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Automating applications that run on Google Chrome

Updated on May 25, 2023
Note: The following information is for the legacy Pega Chrome extension, called 'Pega Robotic Automation for Browsers'. For information about the Pega Browser Extension component (PBE), included in 19.1.115 and later, see Pega Browser Extension FAQ.

Interrogate and automate applications that run in the Google Chrome browser by using the legacy Chrome extension with the Universal Web Adapter in Pega Robotic Automation.

The legacy Chrome extension is backwards compatible; the newer versions of the legacy extension work with older versions of Pega Robotic Automation. To see when versions of the legacy extension were released, see the Pega Robotic Automation build notes.

Note: The legacy Chrome extension version 1.0.50 and later is signed with CRX version 3. CRX version 3 is not compatible with Google Chrome version 59 and earlier. For versions of Chrome that are signed with CRX version 2, use legacy  Chrome extension versions 1.0.12 - 1.0.49. For more information, see Pega Robotic Automation version 8.0 build notes.

Installing the legacy extension

You can use the Setup wizard for Robot Studio and Robot Runtime to install the legacy Chrome extension, but the best practice is to install the newer Pega Browser Extension component (PBE), included in 19.1.115 and later. To update users from the command line, use the command line installation with the INST_Chrome=1 parameter to install the extension. For more information, see the installation instructions for your version of Robot Studio or Robot Runtime.

If you install Robot Studio or Robot Runtime without the legacy Chrome extension and later want to install the extension, use the web installer utility. This utility is located in the Robot Studio or Robot Runtime installation folder. The following is an example of the command you would enter to install the legacy extension and update the messaging host for Chrome.

OpenSpan.WebExtensionInstaller.exe Chrome -i

Note: For help information about additional parameters that you can include, append the -h parameter to the command.

Enabling the legacy extension

After installing the legacy Chrome extension, the first time any user starts Robot Runtime, that user must decide whether to enable or uninstall the legacy Chrome extension. In Chrome, the name of the legacy extension is Pega Robotic Automation for Browsers. Automation developers, of course, would enable the legacy extension. Automation end users must enable the legacy extension too, so the automation can automate the browser. If automation end users do not enable the legacy extension, you must perform a manual process to recover and re-install the extension. For more information, contact Pega Support.

Note: In Chrome, the PBE extension is called Pega Robotics Automator.

Automating Chrome with the legacy extension

Keep in mind the following considerations when you automate applications that run in the Chrome browser:

  • Best practice is to turn off automatic updates of your browsers. Only deploy new browser versions after you have had time to smoke test your automations.
  • To support multiple concurrent adapters, you must have version 8.0.1028 or later. For more information, see Using multiple Chrome adapters within a Studio solution.
  • To support frames, you must have version 8.0.1038 or later.
  • To have access to the properties, methods, and events of a frame or top-level Windows form in your automation, use non-global webpages. To interrogate non-global webpages, you must have version 8.0.1042 or later.
  • Property changed and Cancellable events are not supported in Chrome, but are supported in Internet Explorer.

Automating dialogs in Chrome

To automate the File Open, File Save as, and Print dialogs in Chrome in applications that use the Universal Web Adapter, use Pega Robot Studio version 19.1.98 or later. For more information, see Automating dialogs in Chrome and Edge.

Automating tables in Chrome

You can interrogate rows of data and cells within those rows. Use cloning to work with tables. For more information, see Interrogating HTML tables with the Universal Web Adapter.

Working with the shadow DOM

If your solution interrogates and automates controls that are under Shadow Document Object Models, use Pega Robotic Automation 19.1.62 or later and version 1.1.101 of the Chrome extension, or later.

Using Microsoft Group Policy to control Chrome policies when using the legacy extension

If you use a Microsoft Group Policy Object (GPO) to control Chrome policies, and you enable the Configure native messaging block list setting in the Native Messaging sectionto block all extensions, perform the following steps to provide Robot Studio and Robot Runtime with the access they need to function correctly.

  1. Start the Microsoft Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. Select Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Google > Google Chrome > Native Messaging.
  3. In the Configure native messaging allowlist setting, add the following messaging-host executable so that messaging host is not blocked:


  1. Save your changes and close the Local Group Policy Editor.

Also, if you enable the Control which extensions cannot be installed setting in the Extensions section to block all extensions, add the Extension ID to the Allow specific extensions to be installed setting so that the extension can be installed.



  • Previous topic Creating automations that are Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) compliant
  • Next topic Interrogating HTML tables with the Universal Web Adapter

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