In some cases, it can be necessary to install a Chrome extension without using the Chrome Web Store, for example to test an unpublished version of an extension.

Also, some users living in China asked us if there was a way to install our extension as they can’t access the Chrome Web Store. Hopefully there is!

Method 1: from the source code

If you have the source code of the extension you want to use, you can easily add it to Chrome.

It’s the case of Email Hunter’s extension whose source code is publicly available in a Github repository. You’ll have to download the content of the repository and unzip it:

Download repository

Once you have your folder, go to chrome://extensions (or find it in your menu in more tools > extensions), then activate the developer mode on the top right of the page:

Developer mode

Then to install the extension, you just have to indicate where is this folder on your computer:

Unpacked extension

Method 2: from a .CRX file

In some cases, someone will send you an extension in the form of a .CRX file. Since version 35 of Chrome, .CRX files can no longer be installed in one click, for security reasons. You have to use the developer mode in this case too.

Once you are on the extension page with the developer mode activated, drag and drop the .CRX file on the page.

In this case, you will have to give the permissions as if it was installed from the Chrome web Store:


Tadam! Your extension is successfully installed! Chrome indicates you that it as been installed manually without using the Chrome Web Store.


François Grante
François Grante