How to Install Chrome Extensions on Android
Can you install Chrome extensions on Android? This question appears all the time. Considering both Google Chrome and Android was created by Google, you would think you could use Chrome to its fullest potential. Unfortunately, Chrome extensions are not compatible with Android’s Chrome browser.
Sure, Chrome on Android has a “Desktop” option, but that only changes the website you view and does not perform like the regular desktop Chrome browser, full of add-ons and features.
With that information out of the way, how can you use your favorite extensions on your mobile device? The straight answer is to use another browser, and dozens of them work with Android.
How to Use Chrome Extensions on Android
Chrome uses the open-source Chromium platform for its browsers, and so does a lot of the competition, such as MS Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi. The easiest way to overcome the limitation of Chrome but still keep the regular functionality is to use a Chromium-based Android browser that supports extensions.
Use Yandex on Android with Extensions
One of the more popular options is Yandex. This browser is available in the Google Play Store, so there’s no need to sideload any files. Yandex also offers full support of the Chrome Web Store. If you want to use Chrome Extensions on your Android device, this is an excellent place to start. Here’s what to do.
- Download Yandex from the Play Store.
- Once installed, tap on the “address bar” at the top. Type in “chrome.google.com/webstore” without the quotes.
- When the Web Store opens, tap the “search bar” and type the extension you’d like to add. Note: Use two fingers to zoom out because you’ll likely see the desktop version.
- Tap on “Install” in the upper right-hand corner.
Your extension now appears in the Android web browser to use whenever you like. Some users have complained about Yandex because a lot of the content is Russian. So, if this isn’t the browser you enjoy, we’ve listed others in the next section.
Use Firefox on Android with Extensions
Firefox is well known, and for a good reason. It has always been a close competitor to Chrome (and Chromium) because it is equally fast, more secure, and more interested in your privacy. It doesn’t have the backing of the internet giant, but that hasn’t stopped it from performing exceptionally well.
Firefox for Android supports Mozilla’s custom add-ons, but the mobile version is limited to less than 20 extension choices. Therefore, Firefox for Android doesn’t offer much add-on flexibility.
- Download Firefox for Android.
- Tap the “vertical ellipsis” (three vertical dots) in the lower-right corner to access the “Settings.”
- Tap on “Add-ons” from the list of options.
- Browse any listed extensions you want to add to Firefox android, then tap on the “+” icon to install them.
You can also go to addons.mozilla.org to browse, but the list is the same even though you get a search option. It does not show you all extensions that a PC browser offers.
Use Kiwi Browser on Android with Extensions
Kiwi Browser is another Chromium-based browser that supports extensions. Kiwi also features built-in ad-blocking and works very fast. It’s a light download, installs quickly, and fires up fast. The browser is perfect for general use and stops most ads by default.
- Open the Android Kiwi Browser.
- Tap on the “vertical ellipsis” (three vertical dots) menu icon.
- Select “Extensions.”
- You’ll see a link to the Kiwi Web Store, which is just another name for the Google Play Store.
- Select your extension from there, and you’re good to go.
3. Brave Private Web Browser
Dolphin Browser is another top performer for Android that supports add-ons. While recent updates haven’t moved it as far forward as it should, it’s still a solid Android option that supports those desired extensions. Dolphin Browser also has an ad blocker and works with Flash, too, at least for now, since Flash is dead and HTML5 took over. Regardless, if you play any legacy games that use Flash, Dolphin will play them.
Dolphin works quickly and blocks most ads by default with only a few slipping through, and it works how you’d expect it to work. The Dolphin browser is well worth checking out.
Android Chrome Extensions FAQs
Where can I get Chrome Extensions?
Typically, you can get extensions for Chrome from the Chrome Web Store. However, the mobile version of the Chrome browser doesn’t have any. The search option isn’t even available to search for your favorite extensions. This scenario is why you have to use alternative browsers. Some browsers do not offer extensions per se, but they bring many of the features you may look for in an extension. Others, on the other hand, incorporate add-ons to some extent.
What do Chrome Extensions do?
Chrome extensions are similar to the applications on your phone. From saving money with the Honey extension to perfecting your Grammar with Grammarly, many options are available. The home page of the Chrome Web Store lists some of the more popular options, so if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for, start there.