How to Automatically Install and Enable a Chrome Extension

calendarAugust 6, 2021 in Chrome , Edge , HttpWatch

The HttpWatch installer adds the HttpWatch extension to Chrome but the user needs to manually approve it before its first use:

Our larger customers typically install HttpWatch through automated scripts using command line flags to silently run the installer. Unfortunately, the manual step shown above is still required on each PC before the user can access HttpWatch.

There is a way to force the installation of HttpWatch or any other Chrome extension using Chrome extension policies. The ExtensionInstallForcelist value specifies which extensions should be automatically installed and enabled from the Chrome Web Store. This value is stored in the registry in the following location for all users:


or in this location for a single user:


Each extension to be installed in this way must have a numbered value. For example, with HttpWatch the entry would be:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ExtensionInstallForcelist] = "1"="dajhhgiioackgdldomhppobgjbinhimh"

In RegEdit it would look like this:

The next time Chrome restarts it will automatically download and enable the extension without requiring any manual intervention. An added advantage of doing this with HttpWatch is that no debugging banner is displayed in Chrome when HttpWatch is recording.

Microsoft Edge has a similar set of policies that can also be used to force the installation of an extension.

What’s New in HttpWatch 13.0?

calendarJune 17, 2020 in Edge , HttpWatch

HttpWatch 13 is now available for download and includes the following new features.

Fully Supports Microsoft Edge

HttpWatch now works with Microsoft Edge 80 or later using an extension hosted in the Microsoft Store:

The Edge support includes an automation class for controlling the HttpWatch Edge extension:

and a sample program for using Edge, Selenium and HttpWatch together.

Enhanced Installer

You can now choose which browsers to use with HttpWatch when you run the installer. It is also possible to only install HttpWatch Studio if you just want to open existing HAR or HWL log files:

URL Indicator Symbols Show the use of  Fetch and XmlHttpRequest APIs

In Chrome and Edge an arrow symbol next to a URL shows that a request was created using the XmlHttpRequest (XHR) API in Javascript:

Or an arrow head symbol if the Fetch API was used:

Displays Service Worker Activity

When a service worker script intercepts a request the Result now displays (Service Worker). The status code is available in the data tip or Overview Tab:

A diamond URL indicator is used to show the outgoing requests made by a service worker:

Supports Snapped Window Positions

HttpWatch now restores extension and log windows to their original position even if they were placed with the Windows snap feature:

Displays SameSite Cookie Attribute

The cookie panel now displays the SameSite attribute for cookies received from the server:

Shows The Use of the Memory and Prefetch Cache

The Result column in Chrome and Edge now shows whether the memory or prefetch cache was used:

Detects The Use of JSON Without The Correct Content Type

HttpWatch now formats and applies password masking to JSON content even if the content type has been incorrectly set to a different format:

HttpWatch 12.1 Supports Microsoft Edge (Chromium)

calendarOctober 23, 2019 in Chrome , Edge , HttpWatch

The latest update to HttpWatch includes experimental support for the beta version of Microsoft Edge (Chromium). Full support, including automation, will be added at a later date when Edge (Chromium) is officially released.

The Microsoft store does not yet support chromium based browser extensions but you can install the HttpWatch extension from the Chrome web store instead. The following steps guide you through adding HttpWatch to Edge Chromium

1. Install HttpWatch 12.1

Download and install the latest version of HttpWatch

2. Install Edge (Chromium Beta)

You can download the Edge Insider Beta Channel from

3. Allow Edge to Install HttpWatch from The Google Web Store

Open Edge (Chromium) Beta and go to …->Extensions or enter ‘edge://extensions/’ in the location bar. Then select ‘Allow extensions from other stores’ and click Allow:

Allow Edge to install extension from Chrome Web Store

4. Install the HttpWatch extension from the Chrome Web Store

In Edge open the HttpWatch extension page at:

Then click ‘Add To Chrome’ which will add the extension to Edge:

Once the extension has been added you can either access HttpWatch from the toolbar icon or by right clicking on the web page and selecting ‘Open HttpWatch’.

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