Chrome WebStore directly installs (dot)crx extensions without letting you first download them on your computer. This is a convenient way, saving you extra exercise of separate plugin installation. But often you need to download Chrome extension and save them in a different folder so that you can use them independently.
Saving Chrome extension CRX files in separate folder is beneficial –
#. When you want to use them in a computer which does not have an internet connection. A saved extension file can be transferred in USB drives and can be installed offline.
#. When you want to back up an extension in case Google decides to remove it from the WebStore.
Downloading Chrome Extension:
Step 1. To download and save an extension, first you need to find the extension’s unique ID from its URL. For this, open its page and look at the last part of the URL after the keyword detail. This garbled text is its unique ID. For example –
If the extension address is – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-mail-checker/mihcahmgecmbnbcchbopgniflfhgnkff
Then its ID is – mihcahmgecmbnbcchbopgniflfhgnkff
Step 2. Now, you will have to put that extracted ID in the following URL:
Step 3. Paste this newly formed URL in another browser like Firefox or IE. This URL will download latest version of the extension. For example, from the ID we extracted, the download URL will be –
Please note %26 suffixing the ID. Without this little code, the extension will not download. The download file will be automatically named as extension with its version number for your convenience.
Installing Saved Extensions:
Chrome policies do not allow installing extensions outside the WebStore. However, there is a workaround for installing your saved extension or extensions from third party sites.
To install an extension outside Chrome WebStore , follow these instructions –
Step 1. Open your extensions page from Chrome Options > Tools > Extensions or typing chrome://extensions in the address bar.
Step 2. Now drag and drop your saved extension onto this page.
Step 3. Chrome will confirm the actions. Accept that and you are done.
So you see, manually downloading and installing extensions is fairly easy task. In absence of internet connection or in situations when you can’t sync Chrome, this is must-know technique every Chrome lover should know.