- Google Chrome is one of the best browsers in terms of supporting a wide range of extensions, so its users can benefit from additional features.
- Most of these extensions can be easily downloaded from the Chrome Web Store and installed in the browser with just one click.
- However, if you want to get an extension in CRX file format, you can find instructions on how to do that and additional information on how to work with this file format in this article.
One of the reasons why Chrome is the most used browser is because it offers many features that let you customize your experience by supporting a variety of extensions and other functions. Extensions essentially give your browser additional features, and users choose Chrome because it is quite extension-compatible among other browsers.
Meanwhile, Chrome extensions can usually be installed directly from their respective web store pages, and the process is quite simple. Although this is not always the case, it’s actually pretty great since the extensions are installed automatically. The question that arises now is what to do if your favorite extension gets removed from the Chrome Store or if you prefer to save the extension files without installing them. Fortunately, you can download and save the Chrome extension as CRX so that you can save the extension file on your computer and access it easily.
This means that even if some of the extensions you use are removed from the Chrome Store or updated to a version you do not like, the current extension will always be available as long as it’s already saved on your PC. CRX files are simply a workaround to bypass the Chrome Web Store and install extensions in the browser. Moreover, most users are unfamiliar with the specific procedure required to install these CRX files as browser extensions. Therefore, this article describes various methods to download and save Chrome extensions as CRX files and add them to your browser.
Table of Contents
3 Ways to Download and Save Chrome Extension as CRX
We’ll discuss three different methods to download and save Chrome extension as CRX on your computer:
Method 1: Repack the installed Chrome extension into the CRX file
This method is for you if you’ve already added the Chrome extension you want to download and save as a CRX file to your browser. You just need to follow these steps to repack the extension:
1. In Chrome, type the following address and press Enter to open the extensions list.
2. Toggle on the Developer mode to see the ID of the extension you want to save as CRX.
3. Press Windows + E to open File Explorer, go to This PC, and open the C drive.
4. Select Users and tap on the username you are using (the username will be “user” if you’ve never set a username before).
5. Tap the View menu at the top of your screen and check the Hidden items option (AppData is always hidden, and without enabling the Hidden items option, you won’t find it)
6. Navigate to AppData and open it.
7. Then click on Local > Google > Chrome.
8. Tap User Data and click on Default; if you are using a different User profile in Chrome, you have to click that instead of Default. For this article, I selected Profile 4 instead of Default as that is the profile I have the extensions show on the image in the first step.
9. Click on Extensions to open the extension files on your computer.
10. Navigate to the folder with the same name as the extension ID you want to download.
11. Go back to the Chrome extension page and click on Pack extension.
12. Click Browse in front of the Extension root box and navigate to the extension folder we noted earlier in step 9.
13. Select the file in the extension folder and tap Select folder.
14. After that, click Pack extension.
15. Select OK on the resulting page.
16. Now, go back to the extension folder and open it.
You’ll find the CRX file, which can now be copied to another folder for you to keep.
Related Read: 10 Best Image Downloader Chrome Extensions
Method 2: Use Online Downloader
There are some platforms that can help you download and save Chrome extensions as CRX files. We’ll guide you through the procedures to use our recommended downloader, which is also quite simple.
How to use CRX Extractor
1. Go to the CRX Extractor and click on Start for free.
2. On the resulting page, you’ll see a URL box under Download .CRX file section. This is where you’ll have to paste the Web Store URL link of the extension you want to save as CRX.
3. Visit the extension’s page on the Chrome Web Store, then copy the link from the address bar. However, the URL link should end with the extension ID. Therefore, if necessary, you might need to remove a few characters from the link. See the following example:
4. Paste the edited link into the CRX Extractor box and click Download.
5. Tap on Get .CRX for the download to start.
6. You may get any error pop-up saying “File might be harmful” click on Download anyway.
7. Now, the file will be downloaded to your computer and can be used anytime you want.
Method 3: Use CRX Extractor/Downloader extension
Chrome extensions can be downloaded as CRX or ZIP files with the help of the CRX Extractor/Downloader browser extension. You can use this program instead of the methods mentioned above if you like, as it is quite simple. Here is how to use CRX Extractor/Downloader to download extensions as CRX files:
1. Visit here to add CRX Extractor/Downloader to your Chrome extensions.
2. After adding the extension to your browser, go to the Google Chrome Store page of the extension that you want to save as a CRX file.
3. Right-click on any space on the page and place your cursor on Download CRX for this extension option.
4. Then click on Download CRX for this extension.
5. The Chrome extension will immediately start downloading.
How to install CRX files as Chrome extensions
Installing your saved CRX file as a Chrome extension requires a different process, and here you can find detailed instructions on how to do that:
1. Go to CRX extractor and click on Start for free.
2. Under Drop downloaded.CRX and get source code, click on Choose file.
3. Navigate to the CRX file you want to extract, select it and click open. We used the CRX file we downloaded with the second method in the previous section for this guide.
4. Select Get Source Code and wait for the ZIP file to download.
5. This process would have unpacked the CRX, which can now be added to the chrome extension without any issue.
6. Extract the installation file from the downloaded ZIP file and go back to your Chrome extension page.
7. Go back to your Chrome extension page, click on Load unpack.
8. Select the extracted file.
9. Click the Select folder option to complete the process and add the extension to Chrome.
The extension will immediately get added to your browser.
Benefits of saving a Chrome extension as a CRX file
There are a few benefits to saving a Chrome extension as a CRX file. First, if you lose your Chrome browser, you can still access the extensions that you have saved as CRX files. Second, if you want to share an extension with other users, you can easily do so by sending them the CRX file. Finally, if you want to modify an extension or add new features, you can do so by editing the CRX file.
Each Chrome extension can be downloaded as a CRX file using one of the techniques described above; you need to decide which method to use depending on your preferences. We have also discussed how to add CRX files as extensions if required. These options to download and save Chrome extensions as CRX files are always useful to keep your extension file offline. Let us know which method you prefer in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
The CRX file is the Google Chrome browser extension file used to install extensions on your browser. Each Chrome extension has its CRX file, but we mostly don't notice it because their installation is always done automatically. CRX files are compressed, so you can save them to your computer for later use. When you install an extension using a CRX file, it's installed in the same place as any other extensions on your browser.
Yes, it's possible to download a Chrome extension as a file called CRX. You have to use any of the methods discussed in the article like the CRX Extractor to generate the file and have it saved on your computer.
You shouldn't have any issues using the extension in CRX files as long as the extension is secure to use. Whether the extension is secure is the only thing you should be concerned about. Nevertheless, if you have the option to install the extension directly from the Chrome web store, that's definitely a safer option.
For most people, the basic reason for using CRX files is to make them available at any time, even on different computers. So, yes, you can use CRX files on any computer.
You must first unpack the CRX file in order to utilize it as a Chrome extension; a website like CRX extractor is recommended for this. The CRX extractor will convert the CRX file into a ZIP file, which can then be added directly to your Chrome extension.
The CRX2 and CRX3 formats are both used to distribute Chrome extensions. They're similar in many ways, but CRX3 has a better compression algorithm that'll make your extension files smaller. In Chrome 73, the CRX3 format was introduced as the default extension file format. The main difference between CRX2 and CRX3 is that CRX3 has updated features and improved performance. If you want to create a Chrome extension, you will need to use the CRX3 format.
If you try to install a CRX2 extension in newer versions of Chrome, it will fail. Also, if you try to install a CRX3 extension in older versions of Chrome, you will receive an error because these extensions are not backwards compatible.
First, you will need to download CRX Extractor. This free program allows you to convert your Chrome Extension to a ZIP file. Once you have downloaded it, open it and click on the "Extract" button. A new window will pop up, and you can select the folder where you want to save your Chrome Extension.
Now that you have saved your Chrome Extension as a ZIP file, you can compile it with an installer like Inno Setup. Once you have installed Inno Setup, open it and click on the "Files" tab. Next, click the "Add File" button and select the ZIP file you created in Step 1.
Finally, click the "Compile" button, and your Chrome Extension will be ready to use!
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