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
Extensions, apps, and themes can harm your computer. Are you sure you want to continue?
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….
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
Apps, extensions, and user scripts cannot be added from this website. Learn more
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.
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:
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.
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.