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Nov 14, 2021 - 4 minute read - Evil Tester JavaScript Chrome Extension

Releasing a Chrome Extension

Writing a Chrome Extension is pretty easy (getting it in the Chrome Store is much harder!). In this post I describe the steps to release an extension.

How to Release A Chrome Extension

I have now released two extensions to the Chrome Store.

Neither went in first try, but both eventually made it after adjusting the description and adding some more screenshots.

I have described the basic process for releasing the extension.

After following this process you may have to refine your entry if it is rejected during the submission process. I’ll describe that process in a later blog.

I have a video showing the full process at the bottom of the post. This text is basically a summary.

You can find the code for both my Chrome Extensions on Github and you’ll see all the images, descriptions and manifest files that I created there if you want to model my final submissions.

Chrome Extension Release process summary

Up to date instructions and directions will be on the Chrome Store:

  • developer.chrome.com/webstore/publish

  • I created an icon in Gimp - 128x128, 48x48, 16x16

  • Add icons to the manifest

  • Write a description

  • Create screenshots for the application of 1280x800 or 640x400

  • I created a separate google account because the developer email address needs to be public

  • Create a zip file of the extension, I zipped my code so that the manifest was in the root of the zip i.e. not in a subfolder when unzipped

  • “Add New Item” from the Chrome Developer Dashboard

  • paste in all the descriptions, icons and screenshots

Over the submission process I:

  • refined the description
  • added a few more screenshots
  • added a YouTube video showing the plugin in action

Video showing how to release a chrome extension

I’ve created a video showing the release process in action.

Watch on YouTube

What if your Chrome Extension is rejected?

Both of my Chrome extensions were rejected by the Chrome store.

Multiple times.

For the same generic reasons.

Reasons for Chrome Extension Rejection

Dear Developer, Your Google Chrome item, “…” did not comply with our policies and was removed from the Google Chrome Web Store. Your item did not comply with the following section of our policy:

  • Do not post repetitive content.

  • Do not attempt to change the placement of any Product in the store, or manipulate any Product ratings or reviews, by unauthorized means, such as fraudulent installs, paid or fake reviews or ratings, or offering incentives to rate Products.

  • Do not post an app if the primary functionality is to link to a website not owned by the developer posting the app.

  • Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to install or launch another app, theme, or extension. For example, you cannot post an app if its primary function is to launch a desktop app that the user has already installed. Another example of a disallowed practice would be to post a packaged app that just launches a website.

  • Your app must comply with Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines > > If you’d like to re-submit your item, please make the appropriate changes to the item so that it complies with our policies, then re-publish it in your developer dashboard. Please reply to this email for issues regarding this item removal.

My extensions did none of this.

The Quality Guidelines are too vague to be any help.

If you Google the error message you will see other people in the same situation. This doesn’t help, but it makes you feel less alone.

How to fix Chrome Extension Rejection?

Since you receive the rejection in an email.

Reply to the email nicely asking.

“Can you provide more information about why this failed the review and what I have to do to fix it?”

Or words to that effect.

If you are told to resubmit. Then resubmit, expecting to be rejected. Because you will likely go through this process multiple times.

I went through this cycle. With no changes to my extension. 9 times from 26th Feb 2019 until it was accepted into the Chrome Store on the 1st of April.

Why is my Chrome Extension Rejected?

I suspect it is automatically rejected.

You might get lucky.

If you don’t then keep trying.

How to Handle a Chrome Extension Rejection Summary

  • first google the error message
  • you’ll see other people in the same situation
  • if changes you need to make are not obvious then email support asking for a specific reason
  • keep doing this, and submitting and asking, until you get a reason
  • eventually, if you persist, you can make it

Video Showing How to fix a Chrome Extension Rejection

I’ve created a video showing the steps I took.

Watch on YouTube


If you are interested in writing a Chrome Extension then check out all blog posts in this category:

Note: this was originally two posts, merged on 20211114


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