After the latest update to Google Chrome, it has started preventing users from installing extensions from any other place except the official Chrome Web Store. Also, if you have some extensions installed which are not from the Store, the browser will block them too. The primary reason why Google made these changes is security: they want to protect their users from malicious extensions. However, if you are sure that an extension you downloaded previously is safe to install, here is how you can bypass the restrictions.
- Open the Google Chrome browser and type the following in the address bar:
- Enable the Developer mode option on the top right corner of the extensions page. The buttons "Load unpacked extension" and "Pack extension" will appear on the screen.
- Unpack the crx file (which is a regular ZIP archive) to any folder you want. i.e. C:\chrome\my extension.
Tip: You can use any archiver to extract the contents of the crx file, for example WinRAR (an old and very popular archiver). Personally I prefer the open source 7-Zip archiver.
- Click the Load unpacked extension button and point the browser to the unpacked extension folder.
Voila, your extension is installed!