Disable auto-update for Chrome extensions

Sometimes a Chrome extension gets very popular and then the authors choose a commercial path. Or some feature is discontinued, but you want to keep it as is. Below I describe a way to keep the extension from auto updating itself with the help of the Chrome extension source viewer. This extension is very useful for learning how to develop chrome extensions (how did they did this/that?).

First install the Chrome extension source viewer from the Chrome webstore. Or if you are planning to use it once, you can use the online version.

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Steps to modify a Chrome extension (to disable auto-update)

  1. Download a specific version of a Chrome extension. My example I used it for is Media Hint. Version 0.1.12 can be found here

  2. Go to your extensions folder in Chrome, turn on Developer Mode, and click on the options link below Chrome extension source viewer

  3. Open the viewer

  4. Open the recently downloaded Media Hint file

  5. Click "Download" in the upper left corner. Finder will open showing you a null folder that contains the Media Hint logo, a javascript file, and the manifest.

  6. Open the Manifest JSON file (Any text editor will do)

  7. Change the update url (found in quotations) to http://127.0.0.1 (you own local machine IP) and save the file

  8. Optional: Go to the Chrome Developer tools and choose to pack a chrome extension to create a .crx file again.

  9. Drag the entire null folder or the .crx file (with the newly edited manifest file) into your Chrome Extensions page with developer mode turned on.

  10. . Enjoy your customized extension

Hope this helps,

Guus