How to Add Chrome Extensions

Install CRX Files in Google Chrome to Add New Features to the Browser

A browser extension is a special type of software that you can add to your browser to extend its capabilities. Sticky Notes, for example, is a browser extension that makes it easy to takes notes right inside your browser as you read articles or watch videos. Or perhaps you want something to be removed, such as autoplay for videos in your browser. There's a browser extension for that, too.

Extensions Live in The Chrome Web Store

Google Chrome extensions can be downloaded from both the Chrome Web Store as well as unofficial places that offer CRX files.

They're available for desktop computers only (not Chrome's mobile apps) and are really easy to install, as we'll look at below.

Google Chrome also uses web apps but they're not the same as extensions.

How to Install Official Chrome Extensions

To download Google Chrome extensions from its official location of approved extensions:

  1. Visit the Chrome Web Store to find the extension you want to install.
  2. Click it to open its Details page.
  3. Click the ADD TO CHROME button.
  4. Click Add extension in the confirmation box.
  5. The button will change to CHECKING... and then ADDED TO CHROME when it's done installing.

How to Install Unofficial Chrome Extensions

You can build Google Chrome extensions yourself and not include them in the Chrome Web Store. You can also download CRX files from others online. These extensions can't be installed in the exact same way.

Once you have a Chrome extension saved on your computer in the CRX format:

  1. Open the menu button below Chrome's exit button (it's the one with three vertical dots).
  2. Access the More tools > Extensions menu.
  3. Check the box next to Developer mode at the top right of the Extensions page.
  4. Drag the CRX file directly onto that page.
  5. Wait a few seconds for Chrome to register what the file is.
  1. Click Add extension when asked.

How to Download Chrome Extensions Without Installing Them

If you want to download a CRX file from the Chrome Web Store but not actually have it install to Chrome automatically, do the following:

  1. Open Chrome Extension Downloader.
  2. Copy the extension's URL from the Chrome Web Store.
  3. Paste the URL into the text field on Chrome Extension Downloader.
  4. You might have to click Keep when Chrome tries to download the CRX file.