How-To Geek

Install Extensions in Google Chrome

Feeling adventurous and wanting to try some extensions in Chrome? The Chromium Code developers have three fun and useful extensions that you can add to your installation of Chrome.

Note: You will need to be using a recent trunk build of Chrome or a Dev Channel release.

Get Chrome Ready for Extensions

First things first, you will need to do a little bit of prep work to get your installation of Chrome ready for extensions. Locate the shortcut(s) for Chrome and right click on them. Select “Properties”.


Once you have clicked through, you will see the “Properties” window with the “Shortcut” tab displayed. In the address area for “Target:” you need to either type or paste “–enable-extensions” (without the quote marks) at the end making certain to leave a single space in between the final quote mark and the enable extensions command. Once you have that finished, click “Apply”, then “OK”.


Now you are ready to go get those extensions!

Installing the Extensions

You will need to go to the Extensions home page (link provided at bottom of article) to select and install the extension(s) that you want. The three extensions that are currently available are Gmail Checker, Subscribe in Google Reader, and BuildBot Monitor. As you can see, each extension has “Install” and “Download Code” links.


Note: The Gmail Checker extension works perfectly in the latest release of Iron Browser (version and will display in the Bookmarks Bar! Enable extensions the same as for Chrome.



Choose the extension(s) that you want to use and click on “Install” for each one (for our example, all three extensions will be installed). Once you have clicked “Install”, you will see the following message for each extension you have chosen. Click “OK” to complete the installation.


After installing all three extensions, Chrome will look like this. Notice that Gmail Checker and BuildBot Monitor are displaying side-by-side in the lower left corner and Subscribe in Google Reader has quickly detected the RSS feed for the How-To Geek website. Looking great!


Now to take a closer look at each extension in action.




Clicking on the Gmail Checker, Subscribe in Google Reader, and BuildBot Monitor extensions will open up new tabs. The tab for the “BuildBot Monitor” extension gets really detailed.




Accessing Your New Extensions

Now that you have new extensions, how do you access them or delete them if you change your mind about them? All you have to do is type or paste “chrome://extensions/” (without the quote marks) into the address bar and hit “Enter”. Here is what the extensions page looks like. To uninstall any of the extensions simply click on the “Uninstall” button.


Have fun with your new extensions for Chrome!

Get the Extensions for Chrome

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 06/24/09

Comments (35)

  1. Pcjunkie7

    The thing you said to copy/paste into the Chrome shortcut does not work. It says the link is broken and is trying to load it as a webpage. This is what you show above “–enable-extensions” and it should be “–enable-extensions” with two separate dashes! I did this and it worked.

  2. Asian Angel

    @Pcjunkie7 – Apparently the WordPress setup has changed the two dashes to a single one after the article was posted…it even changed the two dashes to a single dash in your comment. :( Sorry that it got accidentally changed.

  3. Fede777

    Is there a way to install extensions in ChromePortable, with the lack of a shortcut?

  4. Asian Angel

    @Fede777 – I myself have not been able to get extensions installed in my Portable Chrome browser yet. :( But I am certain that a way to do it will be figured out sometime soon. :)

  5. Fede777

    Then I hope to see a “Install Extensions in Google Chrome Portable” soon :)

  6. Steven

    I’ve been trying to get this to work, every time when I click on install…it just downloads the crx file. Also checked the chrome://extensions/ and says i have none installed :(

  7. Asian Angel

    @Steven – I have started looking around for a solution about the problem you are having installing extensions.

    Also curious as to which version you are using (just in case there is a bug with that particular version)?

  8. Pritam Pebam

    I’ve added the “–enable-extensions” but i dunno wat’s the problem. mine isn’t working. The .crx file got downloaded and when i double click the file, it says “Couldn’t install extension. Extensions are not enabled.”

    I’m using Chrome v3.0.192.1 installed through an offline installer.
    M i missing something???

  9. Asian Angel

    @Steven – I have been having some install weirdness with some of the new extensions that I have been trying, so it is probably going to take a bit to get extension installation settled down. :(

  10. Asian Angel

    @Pritam – Have you tried setting up your install of Chrome on the Dev Channel to see if that can help? There might be something about it using that method instead of the offline installer might get it sorted out…

  11. aubronm

    To help those who have a technical problem :

    Try this :

    Instead of this:


    Kind regards,

  12. Ivan

    Windows switches, different to the Linux ones, are not dashes but slashes. You may also try with:

  13. Nickel

    When I try to install the extensions I get this error – Invalid value for ‘permissions[0];. (Extension Install Error. I did a drag and drop and also I tryed downloading from the site and same result.

    I did the –enable-extensions in the target of the shortcut area of the google chrome icon.

  14. Asian Angel

    @Nickel – Which version of Chrome are you using?

  15. Eric J

    I am having the same “Extensions not installed error” messege. Running WinXP w/ Chrome

    This is what I have in the Target box:
    “C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” –enable-extensions

    It is 2 dashes in case it gets changed after I post this. Should there be a space before the 2 dashes? I tried to remove the space and it errors out with:
    “The name “‘C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” –enable-extensions’ specified in the Target box is not valid. Make sure the path and file name are correct.”

    Please help if you can. Thanks in advance.

  16. Asian Angel

    @Eric J – Having the space before the two dashes is the correct format. ^__^

    For using or adding extensions I always run the latest Dev Channel releases and have very nice luck with them. Perhaps switching over just might be the way to get those extensions working like you want. ^__^

  17. pao

    i followed everything to the letter and it still doesn’t work for me. it still says extensions aren’t enabled.

  18. karenAndy

    I also try with one and two dashes and still doesn’t work for me :( I’m using version and I can’t download the .crx file a message pops up and says Extensions are not enabled.

  19. jojoguy10

    I’m trying to use extensions too, but when I click the install button next to it, it shows a “Save as” window for a .crx file. then when I click on that, it asked me which program to open it in, and I said Google Chrome. Then I clicked it, and now when ever i click it, it downloads a copy. So, is Google fixing this? I’m using Google Chrome Beta by the way.

  20. Asian Angel

    @pao – Are you using a Dev Channel release?

    @karenAndy, & jojoguy10 – I would suggest moving to the Dev Channel releases. I always have good luck with those. When I tried the other channels I always had problems with extensions.

  21. wael

    how can i install extention to SR Ware Iron chrome ?

  22. eautio

    I have the same problem: add “–extensions-enabled” after the address, both in the shortcut AND in the system registry, and the problem does not go away. Have chrome version on XP service pack 3.

    How does one get a Dev Channel release?

  23. 1fastbullet

    No reflection on you, personally, Angel, but it irritates the heck out of me that HTG still hasn’t found the need to date articles somewhere in proximity to the title line. Invariably, an individual interested in the subject only learns the article is old and relatively useless after opening and reading the article.
    This particular article could also use some updating, in the sense that there are no longer only three available extensions, That isn’t a critical issue, though, since the number has increased rather than decreased.

    Another item I’d like to mention since I’m here; I’d truly appreciate more of your findings relative to the Iron browser you briefly mentioned. I find that when I’m trying to download extensions from the Chrome page, I get the following message:
    Google Chrome Extensions are not supported on your browser. Please download the Beta Channel of Google Chrome to install extensions.

    Needless to say, if I can’t download the extension, neither can I install it into Iron.

    Thank you.

  24. Asian Angel

    @wael & 1fastbullet – SRWare has set up focused individual websites for extensions and themes. ^__^ Trying regular Chrome extensions from Google’s website in my Iron installs has been sort of “hit and miss”…some work and some do not, so these links should help. ^__^

    The Extensions Site Link:

    The Themes Site Link:

  25. Placehold

    Ensure that you use the following target extension

    C:\Users\Placehold\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –enable-extensions

    Rather than the one posted, as vista does not recognise the use of ” ” when refering to some targets



  26. Jen

    Go to this page and see if at the top of it you get an indication that extensions cannot be installed. If you do, download the version it suggests you do to have the extensions installed. The Beta version. After installation, as above, go to properties and add after a space “–enable-user-scripts –enable-extensions” (again, as discussed above, no qoute marks and with two dashes before “enable” rather than one long).
    Then Apply and OK. Quit Chrome and reopen it. Go to again. If it now says “Add features to Google Chrome by installing extensions” on top of it, you succeeded.

  27. Rin

    I tryed every sinlge way and non of them worked. Every enable extensions thing I tryed didn’t do anything.. :|

  28. Asian Angel

    @Rin – Which version of Chrome are you using and how long has it been installed?

  29. Matt G

    I’ve been having the same problem as steven up at the top of the page. I’ll click install, and it will only save the file instead of installing. and I’m pretty sure I have the lastest update on chrome.

  30. Asian Angel

    @Matt G – That is a problem that I experience from time to time too and I have absolutely no idea why that starts happening. :( So far the only work-around that I have found for that is to uninstall using Revo Uninstaller (Advanced Mode) and then do a complete clean re-install. After that the extensions install normally for me again…

  31. paco

    i have ff 3.6 and 4 portable and the use of extensions continue being more satisfactory that chrome v6 and 8,i haven´t installl extensions in this ,i have .crx open with winrar ,paste but i don´t know where sure

  32. Asian Angel

    @paco – The .crx files are ready to install as they are, so you definitely do not want to open them with WinRAR. The .crx files should be able to install easily from the Google Chrome extensions website or you can drag-and-drop them into a new tab in Chrome to install them.

  33. Siddhant

    I have downloaded .crx file from facebook for Smileys but How to Install it

  34. Asian Angel

    @Siddhant – I am guessing based on your comment that you have downloaded an extension from Facebook itself instead of the Google Chrome extensions website. If you trust the file, simply drag-and-drop it into a new tab…that should kick-start the installation process without any problems. ^__^

  35. Nitin Ule

    Lol.. Siddhant..

    Just drag the .crx file and drop on the chrome window.. it will do the needful :-)

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