How To Download Source Code of Any Chrome Extension - How To KR

Chrome extensions are one of the best ways to change the functionality of your browser according to your needs. There are various types of extensions that can help you block advertisements, get coupon codes for websites and more. However, security and privacy are the main concerns with extensions. You need to be very vigilant when you install an extension and your permissions. A view of the source code for Chrome extensions is the best way of ensuring its safety and protection.

A number of HTML, CSS and JavaScript files are included in Chrome extensions with a single manifest script. Once you read an extension's manifest and context log, you have a good understanding of the permissions and scripts that it loads. All Chrome files are distributed under a CRX file, but they are technically standard .zip files that can be removed by WinZip.

Here are the reasons for seeing the Chrome extensions source code.

  • You must see the source codes to see how popular extensions are coded if you are a developing person. It helps you to reuse your code as long as your license allows.

  • For a number of different reasons, many useful extensions are abandoned and you may need changes to add new functions or to change the user interface. I have recently changed the CSS file of Motivation extension to add a dark black background to the new tab.

  • If an extension is from an untrusted or unknown developer, viewing the source code will ensure that your browsing activities are not spied on.

You know why you should consider viewing an extension's source code and here are several ways of doing so. I'll teach you how to view the Chrome Extension source code.

How To Find Extension Source Code On Your Hard Drive

It's pretty easy to find the source code for Chrome extension on your laptop. When you install a Chrome Web Store extension or topic, you download a CRX file and remove and save the file's contents locally on your hard drive. We need to navigate to the removed path and find the extension ID to get the source code. The downside to this approach is, to display the application on Google Chrome, you must first install the extension.

Step 1: Open extensions tab in Google Chrome

Click on three vertical dots at the top left side of the Chrome browser and hover your mouse on More Tools and then click on Extensions to view all installed extensions.  Alternatively, by typing chrome://extensions in the address bar, you can directly open the extensions page.

You have to activate "developer mode" to view hidden details such as ID and index page of extensions after opening the extensions page.

Step 2: Copy ID of the extension

You can see the identification of any expansion installed on your browser after enabling the Developer mode. To view the source code, copy the extension ID you need to use.

Step 3: Open Google Chrome User Data directory

For Windows users, navigate to this directory on your computer-

C:/ Users/ {USER NAME}/ AppData/ Local/ Google/ Chrome/ User Data/ Default/ Extensions 

For Mac users, navigate to this directory -

/Users/ {USER NAME}/ Library/ Application Support/ Google/ Chrome/ Default/ Extensions

Each extension installed on your browser represents each folder.

Step 4: View Source Code of Chrome extension

To view the source code for the Chome Extension, paste the Extension ID in the search bar and open the first result to obtain the full source code. You may modify the code to make improvements directly on your desktop for code reusability or you can copy it to your desktop.

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