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Opera Users Can Now Install Chrome Extensions (And Vice Versa!)

Add-ons and extensions are one of the most popular features a web-browser can have. The only drawback being that your choice of browser limits what extra features and functionality are available to you.

Safari’s extensions don’t work in Firefox; Firefox add-on’s don’t work in Internet Explorer; and Internet Explorer… does it even have any of its own?!

With the popular web-browser Opera switching to the same web rendering engine as Google Chrome, namely Blink, the uneven playing field is levelling out: Chrome extensions can now be installed on Opera, and Opera’s new add-ons work in Chrome.

Developers and users alike will benefit from this, and whilst not all features of Chrome work in Opera at present (or vice versa) most, if not all, Chrome Extensions should work without a hitch.

So let’s see how you go about it.

Install Chrome Extensions in Opera 15

Opera have made nabbing Chrome extensions a snap. All you need to do is install the following to seamlessly install extensions straight from the Chrome Web Store in Opera 15.

Chrome extensions for Opera

Chrome Extension Installer for Opera 15

Installing Opera Extensions in Google Chrome

Doing things the other way around is a little less ‘seamless’, but not exactly hard work, either.

The first thing you’ll need is a copy of Opera 15. It’s currently in beta but stable enough for general use. Much like Google Chrome Canary Opera Next runs independently, so if you have an existing stable build of Opera installed running Next won’t overwrite it.

Download Opera Next

With Opera Next installed you’ll next need to open the Opera Add-ons gallery in it. You can’t skip this step; the compatible Opera extensions will now show up in Chrome, Firefox or older versions of Opera.

Opera Add-ons Website (New)

Next step is to find an Opera extension you fancy installing in Chrome. As Opera 15 is still in active development don’t be too judgmental about the variety (or lack thereof) of extensions now available. Chances are that, over time, Opera’s store will house many add-ons that Chrome won’t (due to licensing restrictions).

When you’ve found something you like simply right-click on the ‘Add to Opera’ button and choose ‘save linked content as…’ to download the extension.

Opera Add-ons gallery

Rename the downloaded add-on – suffixed with .nex – to end in .crx.

Renaming Opera extensions to work on Chrome

Open up Google Chrome and navigate to chrome://extensions. Drag and drop the renamed extension to prompt install:

install opera addons in google chrome

Review the permissions requested by the add-on and click ‘Add’ to install.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 18.11.53

And you’re done! Opera extensions can be removed from the Chrome extensions management page.

  • Andrei Zisu

    So what is Opera now?

    • Aleksander H

      A rebranded version of chrome?

      • Andrei Zisu

        Why does it even exist then? What did they do in the first place?

        • Aleksander H

          They were the first to give us tabbed browsing and built in torrent downloads. They gave us a lot of firsts. Lets hope they can continue to inovate.

          • Andrei Zisu

            Yes, they were, yet they never managed to pull their stuff together to gather more than 1% market share…

          • Aleksander H

            May have something to do with the fact that, for a long time, Opera was a commercial application costing roughly 10 dollars. Most people didn’t see the point in paying for what they could get free somewhere else.

          • http://fitoschido.wordpress.com/ Fitoschido

            You forgot mobile… Opera Mini in feature phones rocked way back to 2006 (and still!)

          • Andrei Zisu

            I didn’t like the fact that they forwarded everything through their proxy servers

          • http://fitoschido.wordpress.com/ Fitoschido

            That’s a good point, but I doubt there were another way to implement a browser in a Java phone.

          • Andrei Zisu

            You may be right…

      • http://aidan.info.tm/ Aidan Cheddar

        I’d say it’s too early to tell since 15 isn’t out of beta yet.

  • http://www.robinj.be/ Robin Jacobs

    Ah, finally we got rid of that mess of a rendering engine :)
    I think it’s rather unexpected to see this happen (the extension sharing thing). That it’s technically possible usually still doesn’t mean the companies like it.

    • jpxsat

      I like a unified world too. I’ve read somewhere that Rekonq is willing to do this too (use Chromium extensions). It would be VERY nice!

  • Brian Perry

    Very cool. Since Chrome doesn’t work well on my system, I’m going to download it tonight and use it as my chrome. Opera was always efficient but very boring.

  • Susan Bellwood

    Good news, I use both Opera and Google Chrome.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    That sounds very interesting. I’m still sticking to Opera stable, though. Does their beta add Unity global menu integration too? I hope they do that because it’s one of the few browsers that don’t offer that. Chrome has had it for a while now, and Firefox apparently still requires an extension to be installed.

  • WEBber

    Is opera based on chromium code? I think that some of the chromium based browsers are customizable with chrome’s extensions. I’m using Torch browser, for instance, and I install extensions off the chrome web store, but it’s not a new thing, it’s always been like that.

  • Stb Hernández

    Eeeeeh… all you need is this extension https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/download-chrome-extension-9/?display=en and you are set…

  • linuxpenguin

    Say goodbye to Opera’s originality, fellas ;-)

  • Ben

    Opera 15 Is Awesome,, And Better Than Chrome And firefox

  • http://2buntu.com Roland Taylor

    Will now show up, should be “Will not show up”.

  • Cherif Ayad

    how do i run and use chrome extensions in opera browser because after installing extensions I discovered two problems the first that I cannot resize omnibar and the second there is no way to use chrome extensions as opera extensions appears not chrome extensions.
    Is there any solution for these main problems

  • dilharo

    from next january onwards, google blocks these extensions

    • jsebean

      Source?

  • Reinhart

    If you fail using the extension above, you can install .crx by rename it into .nex, then drag and drop to the Opera Next toolbar (the URL one). If disabled, go to opera://extensions, to “Disabled”, then enable the extension.

  • Reinhart

    Tested on chrome extensions only