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How To: Install and Use Addons
A guide to the installation and usage of WoW addons.
Last updated December 29, 2006 @ 7:53:51PM
Viewed 3713 times

Blizzard has been nice enough to make almost all of the User Interface of World of Warcraft customizable through the use of AddOns. This article is designed to be a brief overview of the installation/configuration of your addons of choice.

Getting Started

The first step in using a AddOn, is, to download it.

In order to protect yourself from (or, at least, limit your exposure too) Keyloggers, Viruses, Trojans, and other bad-stuff, please only download from a website you trust (see links at bottom of article for some examples).

The file you downloaded is most likely going to be in either .zip or .rar format (two different extensions that indicate a compressed file, you will need the appropriate extractor to uncompress the file - .zip can be unstuffed by double clicking on it in Mac OS X, and by using WinZip on windows, .rar files can be extracted with Stuffit Expander on the Mac, and with WinRar on the windows side). If the AddOn is packaged with a .exe extension, delete it. Thats one of the most common ways to infect yourself with a key logger (the exception would be if you personally know the author, trust them impeccably, and downloaded it directly from them..and even then, I'd delete it and find in in a .zip somewhere..but I'm more paranoid and un-trusting then other people)

Once you expand the file you downloaded you will have one of two scenarios:

  • 1 - the extracted folder will have stricly the mod name, inside this folder will be things that make no sense to most of us, files with .lua, .toc, and probably .xml extensions.

  • 2 - the extracted folder will contain one or more other folders. These folders are typically the actual addon(s). For example, downloading auctioneer's full download gets you a folder with 5 sub folders that are the actual mods, and those folders have the .lua, .toc, etc. in them.

Really, it doesn't matter which type of folder you get.. if you get the second one, you just need to use the folders inside the folder to follow the rest of the instructions, if you get the first, you just use the folder you got.


So, now you've downloaded this spiffy new addon, you probably want to use it right? Well, it won't do you any good sitting on your desktop (or wherever it is you extracted it to). You need to get that AddOn installed so you can get to cracking some Scourge skulls!

in order for an AddOn to be recognized by WoW, it must be in the AddOns folder, you can find this folder inside your World of Warcraft folder, the path to the folder looks like this:
/World of Warcraft/Interface/AddOns

So, to get your newly downloaded AddOn to work in the game, simply drag the addon folder (the one with the lua, toc, and xml files) into your AddOns folder, and your path should look like:
/World of Warcraft/Interface/AddOns/

And thats it.. your AddOn is installed and ready for use!

Activating the AddOn in Game

Follow these steps to get your newly installed addon up and running in game:

  • 1 - Launch WoW just like normal

  • 2 - On the Character selection screen, you should see an AddOns button in the bottom left corner, click it.

  • 1 - Make sure that your newly installed AddOn is on the list

  • 2 - Make sure there is a check in the box next to the AddOns name

  • 2a- If the addon is listed as out of date, if you check the "Load out of date AddOns" box on the top of the screen, and the addon should still work for you (but, you'll want to check with the author to get an updated version)
  • 3 - Click OK

  • 4 - Pick your character, click enter world... and enjoy using your newly installed AddOn!

Staying Up-To Date

AddOn authors update their AddOns regularly..or, at least.. they update when Blizzard patches World of Warcraft and it makes the AddOn out of date, or makes them update thier code. Be sure to check the site you got the addon from for updates from time to time, especailly if you're having problems with the AddOn being buggy, the author may have fixed them.

User Interface Sites

Here are some sites that you can find AddOns at. Even though I consider these sites "safe" you still should take precautions to prevent bad-stuff from being installed on your computer, see our helpful Computer Security article for some tips.

  • Wowinterface - Run by Cairenn, lots of addons, compilations, discussion forums, etc..

  • wowace - Home of the Ace family of Addons, lots of good stuff here.

  • Discord - Home of the world famous Discord Suite (Discord Art, Discord Bars, Discord Frames...and soon to be Discord UI Builder!)
  • CTMod - Home to CTRA! CT_MailMod, CT_ViewPort, CT_Anythingelse!

  • Norganna - Home of Auctioneer, and Gatherer

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