World of Warcraft (WoW)

How to manually install addons – a writeup for those of you who haven’t done it in awhile.

With the recent news of Curseforge leaving Twitch (and thus the Twitch addon manager) and joining Overwolf many have become concerned about the future of their addons.

I'm not here to defend or vilify Overwolf one way or another. If you use it and enjoy it great; however, some people have expressed concerns about aggressive advertising practices and security flaws that make them hesitant to install it.

So if you'd like to know how to manually install an addon to avoid having to deal w/ this then read on:


First things first is to create a backup of your WTF folder. This is where all your custom settings for your addons is stored.

Navigate to your Warcraft folder. ( By default it's: Windows (C:) > Program Files (x86) > World of Warcraft) It's here that you'll see two folders, one for Retail and one for Classic. The steps for both are pretty much identical so although this guide will be for Retail feel free to reference it for Classic as well.

Navigate to the Retail folder and copy/paste the WTF folder somewhere safe. Some people will simply create a new copy in Retail and title it WTF Backup, but personally I like to have a fully separate zip folder in the Cloud w/ both my Addons and WTF saved so that I can access them from any computer and quickly start playing, even on fresh installs.

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After making your backup navigate to your Interface folder then Addons. You'll probably already have a bunch of Addons just like I do, that's fine. The migration away from Twitch should not have any effect on those.


Next we'll find an addon for you to download. Let's use ElvUI as it can only be downloaded on Tukui's website and although I don't personally use it, it is a very popular UI Addon.

Go to they're very efficient so all you need to do is click the "Quick Download" link they have. Click the one of your choice and navigate to your Downloads folder. You can click the folder at the bottom of your browser to make this faster.

Once in the ElvUI folder you'll see ElvUI and ElvUI_OptionsUI You don't need to extract these anywhere, simply copy/paste or drag and drop them directly into your WoW Addons folder.

Do note that Curseforge might be moving their Addon Manager, but the website itself doesn't seem to be changing so you can still download your addons directly from the browser or any of your favorite websites.


That's it! You now have ElvUI or any addon of your choice downloaded and ready to play.

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The very last step is ensuring your addons stay up to date. This will require you to be diligent and is the price to pay for not using a manager. I find it easiest to keep a simple excel (or Google Sheets) list of my addons as well as a hyperlink to each page and the date I last installed/updated said addon.

If an Addon has been updated since you last installed it then go back to your Addons page and find the Addon you'll be updating. Download the new version, delete the old one from your Addons folder, and then pop in the new. Alternatively you can also just drag the new updated straight into your Addons folder and select Replace All from the popup.

It's always a good idea to save a backup of your WTF folder before doing updates just in case there are issues w/ the download and your settings are lost.

I find it easiest to do this every Tuesday as I can remember Reset Day mean it's time to do my weekly backup and update.


Uninstalling is a little harder and requires you to not only uninstall the addons themselves, but also the related files within the WTF so make sure to do your research and install wisely.

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