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How to Install AddOns for World of Warcraft
- By Unkle of Grounding Totem, US Kirin Tor
- With a tip of the hat to Lopeppeppy for her original guide.
When AddOns are properly installed, a new button appears in the lower left corner of the character selection screen of World of Warcaft, labeled AddOns. If you do not see this button, your AddOn is not properly installed or no AddOns are installed at all.
- Where to Get AddOns
Always download your AddOns from a reputable source. The author of this guide recommends you use the following sites for most of your AddOn needs.
● WoWInterface.com - http://wowinterface.com/
● Curse.com - http://curse.com/
- Extracting your AddOns
AddOns are delivered in compressed files to save space on hosting sites servers and to reduce the amount of time it takes you to download them. They are commonly in .zip format with some .rar format files. Windows and Macintosh computers have native support for .zip files. If your AddOn is compressed in .rar format, you will need another program to open them. Your web browser may also be able to open compressed files for you automatically after they are downloaded.
For Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 users I suggest 7-Zip.
For Mac OSX users I suggest The Unarchiver.
When the AddOn is extracted, you should have a folder that is named the AddOn’s name.
Some AddOns have sub-folders inside their main folder. This is fine, and you should leave them there.
Some AddOns are called one name, but are really multiple AddOns delivered together. When this happens, you download a compressed file that has several folders in it.
- Where to Put AddOns Once You’ve Extracted Them
AddOns belong in the following folder: World of Warcraft/Interface/AddOns
Put the folder you extracted into the correct folder for your operating system.
Correctly installed, my example AddOn, Fane, looks like this:
● Windows XP
● Windows Vista or Windows 7
● Mac OSX
The most common issue with why your AddOn won't load.
If you have an extra folder layer in the mix, your AddOn won't load.
More Installing Resources:
● WoWInteface.com’s Instatll FAQ: http://www.wowinterface.com/forums/faq.php?faq=install#faq_howto_install
● WoWInteface.com’s Image of Correctly installed AddOns:
● Seerah’s excellent YouTube video for installing AddOns (using WinZip on Windows XP).
- What to Do When Something Goes Wrong
● Make sure AddOns are in the correct directory.
- Do you have more than one copy of WoW installed? If so, did you put the AddOns in the right copy’s folder?
This is especially important if you install multiple copies of the game, or you’re installing the game from DVD after a major expansion such as Wrath of the Lich King or Cataclysm.
You can right-click on the icon you use to launch WoW (Windows) or use "CMD+I" (Mac OSX) to get the properties for the short cut. The properties will tell you the "Target" of the shortcut (or alias) which is where your copy of WoW is installed.
- Did you extract the AddOn correctly?
Make sure you are unzipping/uncompressing your addons. WinZip, WinRar, 7zip, The Unarchiver and StuffIt (for Mac) are common unzipping programs. See the section above on Extracting Your AddOns.
WinZIP users: You must make sure the option to "Use Folder Names" is checked or WinZIP will just extract the files and not make the proper sub-folders.
- Did you accidentally get an extra folder layer? If you have a folder called something like AddOnName6.01.01 with folders under that named like the examples above, you’ve copied the wrong things to your AddOns folder. See the section above on Extracting Your AddOns.
● I used the Repair Tool and now my AddOns are gone!
When the repair tool is run the Interface and WTF folders get renamed with the date added to the file name. This means those AddOns won't get loaded. You can simply rename the folders without the date. If the problem that caused you to run the Repair Tool was being caused by a rogue AddOn you’ll have the problem again if you do this.
● Don’t install AddOns while WoW is running.
WoW doesn't register addon changes until you exit the game and restart it. Save yourself some frustration and install only when you’ve completely exited the game. Log in to check them, log back out as necessary to fix things.
● My AddOns didn’t load after a patch!
From the character select screen, click the AddOns button. In the upper right corner of the AddOns screen, check the "Load Out of Date Addons" box.
Edited by Unkle on 9/15/2011 2:32 PM PDT
Some other "Gotcha!" items.
If you're using a Trial client, you can't use AddOns. - This is no longer true, as of 5.0.
● With WoW 4.0.x releases, the game uses a "streaming" installer. When the install progress bar is in any section other than the "green" portion, the game will not load your AddOns.
● If you have upgraded your computer from Windows XP to Windows Vista or Windows 7 and you had World of Warcraft installed in the Program Files folder, the Cataclysm (or Wrath of the Lich King) installer will offer to move your install to the Public\Games folder. You should allow it to do this, but remember that you'll want to put your AddOns in the new location, and not the Program Files folder.
● If you're using Windows Vista or Windows 7 64-bit versions you may have a Program Files(x86) folder for your 32-bit applications. WoW may be there after you upgrade from Windows XP or the 32-bit version of Windows Vista/Windows 7.
● Mac OSX users who manually create an AddOns folder must properly spell and format the folder name as AddOns. Capitalization counts.
Edited by Unkle on 1/28/2013 10:05 AM PST
More on Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 use a different security model than Windows XP. Programs are not allowed to write settings or changes to anything installed in the Program Files folder after they have been installed unless they have special 'elevated' permissions.
So when a program, like World of Warcraft, tries to write settings information to one of it's sub-folders (like cache, or WTF or Interface) it gets re-directed to a secret, hidden folder in the Users folder. This secret folder is the "Virtual User Store."
Now, prior to WoW 3.0, the game happily installed itself in the Program Folders file and caused all sort of headaches when people upgraded to Windows Vista or Windows 7 from Windows XP. Now, the game will offer it install itself in C:\Users\Public\Games to avoid this hassle. But, if you upgrade from Windows XP make your life easier, and move WoW from the Program Files folder to Users\Public\Games before running WoW for the first time.
More information about User Account Control and the Virtual User Store can be found in Shirik's guide on WoWInterface: http://www.wowinterface.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14650
Edited by Unkle on 9/15/2011 11:15 AM PDT
Post the full path to your AddOn - I'm fairly certain that you either have it in the wrong place, or in a sub folder.
C: \Program Files\World of Warcraft\Interface\AddOns\AddOn_Name_folder
C: \Program Files\World of Warcraft\Interface\AddOns\AddOn_Name_Plus_Some_Numbers\AddOn_Name_folder
Edited by Unkle on 12/16/2010 12:21 PM PST
A bunch of different files for dotracker, but I just thought of something. Could it be there not showing up because of the new downloader, that allows us to play without it being fully downloaded. Because I havnt fully downloaded the game yet.
61 Undead Hunter
Hey, im trying to get addon's to work and its not so far. I've followed your guide by the word and the Addon button still isn't showing.
C:\Program Files (x86)\World of Warcraft\Interface\AddOns
I know thats wrong but idk how to fix it. Its an addon called TinyDPS.
Help would be appreciated :)
Sounds like you're using Windows 7 64bit version, and that you upgraded from Windows XP. This means that your AddOns are being redirected to the special hidden folder called the Virtual User Store that lives in C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData. You can't normally see this folder but it's where Windows Vista or Windows 7 redirect things that try to write to protected folders like Program Files or Program Files (x86).
Make your life easier. Move your WoW install from C:\Program Files (x86)\World of Warcraft\ to C:\Users\Public\Games\World of Warcraft. This will let you avoid messing with the Virtual User Store issue entirely. (I should note here that the WotLK or Cataclysm installer usually offers to do this move for you.)
Be sure to update the properties for your desktop icon that launches WoW after you do move the folder.
Hey, I am having trouble with the add on button coming up.
Based on what you have said I think my path could be wrong because I don't have a games folder under Public.
One current path
C:\Users\Public\Documents\Blizzard Entertainment\World of Warcraft
Other path that I thought was the main one
C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft
I also found these files
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Blizzard Entertainment\World of Warcraft
I've been manual installing addons always so I usually have been able to fix these problems.
I'm running on 64 bit Vista and I didn't upgrade from XP.
Find the shortcut for the launcher that you use to run WoW.
Identify its target -- usually you need only right-click, and select "Properties" to do this. Once you know where the launcher is pointing, that's the folder where your addons should go.
I need help. Ever since I loaded Cata onto my computer the addon button doesn't show up on my character list. I have tried re-loading the addons, checked the paths of where they are, moved them in and out of the folder. Even tried deleting it and have it reload the other information and nothing has helped. I read what you said up above but nothing is working. Is there anything else I can do?
C:\World of Warcraft\Interface\AddOns
That is the path for one of my addon's and I believe it is in the right place.
Please, I need help!
(( NEVERMIND!! -_-;; I FIRGURED IT OUT!! THANK YOU!! ))
Edited by Emiress on 1/12/2011 8:26 PM PST
I have this same problem i have no ADD-on button on Character screen i used to have it Pre- catacysm now it is gone too... so .... i'm stupid i'm looking ever where for a setting or button to click. cant find them. yes i just double checked my Add-ons are in correct path per upper comments on this page. i never had reason to install an ADD-on. but kinda need DBM and recount for guild runs....
WINDOW 7 btw
Edited by Wahine on 1/29/2011 6:32 PM PST
I upgraded to Cat on my old PC, and had the addons. When I went to my new PC with Windows 7, the addon button is missing. I also had issues finding my characters, as the new download prompted me to an entireley new realm, not my regualr one.
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