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 Androids’ Chrome browser.
Sure, Chrome on Android has a “Desktop” option, but that only changes the website you are viewing 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 there are dozens of them out there that 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. 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.
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 for you to use whenever you like. Some users have complained about Yandex because a lot of the content is in Russian. So, if this isn’t the browser you enjoy, we’ve listed others in the next section.
Other Android Browsers that Support Chrome Extensions
Several Android browsers work with add-ons/extensions, so here are some you can try.
1. Firefox Android Browser
Firefox is well known, and for a good reason. It has always been a close competitor to Chrome 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, so it offers a very similar experience on Android as it does on the desktop. Most Chrome extensions will have a Firefox equivalent, so if you have a favorite setup on your laptop or desktop, you can mimic it almost precisely on mobile.
2. Kiwi Android Browser
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.
Once loaded, select the three-dot menu icon, select Extensions, and 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. Dolphin Android 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 for you 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.