How To View a Google Chrome Extension’s Full Source Code

You can extract and view any Google Chrome extension’s full source code following the following easy steps.

Every Google Chrome extension is basically a CRX file. When you click the “Install” button on the Google Chrome extension gallery you are basically clicking a link of the extension’s CRX file.

The first step is downloading the extension’s CRX file. Instead of clicking it’s link, which will lead to that extension being installed on your browser, right-click the link and choose “Save link as…”.

Now that you have the CRX file on your computer, rename it’s extension from CRX to ZIP. Turns out that every CRX file is a renamed ZIP archive of the extension.

All there is left to do is extract the ZIP archive to the desired destination. The full code of the Chrome extension is there.

Have fun exploring other peoples code!

About the author

Oren Yomtov

Hello, I’m Oren and I’m a New Ventures Consultant.

I co-founded a VC-funded startup acting as CTO, worked in Silicon Valley, served in IDF's Technological Unit, and these days I'm providing consulting services to startups and enterprises.

5 Comments

  • I only get a “Add To Chrome” button and a popup that doesnt allow me to right click to Save As. Am I missing something?

  • Or after you’ve installed it you can browse to
    %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\

    Then go to the wrench menu in Chrome -> Tools -> Extensions.
    Make sure the developer mode checkbox is checked at the top.

    The go to the extension you wish to inspect and copy the ID which will look something like this: fobcpibfeplaikcclojfdhfdmbbeofai

    That ID is the name of the folder in the extensions folder that you want to go into. The .crx is extracted and run from that directory.

Hello, I’m Oren and I’m a New Ventures Consultant.

I co-founded a VC-funded startup acting as CTO, worked in Silicon Valley, served in IDF's Technological Unit, and these days I'm providing consulting services to startups and enterprises.

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