How to install Chrome OS Flex on Windows and macOS
Chrome OS Flex is a free and long-lasting way to update your existing devices. It’s simple to roll out throughout your fleet or check it out to see what a cloud-first operating system offers. Chrome OS has established itself as a viable alternative to Windows and macOS, particularly at the entry level. Google allows everyone to install Chrome OS Flex on Windows and macOS. Chrome OS Flex is a Windows and Mac operating system that will enable users to try out Chrome OS or even install it on their PCs. Let’s try it out with this guide helping you along the way!
What is Chrome OS Flex?
Chrome OS Flex is a new Chrome OS version. Neverware, the firm that created CloudReady, was acquired by Google in 2020. CloudReady is a Chromium OS-based operating system that transforms any computer into a Chrome OS device. Google has integrated CloudReady into its Chrome OS software package, making Chrome OS Flex effectively the next generation of CloudReady.
As a result, Chrome OS Flex is poised to become the preferred method of installing Chrome OS on a PC or Mac. Because it’s designed for easy mass deployment and control, Google targets companies and schools with this version. Regardless, it’s still a terrific method for many individuals to obtain Chrome OS on their existing devices.
Which devices can you install Chrome OS Flex on?
Chrome OS Flex is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. According to Google, most gadgets released in the last ten years should be working. While Google only guarantees the operating system’s functionality on authorised models, Chrome OS Flex can be installed on other devices. The following are the minimum system requirements for installing Google Chrome OS Flex.
- Intel or AMD x86-64-bit compatible device
- 4 GB of RAM
- 16 GB of internal storage
- Bootable from USB drive
- BIOS with full administrator access
Google notes that processors and graphics from before 2010 might result in a poor experience. The Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650 graphics hardware does not meet Chrome OS Flex performance standards.
You can check the complete list of certified models to check if your device is fully supported and what issues it may have here.
Warnings before installing Chrome OS Flex
While Chrome OS Flex is a variant of Chrome OS, it still has significant differences. Chrome OS Flex lacks a few capabilities due to Google’s inability to regulate its distribution. The following are the essential features that Chrome OS Flex lacks.
- Verified Boot, due to a lack of a Google security chip
- Automated BIOS/UEFI firmware updates
- Google Play and Android apps
- Linux desktop environment. However, this varies by model
- Parallels desktop
- Additional hardware features include CD/DVD drives, fingerprint readers, FireWire ports, Infrared (IR) and face recognition cameras, proprietary connectors and docks, stylus and active pen input, and Thunderbolt.
Hardware support is also only available for certified models. If the system in issue doesn’t have a compatible TPM chip, Google says encrypted data may be in danger. Even a certified model may not perform to its full potential, as functions such as automatic screen rotation, Bluetooth, keyboard shortcuts, touchscreens, and SD card ports are not guaranteed to function. This includes older Chromebooks that may be able to run Chrome OS Flex, but Google doesn’t promise anything if it isn’t officially supported. Chrome OS Flex is currently in early access testing and not suited for production use, Google warns.
Steps for installing Chrome OS Flex
To install Chrome OS Flex, you’ll need a USB drive to create a bootable device, with a capacity of at least 8GB. To create the bootable, you’ll also need Google Chrome installed on a Chrome OS, Windows, or Mac device. Follow these steps.
- Open your Chrome browser, and install the Chromebook Recovery Utility from the Chrome Web Store.
- Locate the Extensions button at the top right, and click Manage extensions.
- On the Chromebook Recovery Utility card, ensure the toggle is turned on, i.e., to the right.
- Under the Extensions button, launch the Chrome Recovery Utility extension by clicking on it. Click Get started.
- Click the Select a model from a list option.
- Under Select a manufacturer, scroll to find Google Chrome OS Flex and select it. Click Select a product and scroll to find Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable). Click to select it and Continue.
- Insert your USB drive when prompted.
- Select the USB drive from the dropdown menu. Click Continue. Click Create now.
- Remove the USB drive from the device when Chrome Recovery Utility says your recovery media is ready.
- Insert the USB drive to the system you want to install Chrome OS Flex on, while the device is powered off. Power the system on by pressing the power button and immediately start hitting the boot key to access the boot menu. For a PC, the boot key is usually F1, F2, F9, F12, Delete, or Esc. For a Mac, it’s the Option key.
- Select the bootable USB installer from the list as the boot device, and boot into the drive. Follow the remaining process on screen to set up Chrome OS Flex. But you can also just experience Chrome OS Flex from the USB drive itself, without installing it.
So, this was an extensive guide on how to install Chrome OS flex on any windows laptop. If you have a spare old laptop lying around, you can definitely try to install the Chrome OS flex on your computer, it can make the laptop last longer than windows, and at the same time, it also makes the laptop faster and smoother as well. Google has also implemented some encodings through which after installing chrome os flex on your old weak laptop, you will be able to play 4k youtube videos without a hitch. Definitely give it a try and let us know how it goes.