Important: Chrome will be removing support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Chrome OS will continue to support Chrome Apps. Additionally, Chrome and the Web Store will continue to support extensions on all platforms. Read the announcement and learn more about migrating your app.

Web Store Hosting and Updating

Most extensions are hosted in the Chrome Web Store to best protect users from malicious extensions.

Hosting

All extensions are distributed to users as a special ZIP file with a .crx suffix. Extensions hosted in the Chrome Web Store are uploaded through the Developer Dashboard as .zip files. The publishing process automatically converts the .zip into a .crx file.

There are three exceptions to the Chrome Web Store hosting rule:

  1. Extensions that are distributed through the enterprise policy.
  2. Unpacked extension directories from a local machine while in developer mode.
  3. Linux installation.

Read more about the hosting policy.

Updating

The Chrome Browser periodically checks for new versions of installed extensions and updates them without user intervention.

To release an update to an extension, increase the number in the “version” field of the manifest.

  {
    ...
    "version": "1.5",
    ...
    }
  }
  {
    ...
    "version": "1.6",
    ...
    }
  }

Convert the updated extension directory into a ZIP file and locate the old version in the Developer Dashboard. Select Edit, upload the new package, and hit Publish. The browser will will automatically update the extension for users after the new version is published.