Google Chrome has become the most popular web browsers in 2018, thanks to its enormous number of Chrome extensions available for free on Chrome Web Store.

While the majority of Chrome extensions live in the Chrome Web Store, there are quite a number of useful extensions available for download on online code repositories like Github.

In this post, I’m going to show you two different ways you could install an extension.

What’s Chrome Extension?

A browser extension is a small application that extends the default behavior and functionality of the web browser. A Chrome extension has a .CRX file extensions.

If you use a Chrome browser on your mobile phone, you might be wondering if you could install an extension on your Chrome app.

The short answer is no. Chrome extension is only available for computers.

Where are my chrome extension stored?

On Mac, open your Finder application, click Go > Go to Folder and enter “~/Library/Application\ Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Extensions”.

On Windows, you could find the extensions files in “C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”. If you can’t find the folder, make sure you uncheck “Hide protected operating system files” options on your computer.

How to Install Chrome Extensions?

Automatic Installation via Chrome Web Store

The easiest way to install a Chrome extension is via Chrome Web Store. Simply search for any extension you want to install, click the extension to view its detail and click the Add to Chrome button. Chrome will prompt you if you want to install the extension. Click Add extension and the extension will be available to you.

PRO TIP: Use the filter to find extensions with at least 4 stars rating. Install extensions with high rating and number of downloads.


  • Secured. Google has strict guidelines that developers have to follow before they can publish their extension on the web store. These guidelines help to minimize security risk.
  • Easy update. When the developer updates the extension on the web store, Chrome will prompt you to update the version on your browser.


  • You can only install extensions from the web store

Manual Installation

If you know how to create a Chrome extension or download an extension file somewhere, you can install it on your browser without publishing it on the Chrome Web Store. On popular code repositories like Github, there are a lot of useful Chrome extensions you could find that doesn’t make its way to the web store.

So, to install chrome extensions manually, first, you have to download the file to your computer. Make sure it has .CRX file extensions.

Next, click on the three dots on your browser to open the menu. Go to More Tools > Extensions. Click on the Developer Mode toggle to enable it and then click Load Unpacked. Select the file you downloaded and click Add Extension to finish the installation.


  • Quite a number of useful extensions you could install.


  • Questionable security. These extensions are created without an extra layer of checking by Google. It’s your responsibility to vet through the extension’s review or rating to ensure it’s not doing anything bad.
  • Manual update. As you installed the extension manually, it’s gonna be the same for updating. Whenever there’s a new update, you have to install it manually.

Final Thoughts

No matter what your job is, there’re always extensions that would make you more productive and do your job better or maybe just for entertainment.

For example, Broken Link Checker is a popular plugin for bloggers to do link building. On the other hand, Turn Off the Lights is another popular plugin that I use all the time when I’m watching a video.

Whatever your need is there’s always an extension for it.

Do take note that installing too many extension might increase the risk of attacks on your computer and sometimes slow down your Chrome browser.


I am a front-end developer and I teaches entrepreneurs who want to grow their audience, start an online business, and pursue their dream life. When I spend time away from the computer, I enjoy reading books and having a cup of green tea.

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