains and padlocks

 Tim Robberts / Getty Images 

There are two types of plug-ins for Google Chrome: sandboxed and unsandboxed. Unsandboxed plug-ins are not allowed to function in your browser without your permission. Because third-party apps can contain malware, you should always proceed with caution when giving unsandboxed plug-ins access to your computer.

Information in this article applies to the latest version of Google Chrome. You can update the Chrome browser for free.

What Are Sandboxed and Unsandboxed Plug-ins?

Most Google Chrome plug-ins are sandboxed, which means that they don't have access to all of the files on your computer. They are tightly restricted to serving their intended purpose. However, there are certain situations where elevated access is necessary. For example, for a plug-in to install new software or stream protected multimedia content, it needs to be unsandboxed.

How to Set Permissions for Unsandboxed Plug-Ins in Chrome

To adjust plug-in permissions in Chrome:

  1. Select the Menu (the three dots) in the top-right corner of the Chrome browser and select Settings.

    You can also access Chrome's settings interface by entering chrome://settings in the browser's address bar.

    Select the Menu (the three dots) in the top-right corner of the Chrome browser and select Settings.
  2. Select Advanced on the left side of Chrome to expand the list of options, then select Privacy and security.

    Select Advanced on the left side to expand the list of options, then select Privacy and Security.
  3. Select Site Settings.

    Select Site Settings.
  4. Scroll down and select Unsandboxed plugin access.

    Scroll down and select Unsandboxed plugin access.
  5. Select the slider at the top of the screen to toggle unsandboxed plug-in access. You have two options: Ask when a site wants to use a plugin to access your computer (recommended) or Do not allow any site to use a plugin to access your computer.

    Select the slider at the top of the screen to toggle unsandboxed plugin access.
  6. You can also create a list of websites for which you want to always block or always allow plug-ins. Select Add next to Block or Allow, then enter the URL for the site.

All user-defined exceptions override the option you chose at the top of the screen.

Select Add next to Block or Allow, then enter the URL for the site.