How to Install Extensions that aren’t from the Chrome Web Store

This brief guide will show you how to install Extensions (.crx files) for the Google Chrome web browser, that are not in the Chrome Web Store.

In a Google Chrome update, the ability to install Extensions directly from “3rd party” web sites was disabled (technically, “made more difficult” is accurate). This was done as a security measure, so it’s important that you trust the publisher of the Extension you’re going to install. Here’s how to install Extensions that weren’t downloaded via the Chrome Web Store.

Note: the screenshots in this guide are from OS X. The steps are exactly the same for Windows – you should be able to follow along without any problems.

  1. Download the Extension you want to install, it doesn’t matter where you save it, just remember the location.
  2. Launch Chrome and click the Customize and Control button (as indicated in #1 in the image below). Select Tools from the drop down menu, and finally Extensions.

  3. Locate the Extension file (.crx) that you want to install in Finder (OS X) or Windows Explorer (Windows), and drag it onto the Google Chrome Extensions window in Chrome itself.
  4. A pop-up message will appear asking if you want to install the Extension. Click the Yes button.
  5. The Extension will now install.
  6. That’s it!

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9 thoughts on “How to Install Extensions that aren’t from the Chrome Web Store”

  1. Yes, I try on Ubuntu with v37 dev and it also works just fine. It’s only on ChromeOS it doesn’t work. I suspect it’s something new and only on ChromeOS….now dev is up to v38 too. Oh well, I gave them ‘feedback’, so we’ll see if that makes any difference.

  2. With ChromeOS I’m honestly not sure – it sounds like they made a change if you were able to do it before and not now. I just tested it again w/ Version 38.0.2114.2 dev (64-bit) (latest) in OSX and it works just as it always has…

  3. I had been doing it this way before, but now I gives me a little ‘no entry’ sign next to the pointer while I’m trying to ‘drop’ the file into the extensions page (chrome://extensions). Am I missing something? (chromeos, btw)

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