About Plugins in Chrome

Description of the command about: plugins in the Chrome browser and comparison of the list of add-ons of other browsers.


When you type this command in the address bar, the browser displays the list of modules added to the browser, which are most often available in the form of additional plugins.

About plugins details

List of plugins in Chrome

There are ten plugins. We can see by comparing with other browsers that Google offers two more modules: ActiveX and Google Gears and it does not include Java by default.

Details of plugins

ActiveX (Option)

Used to recognize ActiveX objects from Microsoft. The most common is XMLHttpRequest which is the basis of Ajax but it is an ActiveX object in Internet Explorer and a browser object otherwise.

To check how the XMLHttprequest object works with Chrome, two test pages were put online:

These tests show that with Chrome qu'ActiveX does not create an XHR object, only the standard format is recognized. Only Internet Explorer passes the first test.
Note that in practice both modes are used simultaneously for compatibility with all browsers.


Runtime from Adobe to display Flash pages or games.

Remoting Viewer

Work with the the Remote Desktop application (which control remotely your computer). Disable this plugin if you do not use this app.

Native Client

Allow to run in the brower applications in native code, so faster.

Chrome PDF Viewer

Used to display PDF files with the browser.

Google Update

For updates to the browser.

Windows Presentation Foundation

A graphical interface system in .NET, which manages the processing of XAML.

Silverlight Plug-in

The Microsoft framework to facilitate the creation of online applications. The version 1.0 of Silverlight, more portable, does not have widgets but has graphics functions and supports XAML.

Google Gears (Option)

The Google Gears plugin allows Web applications to work offline.
One option in the Under the hood tab in the options panel allows you to specify how each site can use Google Gears.

Google Gadget (Option)

These gadgets are displayed on a Web page thanks to the plugin, or on the desktop.

Default Plug-in

Used to install additional plugins.

Comparison with Firefox

The same command in Firefox could displays the following list, according to what you have installed:

They are almost the same modules, even if some could have been added to the browser. Additional Java support.
The differences are the ActiveX and Gears plugins which are not present in Firefox.

Comparison with Opera

There are also the same plugins without ActiveX, Gears, plus Java.
Silverlight is part of the list in recent versions of Opera.

Comparison with Internet Explorer

The Microsoft's browser does not recognize the command.
But you can have the list from the browser:

  1. Go to Tools -> Internet Options.
  2. In History, click Settings.
  3. Click on View objects.

Not all plugins appear in the list.

Comparison with Safari

Although it shares technologies with Chrome, Safari does not support the command, but you get the list from the options.

  1. Click on Help.
  2. Click on Install modules.

This list is displayed:

This is the same list as for Firefox.


The particularity of Chrome is the integration of Gears by default and ActiveX (which is also part of Internet Explorer). It is a browser that is ready for Web applications with plugins as it is in its design.
Obviously the list of add-ons will evolve with what the user will install in the future.