Fix Chrome error download was not a CRX

When I tried to install a Google Chrome extension in the latest dev version of the web browser I was notified that an error had occured. The message below that stated that the download was not a CRX. Reloading did not fix the issue, neither did a restart of the browser, and next thing I tried was to install another extension from the official web store to see if it did install in Chrome. I did receive the same error message which puzzled me. Somehow Chrome was not download an extension file, which do have the crx file extension, but something else.

I fired up Chrome Canary, another version of Chrome that I use rarely to see if I was able to install extension in the browser. Turned out, I received the same error messages when trying to install extensions in the browser too.

download was not a crx

The download directory was listing the crx file downloads, but attempts to install the extensions in Chrome revealed that they appeared to be corrupt. For one, they had a slightly different file size which is obviously a bad sign if it is the same file download.

I tried a lot of things afterwards, clearing the cache, trying to find the download url of the crx file manually and all of that stuff. Last thing I tried, and that is one of the things that still puzzles me, is to sign in to a Google account. Guess what, after signing in the installation went through without issues.

I tried it again in the second version of Chrome that I was not signed in and it failed again. Signing out in the other browser and signing in again on the other hand let me download and install the extension just fine a second time.

Read also:  First Chrome extension with JavaScript Crypto Miner detected

I then signed in on the second Chrome browser and here too, the installation went through without issues. I can't say what is causing this but if you run into the error, I suggest you check if you are signed in and if you are not, sign in to see if it fixes the issue on your end.

Update: As some users have pointed out, going into Incognito Mode with Ctrl-Shift-N, loading the page of the extension in that mode and clicking on install then should also fix the issue.

Update 2: Note that signing out and signing in again may also work in case you are already signed in to your Google account. As some users have pointed out, there may be other solutions like deleting a user account or moving the download directory from a network share to a local folder.

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Responses to Fix Chrome error download was not a CRX

  1. Bram December 10, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    Thanks a lot - logging in did it for me - queer it is!

    • Frank December 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

      Maybe they (Google) want to know exactly WHO is installing extensions and themes !! Maybe to get numbers to justify they're hiding profits in off-shore accounts :)

  2. Practical Idealist December 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Thanks, this solved my problem.

    BTW, note that your G+ button is broken.

    • Martin Brinkmann December 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

      Hej, thanks for letting me know. I have added another plugin, hope it works better.

  3. JP December 22, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    Thank you, it worked for me!

  4. dee January 6, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    trick works..

  5. Allen January 12, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    Thanks,it worked.

  6. Paul B January 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Somehow I doubt that this is an error at all. "Creepy" Google wants to know exactly what you are doing. That's why I no longer use Chrome as my #1 browser.

  7. Mike January 13, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Signing in solved the problem.

  8. damasta971 January 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Thanks ! it worked very well ! Thanks a lot !

  9. Lina January 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Thanks a lot! It has worked for me, too.

  10. roger January 14, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    thanks.its working

  11. Jerry Garcia January 14, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    Didn't help me. I was already signed in. What did let me download extensions was going to settings and under Users clicking on "Delete this user". Then I could download extensions successfully.

  12. cristie Mcpink January 14, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    omg thank you so much i was getting so angry worked thanks a million

  13. Arben January 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Lol, signing in did the job for me as well, lmao. What a stupid error. Thanks

  14. Somebody January 15, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    Thanks,it worked :D

  15. Tom Estat January 15, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Did really help me, thanks. But it incitates me to leave Chrome : if they want to know at any price which extensions you use, they start to become a really dangerous titan. We live with a sleeping giant monster among us, and he might wake up at anytime...

  16. Alex January 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    thank you so so so much.

  17. Daniel January 16, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    thanks it worked for me

  18. Derrick January 16, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    Nice one! That'll be another thumbs up, logging in also worked for me.

  19. ed January 17, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    Thanks, it worked.

  20. Daniel January 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Thank you! Worked perfectly.

  21. zp January 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    omg! thanks so much, i was in a mess. you solved it out so easy.

  22. RJfromMilan January 18, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    1. open new incognito window
    2. install Ad Block
    3. done.

  23. Sergio January 18, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    Gracias, me salvaste mi pellejo!

  24. TimL January 18, 2013 at 2:47 am #

    Thanks man! I was already logged in so his fix didn't work. I also didn't want to delete my user from google chrome. Going on incognito, and then download the extension worked great!

  25. Okayalrigth January 18, 2013 at 3:40 am #

    Thanks man i just log out log in and it work !!!!!!

  26. wendy January 18, 2013 at 4:11 am #

    thanks!!! fix my problem~~~ LOL

  27. inyoung January 18, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    thanks a lot

  28. jessica January 19, 2013 at 1:11 am #

    entrar em modo incógnito deu certo, obrigado!

  29. Anonymous January 19, 2013 at 10:12 pm #


  30. Karan January 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Hey, the ctrl+shift+N worked for me.

  31. Ronan January 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Thanks man, really needed this!

  32. Anon January 22, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    Thanks a bunch! The incognito thing actually worked... and in like seconds too!

  33. Mike January 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Thank you for the tip !

  34. kim January 23, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    thanks soooo much. it works =) =)

  35. Park from sK January 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Thx soooooo much!!!! it worked!!!

  36. jill January 25, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    How weird is it that signing into Gmail actually works? Love it. Thanx!

  37. Tomas January 25, 2013 at 5:27 am #

    Thanks! I was trying to install a plugin and got the same error. Worked by logging in to my GMail.

  38. MikeyRod January 25, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    F**king sh*t...You da man, thanks for the tip!

  39. Anonymous January 25, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    I really don't understand this, but the exact opposite is what worked for me. The whole time I was trying to install something I was logged into a Google account and it wouldn't work, but as soon as I logged out of the account and tried again it worked just fine. Just proves how backwards my life is lol

  40. Josie January 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Thank you a million times over! I had given up!

  41. erwin ツ January 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    logout then login works for me!! lol

  42. HAzzaaa January 26, 2013 at 2:27 am #

    Thanks man

  43. pauri January 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    thanks so much, through logging out and in it finally worked for me!

  44. roql January 28, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    wow, thank you so much!!

  45. Anonymous January 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    thanks you so much :)

  46. James January 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Had this problem, though this fix didn't help me. Though I had the same problem it was being caused by having my Chrome download folder set to a roaming (network) profile. Once I changed the location for Chrome to download to a local folder on my PC I was able to install extensions again. Just adding this in case anyone finds themselves in a similar situation.

  47. Dimitra January 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    It worked fine with Ctrl-Shift-N


  48. kikka January 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Ctrl-Shift-N worked perfectly fine for me! thank you!

  49. F. Felix January 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Very good, the fast way is using (( Incognito Mode with Ctrl-Shift-N ))
    Thanks o/

  50. Anonymous January 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Thanks a lot, it work just fine after i logged in.

  51. Dvil January 31, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Спасибо Чувак!(thanks)!!

  52. FlOr February 2, 2013 at 2:32 am #

    OMG!! i love you! thanks!! you did my day!

  53. kenshi February 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    merci martin :)

  54. Anonymous February 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Thanks! It worked for me!

  55. Emiliano February 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Ok, thank you very much
    Emiliano Rome Italy

  56. Debbie February 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    I got the same error. I found that you Sign In to Google Chrome it will work. Easy fix!

    • Anonymous February 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      Crazy but it works THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. Anonymous February 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    Genious. Simple yet effective

  58. Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 4:55 am #

    thank you.. it works.. XD

  59. Anonymous February 7, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    Did not work! :( Used the control-shift-N recommendation and I get the same error!!! Why doesn't Chrome and the other browsers just provide a simple sort function as part of the browser. ITS NOT THAT HARD!!! ARGGG!!!

  60. Jack February 7, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Thanks man! I think that maybe its error is specially made by google. but still you made very elegant solution.

  61. Tomx February 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Thank you, I tryied with Ctrl+Shift+N and it worked. Nice work

  62. Anonymous February 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Thanks !! Works perfect. Issues solved :-)

  63. Almohan February 9, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Many thanks from France, Martin: the Incognito thing worked fine.

  64. JJJ February 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Thanks for the tip (from S.Korea~)
    I was already logged in when 'download was not a crx' appeared. So I logged out and re-login, and it worked. (^^)

  65. Cheyenne5030 February 9, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Great!! Thanks!

  66. Anna February 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    I am already signed in with Google and it is still coming up with this message.

  67. Anonymous February 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Thanks, It works!

  68. Dave February 12, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    maybe google needs to work out the bugs before rolling out apps - Im a user not a tech geek - dont wanna waist my time on programs that do not work and even try to search the web for complicated solutions - Ill just use a browser that works.

  69. Beibei February 13, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    Lovely! It works! Thank you so much <3

  70. Carrie February 13, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    Thank you.
    You did help me solve the problem. :)

  71. mememem March 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm #


  72. Keith October 25, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    I've had this problem, but none of the above fixes worked. It would download the file but error when installing, saying that it is not a CRX file. I am on a networked thinclient, so saving locally was not an option.

    I solved it for this specific behavior. After the CRX finishes downloading, I opened the download location and dragged the CRX file into the extensions tab. Chrome was able to make sense of that and install it properly. Its worked for ABP, IE Tab, and Tampermonkey, among others.

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