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TNCall them extensions, plug-ins or add-ons; the terms probably owe their popularity to Firefox. The knock on effect is that it has almost become a gold standard for browsers to be judged by. Why not as these days we live inside the browser rather than anywhere else.

The need for extension support was almost a clarion call as soon as the browser hit the market. The ability to extend the browser’s prowess using little third party apps is what separates Firefox from the herd. And Google has been playing catch-up.

Has it caught up? No, but it is definitely a few yards closer.

The good news is that Google Chrome now officially supports browser extensions. That’s the little bit of good news along with the fact that there developers are jumping on the Google bandwagon and packaging new code to broaden the scope of the browser.


The little bit of bad news is that Google Chrome extension support is still not a feature of the stable version of Chrome but you get it in the latest build of the dev channel release. But as the Chromium team’s blog says, extension support is on the runway and taxiing towards a takeoff for all versions.

Not to get confused between Chrome and Chromium – Chromium is the open-source project behind Google Chrome which Chrome relies on for its final build.

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So let’s get up and running with installing extensions in Google Chrome.

  1. Download and run the 2MB Dev Channel installer from the Chromium Developer page.
  2. The updated version (4.0.221.6) features an extension manager. The extension manager can be accessed in two ways ““
    • Type in chrome://extensions/ in the location bar of a new window or tab.
    • Access it by clicking the wrench icon and then Extensions.
    • google chrome extensions

  3. To those of us more attuned to the Add-ons box of Firefox, the extension manager will seem very basic. It features just three tools. The developer version gives you tools to load, pack and update extensions. Remember, Chrome still does not have anything similar to an add-ons gallery, so a direct route to search and select Google Chrome extensions is lacking.
  4. Tools

  5. To try out your first “˜official’ extensions, head over to these this Chromium page for installing any of the provided three sample extensions. The extensions download as CRX (Chrome Extension Installer) files. Chrome supports two formats for extensions-Compressed CRX files and its uncompressed (unpacked) counterpart which generally consists of files written in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.
  6. how to install extensions chrome

  7. Click the install link below the snapshots and download the package and install in Chrome. If you have downloaded it to your hard drive, just drag and drop it into the browser window.
  8. Save

  9. For valid extensions, the Installed extensions section in the Extensions manager, displays the confirming information.
  10. google chrome extensions

  11. Uninstalling or disabling the extensions is also just a matter of a single click from the extensions page.

But all this brouhaha for just three sample extensions! It could be a big letdown, if not for third party developers working behind the scenes on extensions of their own. I can straightaway suggest to you two sites that could empower your browser by a bit”¦

Chromeextensions
Chromeplugins

These sites are not associated to Google but are merely a place for independent developers. But they are the groundbreakers in every sense of the word as Chrome tries to become the internet’s Swiss army knife like Firefox. The salvo has been fired by Google. With time it could be a toss-up between browsers. We just have to pick the browser we want.

Do you think Chrome could soon match up?  Do you know of any other sites offering Google Chrome extensions?

  1. Jeremy
    October 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Finally. I use Chrome because it is a *lot* faster than firefox, but the lack of tabmix plus and adblock is really weighing it down. Adsweep is OK but it unfortunately downloads every ad before hiding them, and doesn't have as many ad definitions as adblock plus.
    I'm hoping it's not too late in the game for devs to get excited about making chrome extensions.

  2. Nick @ Brick Marketing
    October 12, 2009 at 8:35 am

    I still have not been able to really get into Google Chrome yet. Firefox is still at the top of my list.

  3. tad
    October 11, 2009 at 11:35 am

    After installing the dev version, I'm sent back to the stable version after a few weeks and then I have to reinstall the dev version. Is this intentional?

    • Saikat
      October 11, 2009 at 11:43 pm

      I am not sure how the Dev channel gets updated. Probably,as soon as a new stable version (or beta) gets released, the dev channel updates to that and one has to download the next dev version manually.Couldn't find anything on Google just yet on that.

  4. guthrie
    October 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Apparently I was in "audit mode" which is a registry error that prevents Google program installation. Solved, thanks.

  5. guthrie
    October 10, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I do not seem to be able to install the dev channel version on Win 7 64bit. Is this a known problem?

    • Carlos Urreta
      October 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm

      It works on my win 7 64bit. Just restart chrome to see the 'Extensions' under the wrench.

  6. ILoveFreeSoftware
    October 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Google Chrome rocks. It is my personal favorite browser.

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