What Is a CRX File?

How to open, edit, & convert CRX Files

A file with the CRX file extension is a Chrome Extension file used to extend the functionality of the Google Chrome web browser through little programs that add additional features to the default browsing experience.

Most CRX files are downloaded through the Chrome Web Store, but since you can make your own Chrome extensions and install them offline, others may originate elsewhere or be loaded locally.

Some CRX files might instead be Links Games Course files or program files used by Autodesk's DWG TrueView program.

How to Open a CRX File

CRX files that are extension files are used by the Google Chrome web browser. Usually, CRX files are downloaded through Google's website and, therefore, installed to Chrome automatically and stored here by default:

Operating System CRX Location
Windows C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions
Mac /Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Extensions
Linux ~/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/

However, this won't be the case for CRX files that you download outside of the Chrome Web Store.

You can install third-party, unofficial CRX files by accessing the chrome://extensions/ address in the URL bar in Chrome and enabling the Developer mode option at the top. Then, just drag and drop the CRX file into the Extensions window and confirm any prompts.

Chrome Developer Mode option

The Opera web browser can use CRX files, too, with the extension called Install Chrome Extension. The Vivaldi browser natively supports CRX based extensions as well.

Since a CRX file is kind of like a renamed ZIP file, an archive/compression program, like PeaZip or 7-Zip (both free), should be able to open the file for expansion. If that doesn't work, use the CRX Extractor website to convert the CRX file to ZIP, and then try the archive program again.

However, doing this will only let you see the data that makes up the extension, not actually run the program.

Autodesk DWG TrueView uses CRX files, too, but the purpose for these files is unclear. The program most likely can not open CRX files, so they're probably just used by certain components of the software automatically and aren't intended to be opened manually.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the CRX file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open CRX files, see our How to Change File Associations in Windows guide for making that change in Windows.

How to Convert a CRX File

XPI (Firefox), EXE (Internet Explorer), and SAFARIEXTZ (Safari) files are similar to CRX files in that they're extension files used in those respective browsers. These formats, however, no matter their same intent (to extend functionality), can't be easily converted to or from each other's different formats.

However, one exception is that Chrome's CRX files can be installed in the Opera browser with the Download Chrome Extension mentioned earlier. This means you can install CRX files from the Chrome Web Store from right within the Opera browser.

You can also convert Opera extensions to Chrome extensions by renaming Opera's .NEX file to Chrome's .CRX file. This new CRX file must be installed to Chrome manually using the drag and drop technique explained above.

Keep in mind what you read above about ZIP files. CRX Extractor is an excellent way to convert CRX files to ZIP, but you might also have luck just renaming the file extension to .ZIP and opening it with a file zip/unzip program.

If you're looking to convert your CRX file to EXE for some kind of automatic install, your best bet is to try compiling it with an installer like Inno Setup.

Still Can't Open the File?

Be careful to read the file extension correctly. Some file formats append a suffix to the end of the file that looks a lot like it reads ".CRX" when it's really a letter or two off.

For example, CRX files are spelled very much like CXR files but are not the same format. CXR files are FMAT Plate Results files used with the FMAT 8100 HTS System. Another example can be seen with CXX files that are C++ Source Code files used with Microsoft Visual Studio.

The point here is to check the file extension and then research accordingly, looking for any information you can on the format the file is in, which will help you find the right program that can open it.