Some of my Chrome extensions have greyed out. These extensions are generally still functional. The only thing that doesn't seem to work is the counter for the Inbox Checker extension.

What does it mean if an extension is greyed out in the extension toolbar? And what can I do to fix it?

Chrome extensions


It's because Google changed something, i can testify on my own custom extension i wrote, it used to have a colorful icon and suddenly after Chrome updated itself the icon became gray (however the extension functioned properly).

For the developers who troubleshoot this annoying bug, (and google through it to this question), i answered to a similar question in Stack Overflow.

I had to find out more so iv'e reverse engineered the famous AD Block extension (that has a non-gray icon).

I tried to change things in the extension's manifast.json file, Eventually i found out that the following setting keeps the icon colorfull:


  "browser_action": {
    "default_icon": "icons/icon-32.png"


enter image description here

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  • 1
    I notice that Reddit Enhancement Suite is grey when you're not on the reddit domain and is color otherwise. Makes it easy to determine when the extension is doing it's thing, however looking at the manifest I cannot figure out how they are doing that. Any ideas? – The Muffin Man Nov 17 '16 at 17:20
  • As of Nov 30 2016, I was skeptical that this answer would work, but it did. I wish I knew why. Thanks – Ryan Martin Nov 30 '16 at 16:37
  • Make note that you will need to set the "default_popup" for a click action to take effect. – Shadoath Mar 26 '18 at 17:55

Chrome has been having issues with this since they updated. They are trying to disable malware but we all know malware will install it's self with out the users permission anyway.


  1. Open the *.crx file in 7-zip (probably works in other archive tools as well, but that's what I used).
  2. Extract the contents to a folder
  3. Go to Chrome's extension manager page and enable developer mode
  4. Click the "Load unpacked extension" button
  5. Locate the folder you create above and click OK

Chrome will now load the extension because it thinks you're testing a "Work in progress" extension.

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Many of them, at least, are grayed out for good reasons.

Some, like "Google Scroll", are grayed out because they have been deprecated.

Others are grayed out just while you are seeing a page they don't work in; when you reach a page where they can work, they will recover the color again. For example "RSS subscription by Google" would only work in those webs that offer the RSS service, and "Reddit enhancement suit" will be colored only when you are browsing reddit.org web.

Finally others are because you have hidden them (actually just its icon), you can restore them by rightclicking the icon and clicking "show in the toolbar".

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