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How to manually install plugins outside the Chrome Web Store - fixedByVonnie

How to manually install plugins outside the Chrome Web Store

You’re going to have to do a few tricks in order to install extensions that aren’t in the Chrome Web Store.  Google has locked down browser security to make it harder for malicious extensions to install themselves from unapproved sources; however, despite being a judicious decision by Google, I think enforcing Chrome Web Store plug-ins can be annoying when you know what you’re doing and therefore trust the source.

I understand Google’s rationale:  since there have been a preponderance of evil websites prompting unsuspecting users to install malicious extensions, Google is mitigating that attack vector by forcing users to explicitly tell Chrome that you want to install unknown extensions.

There were too many hackers crafting websites that automatically installed malicious plugins without user knowledge.  Hackers were using these plugins to track your web activity so they could either sell your browsing behavior to advertisers or use it for more illicit purposes…

But sometimes you still want to do things your way and I’m about to show you how to regain control of Chrome and circumvent this problem.

Manually installing Chrome Plugins

If you visit lastpass.com/misc_download.php and click Download next to the Chrome extension, you’ll see a little warning slide in from the bottom of your browser Window:

Extensions, apps, and themes can harm your computer.  Are you sure you want to continue?

Google Chrome Extensions, Apps and Themes can harm you computer

Since we trust lastpass.com we’ll choose Continue.

If you keep your eye sharpened on the download bar at the bottom of your browser, you’ll see that Chrome dutifully downloads the file and attempts to add it….

Google Chrome adding .crx extension to Chrome

However, you’ll ineluctably encounter an error in an obnoxious yellow bar along the top edge of the browser that either reads:

Extensions, apps, and user scripts can only be added from the Chrome Web Store. Learn more

or

Apps, extensions, and user scripts cannot be added from this website.  Learn more

Google Chrome Apps, Extensions and User Scripts cannot be added from this website

To get around this – go to your default Chrome download folder.

If you’re not sure where it is press Ctrl + j to open the downloads tab and then click Open downloads folder in the far right of the browser window.

Press Ctrl and j to open the Chrome Downloads Tab

The plugin should have a .crx file extension.

Drag the file from your Downloads folder into your Chrome extensions tab.

You can open the Extensions tab by typing this into location bar:

chrome://extensions

Windows 8.1 Chrome manually adding extensions

When you drop the file into Chrome, a winlet appears asking you to confirm that you want to add the extension.

Click Add and you’re done.

Google Chrome add extension

The Bottom Line

Adding extensions and plugins into Chrome isn’t as easy as it used to be.  On the one hand, Google’s strict rule that extensions must be added from the Chrome Web Store is helpful because it obviates the possibility of installing malicious extensions; however, on the other hand, when Google stymies your efforts it can be a major annoyance, especially when you trust the source.  You can easily get around this but finding the plugin in your downloads folder and dragging it into the Chrome extensions tab.

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Posted in Google Chrome, How To, Web Browsers, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista Tagged with:
  • Sam

    This doesn’t work anymore with the latest version of Chrome.

    • Ah, seriously? That sucks, do you know how to do this in the latest Chrome?

  • I can’t even install Chrome extensions from the Chrome store. This app is becoming pathetic.

  • extuper

    I don’t think that chrome was able till now to stop such activities, and i dont think they will. this is the new solution for last chrome version (37.xx.xx.xx), http://youtu.be/2ZnBdb1cAnI

  • Speer999

    It’s not hard to publish an app. Just do it. You can drop the crx file into the extension settings area in chrome 37xx but chrome will disable it on reboot, because “it’s not from the store” Also, I’m trying to find a way to have these extensions preinstalled in a business environment, but it seems no one has a business mentality any more when they develop anything. It’s starting to get annoying. I’m considering just removing chrome from my machines all together. Good Riddance.