I just published my first extension on the Chrome Web Store but every time I tried to upload the finished article I kept getting the same error: “Failed to process your item”. This is how I solved it.
While you’re developing your extension its pretty simple to load the extension in to your local browser and the Chrome developer website is quite helpful, providing many samples and tips to get you along the way.
The site falls down a bit at the last hurdle because for some reason, even though Chrome has a built in mechanism for packaging up an extension into a .crx file they don’t ever actually want you to provide this file.
The .crx is actually just a zip file anyway with a renamed extension. They ask you to upload a plain .zip file with the manifest.json in it and its associated scripts and other assets.
There wasn’t any example that you can refer to so personally I wasn’t sure if it was that simple and I didn’t want to accidentally publish something incorrect on the store so I was a bit hesitant. Turns out it was that simple though, you just zip up the files and upload them.
A couple of tips for this:
- If you’re using WinRAR to compress it then just right click the files and choose “Add to archive…” there is an option on that screen that lets you choose if it should be a zip or a rar so just check it to zip and click ok.
- Don't just right click the extension folder and compress it because then all the files will be in that folder. Go into the folder, select all and then right click, add to archive.
If you’re reading this though you have probably already got past this stage and you’re now seeing an error that says “Failed to process your item” and then some other issues its picked up with the manifest file; something like this screenshot:
What this error should actually say is “Error: you can’t have comments in your manifest file”. That's all it turned out to be. When I removed the /* */ license section from the top and a few // comments scattered throughout the file and re-uploaded everything went smoothly.
Good luck and why not post your new extension in the comments when it goes live!