I am trying to install a free extension in Google Chrome, but whenever I click "Add To Chrome", I am asked to sign in to a Google account. This has never happened before, and I do not want to use an account just to install an extension. This problem is occurring for all extensions. How can I install extensions without signing in?

  • I just went to their web site, where they had a direct download to the extension off their github. Aug 19, 2013 at 14:39
  • Just use the direct link chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/readium/…
    – Ramhound
    Aug 19, 2013 at 14:54
  • 1
    In Chrome now you'll be told you cant do it unless you first enable a flag 1) visit from the address bar chrome://flags 2) search 'exensions' 3) Set 'Extensions Menu Access Control' to 'Enable' 4) They'll likely keep renaming this as they are jerks. 5) You'll now be able to drag the extension file saved from crxviewer.com or similar onto the page
    – Evolve
    Feb 11, 2022 at 2:04
  • 2
    @Evolve this didn't quite work for me (using ungoogled Chromium), but was a good starter. I succeeded by downloading the ZIP from crxviewer, unpack it into an empty directory, then enabled developer settings in extensions and loaded the extension as "unpacked" (after having applied your changes). Some more hints can be found here – most likely drag'n'drop will work after having set chrome://flags/#extension-mime-request-handling to "Always prompt for install", as suggested there. Thanks for your hints, wouldn't have managed without!
    – Izzy
    Mar 14, 2022 at 0:27
  • 1
    PS: Bingo, thanks to the last mentioned setting being added to the equation, I now can directly install extensions (via crxviewer) without manually unpacking them first. I'm prompted to install – and it installs.
    – Izzy
    Mar 14, 2022 at 7:48

3 Answers 3


You now seem to need sign in to a Google account to install any extensions/add-ons from Chrome Web Store.

Sign in to Chrome. Sign in to get your bookmarks, history, and settings on all your devices.

But you can still install an extension without logging in to a Google account by doing the following:

  1. Find the ID for the extension you want to install. You can see it in the URL on in Chrome Web Store.

    For example Adblock Plus extension has an URL like:


    The ID we want is the long string of random characters like cfhdojbkjhnklbpkdaibdccddilifddb in the URL above.

  2. Download the extension package, a .crx file.

    You can do this by using this URL with the <ID> part replaced by the ID from above:


    For the Adblock Plus .crx the URL would be:


    You will get a warning about that extensions cannot be added from this site, but you can ignore that, the .crx will be downloaded anyway.

  3. Go to your extensions page in Google Chrome. You can find it in the Tools -> Extensions menu or by using the following URL:

  4. Drag and drop the downloaded extension .crx file you just downloaded in to this window to install it.

    Drag and drop to install extension

And you're done.

You could also use helpers like Chrome Extension Downloader to download the .crx file.

  • 13
    In newer version drag and drop in Step 4 does not work. It says This can only be added from the Chrome Web Store. Workaround for this is rename .crx extension of the downloaded file to .zip and extract the file. Then in chrome extensions page enable developer mode and click on 'Load unpacked extension'. Then select the extracted folder.
    – Nufail
    Mar 7, 2014 at 9:56
  • 1
    @Nufail, wow, so they want to make it even more complicated. That's just great... (Will update this when I have the time, unless someone else does that first.)
    – Qtax
    Mar 7, 2014 at 10:05
  • And for those who don't have drag and drop support, just extract the crx file with 7zip, activate developer mode in the extension panel and load extension from folder. Cheers!
    – user316063
    Apr 16, 2014 at 12:39
  • 2
    This doesn't work anymore. Any update to this? Im just trying to get the .crx file, not install it.
    – Noitidart
    Sep 14, 2014 at 19:54
  • 2
    Step 2 does not work anymore, it just shows a blank page
    – golimar
    Nov 26, 2019 at 9:54

Here is the announcement about locking installation of Chrome extensions so that they can only be installed via the chrome store: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/d35tIyH8dVM%5B1-25-false%5D

They also say:

What if I want to run non-web store extensions? Advanced users can continue to use our Dev & Canary channels to run any extension. Please note that these channels are updated very regularly, and may contain features and bug fixes that are actively being developed.

The easiest way around is to just not use the Chrome Web Store, or just don't use Chrome.

Chrome is completely useless for me if I can't install extensions. I will not create a google account just so I can download from the chrome store. This looks much more like forcing millions of Chrome users to create google accounts than actually do anything about security.

  • 2
    I agree. It's Google BS.
    – msbg
    Feb 20, 2015 at 0:56
  • 1
    Firefox is heading the same way - nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/02/17/… "In the second half of 2015, it says, Firefox will require all browser extensions to be digitally signed." I have already switched to Palemoon and Dragon. RIP Firefox, it was your extensions that made you great.
    – Underverse
    Feb 24, 2015 at 2:37
  • 2
    @Underverse: That's different. Having signed extensions is a good thing, but forcing you to sign-up and use Google's servers for any kind of installation is not.
    – not2qubit
    Sep 27, 2015 at 10:49
  • Is it possible to just download the crx without having to log in?
    – Noitidart
    Oct 14, 2015 at 18:26
  • I'd agree with Underverse's answer, "...or just don't use Chrome". As long as Google persists in their arrogance, we shouldn't support them.
    – jelabarre
    Jul 9, 2021 at 11:58

Summing up information collected in the comments on the question itself:

For Ungoogled Chromium, this is how it worked out for me (steps 1-3 by Evolve):

One-time Preparations

  1. visit from the address bar: chrome://flags
  2. search 'exensions'
  3. Set 'Extensions Menu Access Control' to 'Enable'
  4. clear the search, then set chrome://flags/#extension-mime-request-handling to 'Always prompt for install'

Install process (without login)

  1. search for the extension you want to install (see this answer for details)
  2. copy it's ID (e.g. cjpalhdlnbpafiamejdnhcphjbkeiagm for uBlock Origin)
  3. paste it to the text input at crxviewer.com and choose to download as extension
  4. once the download is completed, you should see a popup prompting you to install or save. Simply hit 'install', and you should be done.

Extensions will show up as "not from Chrome Web Store" in chrome://extensions/, and I'm not sure to my experience they will not update automatically (you will have to repeat steps 2-4 of the "Install process" to do that manually).

If the above for some reason should not work out, you can still download from crxviewer as ZIP, unzip to an empty directory, enable developer mode in chrome://extensions/, and load the extension as unpacked. That's how I started – so it might be needed to have developer mode enabled as well.

More hints can e.g. be found here. I didn't install this extension as I didn't want direct ties to Google; if you don't care about that, installing the Chromium Web Store extension might make the process much easier for you if you're on Chromium.

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