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How to install WoW Addons: The Fast & Easy Guide!

how to install wow addons
By | October 9th, 2019 | Categories: World of Warcraft

There’s no doubt that World of Warcraft‘s UI (user interface) has been well laid out and user-friendly since day one. However, everything can be improved upon—including WoW’s UI. That’s why we have addons! But how exactly do you install WoW addons? Simple! By downloading and extracting them into the Addons subfolder of the WoW folder on your computer. This process is pretty much identical for both Windows and Mac users.

But since we’re always more than willing to help, we’ll now provide you with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to properly install your addons!

5 quick and easy steps to install your WoW addons the right way!

By following our easy-to-follow guide, you’ll ensure that your addons are properly installed!

1. Get a popular Extraction Program

Although both Windows and Mac devices have built-in programs for extracting .rar and .zip files, most people prefer other extraction programs. Here are the best and most popular ones for both operational systems:


  • 7-Zip
  • Winrar
  • WinZip


  • File Juicer
  • Stuffit Expander

2. Turn off (log out of) World of Warcraft

Before you even begin to think about downloading addons, you have to exit your WoW client! This is essential because your addons won’t load if you’re trying to install them while the game is running.

3. Find and download the desired addon/s

Search for the specific addon either on CurseForge or WoWInterface as these are the go-to places for getting WoW addons. After you’ve found your addon, download it. Note that the file will download to your default folder for downloaded files, but you can always download the addon/s to your Desktop to locate it more easily.

4. Extract i.e. unzip the addon files

After your addon has been downloaded, you’ll want to extract it into the actual Addons subfolder of your World of Warcraft folder. Now, keep in mind that there’s a folder or folders inside each addon .rar or .zip file. Don’t mess with these! Simply extract the entire file with everything in it as it was.

Now the default location of the game varies depending on the OS.

Location on Windows:

  • C:\User\Public\Games\World of Warcraft\ is where the game is at by default and you need to extract the addon/s to C:\User\Public\Games\World of Warcraft\_retail_\Interface\AddOns\

Location on Mac:

  • Macintosh HD/Applications/World of Warcraft/ is the folder of the game and you’ll need to extract the addon file/s to Macintosh HD/Applications/World of Warcraft/_retail_/Interface/Addons/

And here are some details concerning the extraction process for Windows and Mac users:

Extracting an addon on Windows:

  • WinZip – Click “1-Click Unzip” then select “Unzip to PC” from the toolbar beneath the Unzip/Share tab and select the AddOns subfolder of the game (IMPORTANT: Ensure that the “Use Folder Names” option is checked!).
  • 7-Zip – Click “Extract” and choose the AddOns subfolder of your World of Warcraft folder.
  • WinRar – Click “Extract To” and again – select the Interface\AddOns subfolder from the World of Warcraft directory.

Extracting an addon on Mac:

  • File Juicer – Drag the compressed addon file/archive and drop it into the AddOns subfolder of the game’s directory to extract it.
  • Stuffit Expander – Double-click the addon file/archive and Stuffit Expander will automatically extract it in the current folder.

5. Check if the newly installed addon works

Launch your WoW client, log in, and hit the AddOns button located in the lower-left part of the Character Select Screen. This will open all installed addons and you can verify if the one you just installed is there. If it’s not, then double-check that you’ve extracted the addon file to the correct folder (\World of Warcraft\_retail_\Interface\AddOns\).

Is there an alternate way to install WoW Classic addons?

Yes. There are two ways to install addons for WoW Classic. The first is by downloading and extracting the files into the game’s directory (as we just outlined). The second is by using the Twitch app.

Since some people find the Twitch path easier, we’ll now take a closer look at how to actually use this app for installing Classic addons.

How to install classic WoW addons through the Twitch App:

  • Download and install the Twitch app on your computer
  • Open the ‘Mods’ tab
  • Choose World of Warcraft
  • Pick the WoW Classic folder from the drop-down menu on the upper right corner (the default should be C:\User\Public\Games\World of Warcraft\_classic_\)
  • Find the desired addon/s
  • Hit ‘Install’

That’s just how easy it is to get your Classic addons installed via Twitch. Still, if you can’t find a particular addon on Twitch, you’ll just have to use the old-fashioned way of extracting the files into the WoW Classic folder.

What exactly is an addon?

In World of Warcraft, an addon is a mod that combines XML and Lua codes. The main goal of an addon is to improve the gameplay for players, either by adjusting or even replacing the game’s default UI.

Now, there are different addons with different in-game purposes. Some of them may add a simple cast bar button that’s displayed somewhere on the screen. While others change pretty much everything related to the original UI. This means that you have new buttons, health and status bars, color schemes, etc.

Nonetheless, each addon for WoW aims to provide that extra bit of functionality that’s sometimes missing with the genuine UI of the game. This is especially true for WoW Classic as vanilla UI is quite devoid of bells and whistles. That’s why there are certain must-have addons for Classic WoW such as Questie and Atlas.


You can finally put the How to Install WoW addons question to rest. As you can see, installing addons for your favorite game is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Simply find the desired addon, download it and then extract the file (or files) into the AddOns subfolder of your World of Warcraft directory. That’s all!Now, what’s your preferred method for installing Classic addons? Do you use the Twitch app or do you prefer the tested and proven download-and-extract method? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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