Easily Subscribe to Feeds With the RSS Subscription Extension [Chrome]

Chris Hoffman 15-06-2012

rss subscription extensionIf you regularly use Google Reader or any other feed reader, you’ve probably noticed a missing feature in Google Chrome. Most browsers – even Internet Explorer these days – offer a built-in way to detect and subscribe to RSS feeds How RSS Feeds Work In Simple Terms [Technology Explained] Read More , but Chrome doesn’t. The Google-created RSS Subscription Extension for Chrome adds this missing feature, along with previews of RSS feeds.


This extension is ideal for anyone using Google Reader or any other feed reader. While pundits have pronounced RSS dead 4 Things That Really Annoy Me In Tech Today [Opinion] I'll admit, I get a little cranky sometimes. I guess we all can, and sometimes it's a good thing to vent. So here's a list of the top 5 things in tech that are really... Read More over and over, they’re still offered by a huge amount of websites and are a great way to stay up-to-date on multiple websites from one place – without giving out your email address and getting spam.


After you install the RSS Subscription Extension from the Chrome Web Store, you’ll see a familiar orange RSS icon in Chrome’s address bar whenever you’re viewing a page with RSS feeds. Click the icon to see the feeds available on the current page and select a feed to preview it. You’ll be taken straight to the preview if the current page only offers a single feed.

rss subscription extension

The preview page displays the contents of the feed and allows you to easily subscribe. It even shows this preview when you navigate directly to a feed – no more confusing XML when you click a feed link. If you really want to see the raw XML code What Is an XML File and How Can You Open and Use It? You may have seen the term "XML." You might even have accidentally opened an XML file. What is XML and how do you use it? Read More , you can always click the Feed link on the preview page. If you didn’t have this extension installed, you’d have to copy-paste the feed address into your feed reader after locating it on the page.

rss subscription extension chrome


By default, the RSS Subscription Extension subscribes to feeds in Google Reader. If you use Google Reader, all you have to do is click the Subscribe Now button and the extension will send you off to Google Reader, where you’ll have to click the Subscribe button to finish.

rss subscription extension chrome

This additional click isn’t really necessary, given that Google Reader shows you a preview of the feed, anyway. You can enable the Always use this reader to subscribe to feeds check box and you’ll be sent directly to Google Reader when you click the RSS icon in your address bar.

chrome subscribe to feed


Other Feed Readers

If you use another feed reader, you can select it from the drop-down box. The extension also includes support for iGoogle 5 Cool Retro Games You Should Add To Your iGoogle Page iGoogle is a personal, customizable homepage which every Google account owner can make use of. iGoogle lets you add multiple different gadgets, such as Gmail updates, news, weather and games, and access them easily every... Read More , Bloglines, and My Yahoo.

rss subscription extension chrome

You can add any web-based feed reader to the extension by clicking the Manage option in the dropdown box. You’ll need the appropriate URL for the feed reader – check your feed reader’s website for its address. When you subscribe to a feed with a custom feed reader, Chrome will load the URL you specify here, replacing %s with the address of the current feed.

google rss subscription extension


In keeping with Chrome’s — and Google’s — devotion to web apps, the RSS Subscription Extension doesn’t allow you to subscribe to feeds in desktop feed readers RSSOwl - Powerful News Feed Reader For Your Desktop Read More running on your computer. If you want to use the extension to preview feed before subscribing to them in a desktop feed reader, you can click the Feed link on the preview page to view the feed’s source code. You can grab the feed’s address from Chrome’s address bar and copy-paste it to your desktop feed reader of choice – for example, the address here is, so we’d add to our desktop feed reader.

rss subscription extension

If you’re missing Firefox’s live bookmarks, try the Foxish extension Add Firefox-Style RSS Feeds With Foxish [Google Chrome] Do you love Chrome, but miss having live RSS feeds in your bookmark toolbar and menus? Foxish brings this famous Firefox feature to Chrome, and it's only a click away. Firefox has, for ages, offered... Read More . For more Chrome tips, check our our list of the 100+ best Chrome extensions The Best Chrome Extensions A list of only the best extensions for Google Chrome, including suggestions from our readers. Read More and our full guide to Chrome The Easy Guide to Google Chrome This Chrome user guide shows everything you need to know about the Google Chrome browser. It covers the basics of using Google Chrome that is important for any beginner. Read More .

Do you still use RSS feeds? Or do you stick with social networks like Twitter The 10 Best Twitter Feeds To Follow There are an awful lot of guides out there listing the so-called best feeds to follow on Twitter. Narrowing down a list of the ten best feeds can be tricky. There are so many users,... Read More and the time-tested method of regularly visiting your favorite websites?

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  1. Leonardos Leonardos
    May 27, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Hello! Thanks for the useful post.Though,I have a question that honestly I can't find the answer so far. Is there a way to 'use' this kind of extention in google chrome on an ios device?As far as I know,chrome for ios,does not support extensions.Is there an alternative way to easily subscribe rss to feedly from a webpage that feedly search can't find?For example,on safari,you can do this using a bookmarklet.If chrome for ios can't support these actions which alternative browser do you suggest that can subscribe rss to feedly? (except safari) Thank you!

  2. jc
    September 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I used to use this to read a particular RSS feed. But this morning I went to the feed URL and Chrome is asking me which reader to use. I don't see the icon anymore. I don't have any way to select rss subscription extension. But when I go to the Chrome store it tells me I already have RSS Subscription installed. And when I go to my chrome tools > extensions I can see it there. But for some reason Chrome no longer allows me to view the feed that way anymore....

    anybody have any suggestions what to do to fix this???


    • Chris Hoffman
      September 25, 2012 at 2:30 am

      That's weird -- have you tried uninstalling the extension and reinstalling it? Or maybe it just doesn't work properly with the specific feed anymore...

  3. Santo
    June 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Dear Chris Hoffman ,

    Thanks for the article.

    A great alternative for Google reader is Feeddemon, a desktop RSS reader, which synchronizes with your Google (reader feeds) account.

    The more extensions you use the more memory Google Chrome takes. So better try not to use too many extentions while there are other alternative for them.

    Instead of using this extention, there's a subscribe button in Google Reader which you can drag & drop in the Google toolbar, and every time you wish to subscribe to a feed, you can just click on it.

    Also there's a fine Google chrome extention called ''Super Full Feeds for Google Reader '' which allows you to read the full RSS feed.

    This is just my suggestion & thanks for the article again.


    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Ah, FeedDemon is still around -- I remember using it, it was pretty good. Thanks for the information!

  4. Jon Smith
    June 16, 2012 at 4:02 am

    I still think that RSS feeds are important but I mainly read them off my Iphone, mostly for news but I have some tech feeds

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:56 am

      That's another good point! It's often faster to skim and read feeds on a small screen than it is to load many cluttered web pages.

  5. Ray Markey
    June 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I got here by way of RSS feed.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:55 am

      Interesting to see the RSS users out in force! Thanks for commenting.

  6. Manide
    June 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    In order to keep in touch with my preferred sites and blogs I use primarily RSS feeds. The next are Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:57 am

      Do you use Google Reader, or is there a better RSS client out there? Almost everyone seems to use Google Reader (if they use an RSS reader), from what I see.

      • Manide
        June 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

        Hi Chris,

        First, I used Opera built-in rss reader; was good, but following a friend's advice, I tried Brief (Firefox extension) and Google Reader. The last became my choice, indeed.

        From time to time, Google does some changes to its products in order to "improve" them; that's why I tried some web-based alternatives, but none of them captured my attention enough - let's mention Netvibes and NewsBlur for instance...

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm

          Google Reader really seemed to beat all the other RSS readers. There was much more competition years ago, a more thriving ecosystem with more desktop clients and web-based ones, too. Google Reader's just good.

  7. RichF
    June 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on this extension. RSS is still the best way to keep up with anything more than a handful of sites.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:55 am

      You're welcome! I think most people only keep up with a handful, which is why RSS isn't more popular.

  8. Sergio Casas
    June 15, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I use it on a daily basis,
    To think that its dying its just wrong from my point of view.
    I use it to keep in touch with about 90 webcomics and 60+ tech pages (and I do read most of them).
    Other features and services might have taken a bite of the chunk (think facebook feeds and twitter), nonetheless these dont posses the ability to hold record of what have and haven't seen.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:54 am

      Very true -- RSS is really convenient and fast. I can't imagine keeping in touch with that many websites without it -- that'd be a full-time job.