Google will stop supporting Manifest V2 extensions in Chrome in mid-2024. This would mainly have consequences for ad blockers, which would be less able to function properly. Google says it has recently improved Manifest V3 to address those concerns.
Google says that starting June 2024, or Chrome version 127 and later, Manifest V2 will be phased out. This will first happen on the Dev, Canary and Beta versions of Chrome. Manifest V2 extensions will then be automatically disabled and can no longer be installed via the Chrome Web Store. The company expects to need a month to review feedback before Manifest V2 extensions are also disabled in stable Chrome versions. Manifest V2 extensions will continue to work in the stable Chrome version until at least July next year.
Manifest V2 is, among other things, a collection of APIs and rules that browser extensions, such as ad blockers, can use. Google has been wanting to get rid of Manifest V2 for years and that Manifest version should have been disabled since June this year. This was postponed, partly due to migration problems to Manifest V3. This new Manifest version is mainly criticized by ad blocker makers and users, who say that the declarativeNetRequest API, which is intended to replace the current webRequest API, makes it more difficult for ad blockers to block ads. Google says this change should better safeguard user privacy.
The company says it has improved this API recently, including by improving content filtering support. AdGuard’s CTO now says he is ‘very hopeful’ that ad blockers can continue to work and improve. In addition, uBlock Origin has a Lite version based on Manifest V3.