How to Add Chrome Extensions

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

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A browser extension is a type of software you can add to your browser to extend its capabilities. Sticky Notes, for example, is a Chrome browser extension that makes it easy to takes notes right inside Chrome as you read articles or watch videos. Perhaps you want an extension to capture and edit screenshots in your browser, to check your spelling or to display the lyrics for YouTube music videos. There's a browser extension for all these needs and many more.

Extensions Live in the Chrome Web Store

Google Chrome extensions can be downloaded from both the Chrome Web Store as well as unofficial sites that offer CRX files. They're available for desktop computers only—not Chrome's mobile apps—and are easy to install. 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. Select the extension to open its Details page.

  3. Select the Add to Chrome button.

  4. Select Add extension in the confirmation box.

  5. The button changes to Checking and then Added to Chrome when the installation is complete.

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 same way as extensions from the Chrome Web Store.

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

  1. Open the menu button at the top of Chrome. It's the one with three vertical dots.

  2. Access the More tools > Extensions menu.

  3. Move the slider next to Developer mode at the top right corner of the Extensions screen to the On position.

  4. If the extension file isn't in a ZIP file, use a CRX Extractor to unpack the CRX file and turn it into a ZIP file.

  5. Select Load Unpacked at the top of the Developer mode screen.

  6. Navigate in the screen that opens to the ZIP file containing the extension. Highlight it and select Select.

  7. Select Add extension when asked to do so on the confirmation screen.

How to Download Chrome Extensions Without Installing Them

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

  1. Copy the extension's URL from the Chrome Web Store.

  2. Paste the URL into the text field on Chrome Extension Downloader.

  3. You might be prompted to select Keep when Chrome tries to download the CRX file.