Majority of Chromebook or Chromebox users want to install Windows or Linux on their Chromebooks. Since most of the Chromebooks out there ship with powerful processors, they meet the minimum hardware requirements for installing Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. For instance, Google’s own Chromebook Pixel features an i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32 or 64 GB SSD.
Between web apps and Android apps in Chrome OS, there’s a lot you can get done on Chromebooks. Here’s how you can install and use Windows on a Chromebook.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE STARTING
Always back up any important data away from your computer before you begin as the process might mess up with your operating system, firmware, and BIOS can have serious effects on your system.
Create a USB drive from another computer to try and recover the system if you are unable to use your Chromebook after it. Make sure to back up anything that isn’t saved to Google Drive because it might erase all of your data.
Let’s check out some of the methods to get this job done.
USING FREE ONLINE APPS
The easiest method is accessing apps from the Office suite where you don’t have to care about any of the other apps offered on Windows 10. These online versions won’t have all the capabilities that you would get with something like Office 365. However, they should work for most purposes.
- Launch the Chrome browser.
- Navigate to Microsoft site.
- Select the desired Microsoft apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Sway, Mail, Calendar, OneDrive, and more available in Office Online.
- A version will open in your Chrome browser and you will be able to start using it.
USING CHROME REMOTE DESKTOP
Chrome Remote Desktop allows users to remotely access another computer through Chrome browser or a Chromebook. Chrome Remote Desktop is fully cross-platform which provides remote assistance to Windows, Mac and Linux users, or access your Windows (Windows 7 and above) and Mac (OS X Yosemite 10.10 and above) desktops at any time, all from the Chrome browser on virtually any device, including Chromebooks.
- Navigate over to the Chrome Web Store
- Download the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on your Chromebook.
- Head over to your Windows computer.
- Pull up your Chrome browser and check if it’s updated with the same capability.
- Starting on your Windows computer, head over to your Chrome apps.
- Select Chrome Remote Desktop.
- Select Get Started.
- Choose Share.
- Access will be generated code and ask you to define the computer you want to connect to. Email that code to yourself so that you will remember it.
- Switch to your Chromebook.
- Start the Chrome Remote Desktop.
- Select it, and input the access code that you sent yourself.
- Then click Connect.
This method works best if you have high-speed internet all the way between your computers.
CrossOver is a Microsoft Windows compatibility layer available for Linux, macOS, and Chrome OS. This compatibility layer enables many Windows-based applications to run on Linux operating systems, macOS, or Chrome OS. Now you can also run Windows apps on your Chromebook.
The only drawback is that Chrome OS version is still in beta which means it’s not guaranteed to be bug-free but it is free to try. Also, you can only run it on Intel-based Chromebooks and if you want to involve any Android devices or apps, they need to be compatible with Android 5.x or later.
- Head over to Google Play.
- Choose to install the CrossOver on Chrome OS Beta. This will install a new icon made of two semicircles on your dashboard.
- When you click on it, make sure to allow it to access your media and files on your Chromebook.
- Make a copy of the application’s installation file in the downloads folder.
- Search for Windows software using the search bar in the top of the window and just type in the name of what you want to use.
- The CrossOver will begin the installation process with no trouble. You may also have to consent to License Agreements and similar contracts at this time.
- Now launch the installation directly. For large programs, there are ways to use Android apps on Chromebook and save space.
GOOGLE’S ALTOS MODE
AltOS mode could allow people to install operating systems such as Windows 10 or Linux alongside the default ChromeOS, so Pixelbook owners could choose to boot into the OS of their choice, a feature known as dual booting.
Most recently, there’s evidence that Google has been testing the dual boot mode, switching it back and forth to make sure that there are no security issues with the feature, a sign that we may not have much longer to wait for this functionality to appear. You may have to pay for a high-end Chrome machine and also spend around 40GB hard drive space to get the advantages of the feature.