What is a CRX File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert CRX Files

Picture of the CRX file icon

A file with the CRX file extension is a Google Chrome Browser Extension Archive file.

CRX files are used to extend the functionality of the Chrome web browser through little programs that add additional features to the default browsing experience.

Most CRX files are downloaded through the Chrome Web Store, but others may originate elsewhere or be loaded locally.

Some CRX files might instead be Links Games Course files.

How To Open an CRX File

CRX files that are extension files are used by the Google Chrome web browser. Usually, CRX files are downloaded through Google's website and therefore installed to Chrome automatically. However, this won't be the case for CRX files that you download outside of the Chrome Web Store.

You can install third-party CRX files by accessing the chrome://extensions/ address in the URL bar in Chrome and checking the Developer mode option on the top. Then, just drag and drop the CRX file into the Extensions window and confirm any prompts. If this doesn't make sense, you can follow along the images in this guide for more information.

Note: The Opera web browser can use CRX files too, with the extension called Download Chrome Extension. The Vivaldi browser natively supports CRX based extensions too.

Since a CRX file is actually just a renamed ZIP file, any archive/compression program, like PeaZip or 7-Zip (both free), will open CRX files for expansion.

Doing this will only let you see the data that makes up the extension, not actually run the program.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the CRX file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open CRX files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert a CRX File

XPI (Firefox), EXE (Internet Explorer), and SAFARIEXTZ (Safari) files are similar to CRX files in that they're extension files used in those respective browsers. These formats, however, no matter their same intent (to extend functionality), can't be easily converted to or from each other's different formats.

However, one exception is that Chrome's CRX files can be installed in the Opera browser with the Download Chrome Extension I mentioned earlier. This means you can install CRX files from the Chrome Web Store from right within the Opera browser.

You can also convert Opera extensions to Chrome extensions by renaming Opera's .NEX file to Chrome's .CRX file. This new CRX file must be installed to Chrome manually using the drag and drop technique explained above.

Keep in mind that CRX files are really just ZIP files, so you can actually rename the file to a .ZIP file to open it with a file zip/unzip program.

Still Having Problems Opening or Using a CRX File?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the CRX file and I'll see what I can do to help.

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