These small programs are so helpful, there are one or two of them that I use almost all day every day in my work life. But the frustrating thing about platforms is that they don’t always want to play ball together!

So I had to find out – can I get the Chrome extensions I want to use on my iPad? – Or even my iPhone for that matter!

Here’s the quick answer, then I’ll take you through the options…

Do Chrome Extensions Work On iPad No, Chrome extensions do not work on iPad or iPhone. There is no web browser for the iPad that allows a desktop-level extension. It is not Apple’s policy to allow developers to include downloadable module engines in their apps, for multiple reasons which also include Apple’s security restrictions.

But this all assumes you know what a Chrome extension is, so let’s back up a little and just clarify what a Chrome Extension is…

What is a chrome extension?

Chrome is Google’s powerful and flexible browser. Chrome extensions are small software programs that customize your browsing experience. They can be installed into chrome in order to change the browser’s functionality to your needs or preferences.

This can be done by adding new features to your chrome or modify the already existing programs to make them more convenient for the user.

These extensions can add various functions to chrome such as blocking pop-up ads, managing your passwords, copying a text from a website, assuring secured web browsing and protecting your privacy.

They also help you get the most out of the websites you visit. It is also quite easy to find and install extensions into your Chrome. 

What are Google Chrome extensions?

Chrome extensions are small programs that run inside Google Chrome and provide additional functionality and customize your browsing experience according to your preferences. These extensions are HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other files.

chrome extensions icon locations

Some Chrome extensions may require a little more set up than others, for example, you may need to confirm your email and obtain a validations key.

Installed extensions usually add a small icon in the top right corner of your Chrome browser

Why don’t Chrome extensions work on iPad

Chrome is powered by Google’s own Blink fork and provide all of Google’s outstanding services like Maps and Gmail. It also provides the same account sync on iPad and iPhone but due to Apple’s security restrictions, it must use Webkit.

Similarly, it is not possible to use chrome extensions on your iPad as well. Chrome on IOS is restricted in comparison to Chrome on Mac. Apple does not currently support downloadable apps that do not go through the app store. A few possible reasons for not allowing extensions are:-

  1. And most importantly – security. Not all extensions of chrome are safe and secure, some extensions collect your highly personal data.
  2. Google Chrome extensions are a possible means of bypassing Apple’s revenue collection.
  3. Finally, it would also be a means of bypassing Apple’s ‘gatekeeping’ of App store.

Do chrome extensions work on Android

Unlike iPad users, android fans can use their favorite desktop chrome extensions on their phones as well. 

Unfortunately, this privilege is still not available on the default Chrome which comes already installed on Android smartphones. You will find the usage of Chrome extensions on a large scale when it comes to the desktop Chrome browser.

Although you can enjoy some extensions of chrome on your android, you still can not enjoy all the desktop chrome extension on your smartphone.

How to use Chrome extensions on iPad

Unfortunately, for the time being, Chrome for iOS does not support extensions. Since there is no way to get them on iOS, we can only hope this can be improved in the future.

If you’re desperate to have those extensions in place, then the only option is to use “Chrome Remote Desktop” which is an app that allows you to access your desktop from your phone, tablet or another computer.

This will let you securely access your computer from your iOS device is a simple and easy way. All you need to do is…

  1. Download the app from the Chrome Webstore on the computer which you want to access remotely.
  2. Install the app and follow full instructions carefully to complete the setup.
  3. Open the app on your iOS device and tap on any of your online computers to connect. 

To get full-access, you need to make sure you have two things installed on your computer. First is Chrome – obviously! And second is the desktop version of ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ app. If you want to use this app again then do not forget your PIN! Write it down somewhere so you don’t forget.

You will also have to download the iOS Chrome Remote Desktop app from the App store. After the app is installed, make sure you sign in to the same Google account as you used in Chrome.

Once signed in, your computer will show up on the list, tap on the computer and enter the required PIN. There you have it, now you can completely control your computer through your iOS device.

What if you need Chrome extensions directly on the device

Beyond the solution above you would have to look at getting a different device. For me, there is an easy and relatively cheap way, so leave the iPad at home this time and do this…

Assuming having access to Chrome extensions is a deal-breaker for the device. Then do what I do, I purchased a good priced Chromebook from Amazon. This is light and portable enough that I can carry it around with me and still work fine – including all my essential extensions!

There is no solution other than the ones mentioned above.

Can I install a Chrome extension to my desktop from my smartphone

Yes, Google lets you add Chrome Extensions to your PC from your smartphone and I can tell you how. This method works on any smartphone, just click on the link to an extension, as long as you’re signed in to your Google account, you’ll see a button that says “Add to Desktop”. The extension will be installed on any PC where you are signed in.

On what devices Google Chrome extensions work on 

Google chrome extensions work on almost all desktop and portable PC devices whether its laptop or a computer. Chrome extensions may work on Android Devices – depending on the extension.

To close

As frustrating as it might be that platforms don’t always talk to each other, it is getting better. There was a time almost nothing was compatible with anything else. These days, manufacturers are seeing the advantages of being more ‘vanilla’ in their approach to sharing data and systems. Either way, I hope you found this useful.

If you’re ready to start blogging on your new device, then be sure to check out my course (coming soon) which shows you how to do this for just a small charge – and with proven traffic growth results!