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 Version 13.1?

calendarJanuary 8, 2021 in HTTP , HTTP/2 , HTTPS , HttpWatch

HttpWatch 13.1 is now available for download and includes the following new features.

Improved Display of URLs

The page URL (including fragments) is now shown for each page group making it easier to debug Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) where URL fragments may be used for navigation. Also by default, URLs are displayed relative to the containing page and the HTTPS scheme prefix is hidden:

Insecure HTTP Warning Symbol

A red warning triangle is displayed next to insecure HTTP requests:

URL Display Options

A new URL Display options tab can be used to configure how URLs are displayed:

Warning Generated When HTTP/2 Not Used

A new warning (HW1011) highlights requests that did not use HTTP/2 (or a later network protocol) and therefore may not have optimal performance:

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:

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