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Ok, so I have a few chrome extensions that don't need me to interact with them (Enhanced Steam). So I wanted to hide it, but for some reason it just gets moved to the top of the chrome menu (3 lines) and this looks ugly and is annoying.

I am pretty sure that I used to be able to just hide the icon but still have the extension enabled, but I can't find how to do this. Every link I click on has mysterious buttons that don't exist (there was one that had an instructional telling you to click a 'hide button' that was in the extensions manager, but this does not exist).

Please help, or at least suggest another extension that puts them in a drop down menu or something because I dont won't 30 useless extension icons all over my browser. thanks.

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With Chrome 48, for reasons of "security," icons for disabled extensions (and those that do not affect the current page) are now shown at all times, either to the right of the location ("address") bar or at the top of the hamburger menu.

The "security" aspect is to protect naive users from unwanted extensions by showing them a bunch of icons that they may not recognize with the expectation that they will guess that they can right-click them and select "Remove from Chrome."

In addition, extensions that formerly placed icons in the location ("address") bar can no longer do so. This breaks some popular extensions like the last.fm Scrobbler, ToS;DR, Feedly Subscribe Button, and so forth.

The Google Chrome team is unrepentant, because power users are of no interest to them.

References:

  • Can you link any sources for this? I believe you, I just think they are needed. – Raystafarian Mar 4 '16 at 8:43
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Per this reference

Starting in this latest release, you’ll begin to see all extensions to the right of the URL bar, so you can easily remove anything you don’t recognize. Just right click the extension icon and select “Remove from Chrome.”

Notice that what this means is that all extension buttons are now going to appear all the time beside the address bar (unless you hide them in the hamburger menu), whether they used to have buttons or not. (Even the "add to favorites" button is now there.)

pageActions (buttons that used to appear only in specific pages) have also been moved from inside the address bar to its right and show up whether they're active on the current page or not. This doesn't break the extensions' functionality, but it certainly results in a much poorer experience, especially for those of us who have dozens of extensions installed.

This discussion includes their justication for these changes:

The reason for this is to protect our users. We've heard too frequently that many users are unaware of the extensions they have installed, whether this is due to sideloading, installation by phishing, or simply the user forgetting how many and which are installed. Unfortunately, extensions consume computing resources, and may have significant security, privacy, and performance impacts. Because of this, we've decided we need to increase user visibility.

[...]

Displaying the action persistently, even in the cases of a previously hidden page action or an extension with no action, is necessary because the presence of an action doesn't always correlate with the extension acting. We also can't show the action conditionally on, e.g., a per-tab basis, because there are many actions that are not correlated with any tab. In order to ensure users are aware of the extensions they have installed that could be affecting their browser, we need to ensure each extension is visible

  • Wait so does that mean there is no fix? Is there no way to disable it? And also, this was very annoying for me so I'm surprised there isn't a whole ocean full of this question from others who don't like it. – eamon butler Mar 5 '16 at 10:17
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    As you can see in this post, the developers are very clear on their intentions. There's no way to disable this and it seems unlikely that they will change their minds. I'm surprised as well. As someone who currently has no fewer than 75 active extensions (many of which were only useful for having pageActions), I personally find this to be one of the unwisest decisions they've made about the Chrome UI, one that makes me seriously consider stop using it. – edjroot Mar 7 '16 at 21:35

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