G Suite Admin Console (4): Configuring the Chrome Web Store

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Continuing with the series of articles on the G Suite Admin console, today I will show you how to customize the Chrome Web Store. Students have a tendency to install many extensions, many of them without knowing too much about who made them. This can lead to two major problems. First of all, it may be a security issue, as although Google reviews it, there may be some extension that collects data. The second problem is memory loading and therefore slowness.

In this article we’ll look at how to prevent that students install Chrome Web Store extensions and how to set up your own Chrome Web Store with a selection of extensions. In this way, students are offered extensions that the school has tested and knows are useful. But we don’t force all students to have installed. Each one will add or remove as many as they need at any given time. Attention, if they don’t use Chromebooks, they can always log in to Chrome with a particular gmail user and install the extensions they want.

To begin with, we try to define what an extension is. In Google words, extensions are small programs that personalize the browsing experience. They allow you to adapt Chrome’s functionality and behavior to your individual needs or preferences. In other words, it is the equivalent of mobile apps in the Chrome browser.

There are a lot and they can do many different things, just like apps. You only have to stroll around the Chrome Web Store for a while to get an idea. If you want a good classified list, the one that BalBino has compiled is worth a lot: Applications and extensions.

But let’s get down to business. We’ll see how to prevent students from installing extensions and we’ll set up our school’s Chrome Web Store with the selection of extensions we want.

To get started, go to the G Suite domain management console and access Device Management / Chrome Management / User Settings:

Select the Organizational Unit where we want to restrict the extensions (at least the Students) and look for the section Allow or block all the applications and extensions. We will choose the option to block all of them, except the ones we select.

We have already configured that students cannot install extensions. Now we need to define our Chrome Web Store and make the selection of those that can be installed.

In the same user configuration page, a little further down we will find the two options that we need to modify:

  • Chrome Web Store main page: we will indicate that we will use the collection for our domain / We will choose the applications and extensions / We will indicate a name for the collection

  • Just below, we’ll choose the Manage option. This way we can search for applications to add to our collection

And it’s all set up now. Students can only install the extensions that we have included in the collection.

When students access the Chrome Web Store, the collection we have created appears.

Other articles about the G Suite Administration Console:

 

 

 

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