Are you eager to know what the extensions you’ve installed are doing in the background in Chrome browser? Google wants users to know that as well, for that, Chromium team decided to bring activity log page for each extension, which displays History and real-time tabs, former lists past activities of extension and latter allows the user to record current activity the extension is performing.
The Chromium team made a commit for bug recently to implement activity log stream for extensions, which ” adds an event listener for extension activities and polymer components to display these activities in a list with new activities being added to the end. users can start/stop and clear the stream using the start/stop button under the tabs.”
To enable extension activity logging in Chrome
1. Run latest Chrome Canary with
--enable-extension-activity-logging command-line flag
2. Visit chrome://extensions page,
3. For an extension, click on ‘Details’ and select ‘View Activity log’
3. Observe History and Real-time tabs where the former displays all the past activities of extension and latter shows currently happening ones.
Do note recording is activated by default when you run Chrome with above switch and you can stop/start recording by clicking the button offered in the tab.
Five years back, Google released Chrome Apps& Extensions Developer tool for developers and power users to debug Chrome extensions and apps, which also reveals how extensions and apps are behaving in real-time, so that’s available as an app, now they want to bring the similar features into Chrome so that users can check extensions behavior by visiting extension activity log stream.
“Add a real-time tab so users can see what their extensions are doing in real-time. This achieves feature parity with the real-time tab for activity log Chrome Apps and Extensions Developer tools (aka platform app)” the bug description reads.
Update Feb 22, 2019: This is bug page for adding activity monitoring UI to chrome://extensions : “The Chrome Apps & Extensions Dev Tools Platform App has a feature where users can see exactly what an extension is doing (aka activity monitor). ”
“This is good for privacy. Since it allows users to get better understanding of what each extension they have installed is doing. Perhaps such a functionality should be included in chrome://extensions too”.
- Know any extension activity log
- If you’ve suspected any extension is behaving weirdly do a recording by visiting real-time in activity log page.
This change may be useful for developers, security researchers, and advanced users, but not for end users? What do you say?