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.

CRX files in Windows 10 that open with Chrome

Some files that use this file extension might instead be Links Games Course files or program files used by Autodesk's DWG TrueView program.

How to Open a CRX File

Chrome Extension files are used by the Google Chrome web browser. They're usually downloaded through Google's website. See How to Add Chrome Extensions for directions.

Once installed, they're 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/

Installing unofficial extensions (i.e., CRX files you've downloaded outside of the Chrome Web Store), requires a separate set of instructions: access the chrome://extensions address in the URL bar in Chrome, enable Developer mode, and then drag the file into the window and confirm any prompts.

Chrome Developer Mode option

The Opera web browser can use this file format as well, but only if Install Chrome Extensions is installed. The Vivaldi browser natively supports this format, too.

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 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't open the file through a menu, 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 file but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open it, see our How to Change File Associations in Windows guide for making that change.

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 the other formats.

However, one exception is that Chrome's extensions can be installed in the Opera browser with the Install Chrome Extensions tool mentioned earlier. This means you can install a Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store from within the Opera browser without having to deal with a conversion.

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

There's no reason to look for a Chrome-to-Edge extension converter because CRX files can be installed in Edge, too, by default and without a separate tool.

Keep in mind what you read above about ZIP files. CRX Extractor is an excellent way to convert one 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, CXR might look the same but it's used for a different file format, specifically FMAT Plate Results used with the FMAT 8100 HTS System. Similar is CXX used by Microsoft Visual Studio for C++ Source Code files.

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.