How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Old Windows Laptops

Chrome OS flex is a free working system that permits you to carry your grandma’s laptop computer/PC again to life. Let’s set up it to see if it really works.

What’s Chrome OS Flex?

It’s a watered down model of Chrome OS. The first targets are previous computer systems working Home windows and Mac. Chrome OS Flex guarantees quick loading occasions, glorious battery life and efficiency enhancements. You should use this cloud-based OS with only a USB stick or the principle OS.


Turning previous PCs into nifty Chromebooks was initially NYC’s concept By no means true. They’d developed CloudReady, an working system primarily based on open supply Chromium OS. This was nearly just like utilizing a Chromebook, with some limitations.

The motive behind CloudReady was to breathe new life into previous Home windows and Macs with a straightforward transition to a Chrome OS-like setting. CloudReady had a free model for private use and paid enterprise editions.

That was an fascinating proposition for Google to push its Chrome OS to the lots with none {hardware} buy. And apparently Google had some plans with its Neverware funding in 2017.

Lastly, in December 2020, Google took a step and bought Neverware. And with that, CloudReady become Chrome OS Flex.

On the time of writing, Chrome OS Flex is in beta. Even licensed fashions can expertise some points.

Set up Necessities

These are among the steered necessities:

  • Intel or AMD x86-64-bit
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 16 GB inside storage
  • Full administrator entry to BIOS
  • Processor/graphics playing cards no older than 2010.
  • Minimal 8 GB USB stick
  • Listing of licensed fashions

Whereas these are the said necessities, they aren’t set in stone.

For instance, I put in Chrome OS Flex on one in every of my previous ones, the HP Pavilion dv6-3130tx, which got here with 3 GB of RAM, which isn’t listed on the licensed mannequin. It labored nice with minor hiccups like WiFi not working so I needed to make do with ethernet.

Surprisingly, I used to be additionally capable of run Chrome OS Flex on my composite desktop. Plus, it ran easily on my different laptop computer, the least highly effective of all of them, with a dual-core Intel Pentium B950 and solely 2GB of RAM. Even the WiFi challenge was non existent this time.


In brief, it will probably’t harm to strive Chrome OS Flex when you have an 8 GB pen drive and have about 40 minutes to spare.

Set up Chrome OS Flex

Set up is extraordinarily simple with the Chromebook Restoration Utility. It is a browser extension obtainable within the Chrome Net Retailer.

Put together bootable USB

As soon as downloaded, click on on the icon, insert the USB stick and comply with the on-screen directions.

Excuse the display screen recorder for monitoring the mouse pointer incorrectly. Anyway, you’ll be able to proceed with these steps:

  • Click on Get began.
  • Faucet on Choose a mannequin from an inventory.
  • Choose Google Chrome OS Flex inside Choose the Producer.
  • To elect Chrome OS Flex (developer unstable)and click on Get on.
  • Map the USB media for set up. (Use USB 3.0 if obtainable)
  • Lastly click on Create now.

The method will take a while for Chrome Flex OS to obtain and confirm the restoration picture.

After creating the dwell disk, insert it into the focused machine for the trial interval and boot into the BIOS part.

Every producer has particular keys for this. For instance, HP has ESC to launch the Boot menu after which F9 to enter the boot machine choices. Equally, my composite PC has an ASUS motherboard that helps urgent F2 or DEL to enter the BIOS utility.

If that is an issue, seek for boot from USB in producer title to seek out associated tutorials on YouTube.

Arrange Chrome OS Flex

After booting from the USB stick, the very first thing you will see is the Chrome brand, adopted by Welcome to CloudReady 2.0, which is nothing however Chrome OS Flex.

After that, you’ll be able to set up CloudReady 2.0 by erasing the exhausting drive should you intend to make use of it as the principle working system on that machine. Or you’ll be able to click on Strive it first to make use of this on the USB itself.

For optimum efficiency, it is suggested to put in it on the exhausting drive. However you’ll be able to strive the second choice and apply it to your fundamental workstation if you do not have a spare machine. This places Chrome OS Flex on the USB and takes up the area left after set up.

Then add a community:

The easiest way to detect an Ethernet is to attach the cable earlier than beginning the set up course of.

Then come the phrases of the settlement and non-compulsory knowledge sharing. You may then arrange the machine for private use or configure it on your youngsters.

At this stage, you could check in together with your Google account. After that, there’s non-compulsory synchronization for Google account settings and establishing Google Assistant.

The final display screen of the login asks for {hardware} knowledge sharing:

Lastly you might be greeted to the Chrome OS Flex desktop:

chrome ox flex

Chrome OS Flex is actually a cloud-heavy working system. However how does this differ from a full-fledged Chrome OS?

Chrome OS vs. Chrome OS Flex

Whereas there’s a detailed comparability between Chrome OS and its Flex cousin, you’ll instantly miss the Play Retailer.

As of now, Chrome OS Flex doesn’t help Android functions or Google Play. As well as, it is just Chrome OS that may run Home windows apps utilizing Parallel Desktop and has help for Linux.

As well as, it’s as much as the machine directors to offer updates in opposition to the automated updates in Chrome OS.

Now you might be considering…

Who ought to use Chrome OS Flex?

Anybody who can survive with principally the Google apps ought to undoubtedly give Flex a strive.

On the time of writing, the native utility record contains:

google calendar Information
Google Meet Google Hold
Chrome Play books
Gmail YouTube
Google Chat youtube music
Digicam Play motion pictures
Paperwork Google Maps
Motivation Calculator
sheets Webshop
Slides Chrome canvas

Nevertheless, you’ll be able to set up something from the Chrome Net Retailer, reminiscent of your password supervisor, advert blocker, and so on.

Flex is primarily aimed toward enterprise customers or instructional establishments. And the middle of its attraction is its internet browser, Chrome. And should you’re questioning, no, you’ll be able to’t twin boot with Chrome OS Flex.

Professional Tip: If you wish to use Flex on a USB stick, use one machine for higher stability.


Flex is an formidable challenge. It has the ability to show any Mac and Home windows right into a Chromebook. And it might be downright silly to guage when it clearly states as Developer unstable.

Nonetheless, it is price it. Personally, I am nearly prepared to leap the fence as soon as Flex begins supporting Google Play.

It gives one thing to have a look at other than Home windows, Macs and the hopelessly difficult Linux.

On a aspect observe, should you’re a Home windows fan, we will additionally let you know why Home windows 11 is healthier than its predecessor.

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