How to Install Chrome OS Flex on PC and Windows Laptop

How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Your Windows PC, Laptop, and MacBook

Google has released Chrome OS Flex to breathe new life into aging Windows PCs and older MacBooks. We have already written a detailed guide on how to install Chrome OS with Play Store support on a PC, but it’s based on Project Brunch, and the installation process is quite a hassle. However, with Google directly supporting third-party hardware, Chrome OS Flex stands out with its seamless installation process and longer support window. I tried the new Chrome OS Flex OS on my Windows laptop, and it worked like a charm. So if you wish to learn how to install Chrome OS Flex on PCs and Windows laptops, follow our detailed guide below.

How to Install Chrome OS Flex (2022)

In this guide, we have included step-by-step instructions to install Chrome OS Flex. Along with that, we have explained what is Chrome OS Flex and my experience with Google’s new OS. You can expand the table below and learn about all the technicalities.

What is Google Chrome OS Flex?

Two years back, Google acquired Neverware, a New York-based company that was developing CloudReady. It allowed users to breathe new life into older PCs and run Chrome OS. CloudReady was built on the open-source Chromium OS base. They have also added Linux support recently. Google took over the project and has now released Chrome OS Flex (aka CloudReady 2.0) based on Chrome OS — Google’s official desktop OS with support for Google Assistant and other Google services. There is Linux support too, but Google Play Store is not available on Chrome OS Flex.

What is Chrome OS Flex?

Currently, Google is primarily offering Chrome OS Flex to Education and Enterprise users for free. But regular users can also install Chrome OS Flex on their older Windows PCs and MacBooks. The aim behind this project is to utilize old hardware and offer speedy performance, almost on par with modern computers. As Google is now maintaining the project, we can also expect greater support from a myriad of different manufacturers, including HP, Apple, Asus, and more.

Requirements To Install Chrome OS Flex

1. A USB pen drive with at least 8GB or more storage.

2. Windows PC with an Intel or AMD x86-64-bit processor. ARM processors are not supported yet.

3. At least 4GB RAM or more.

4. Internal storage must be 16GB or more.

5. Check your PC’s compatibility from here. If your PC is on the list, you are good to go. In case your model does not appear in the list, do not worry. You can still proceed with the installation. Chrome OS Flex works even on non-certified PCs, as we have tested below, it’s just that some of the functionalities might be limited.

Flash Chrome OS Flex On USB Drive

1. First, go ahead and install the Chromebook Recovery Utility Chrome extension using the link here. It’s an extension that will allow you to flash the Chrome OS Flex build on your USB drive.

Flash Chrome OS Flex On Your USB Drive

2. Next, open the Chromebook Recovery Utility and plug in your USB drive. After that, click on “Get Started“.

Flash Chrome OS Flex On Your USB Drive

3. On the next page, click on the “Select a model from a list” option.

Flash Chrome OS Flex On Your USB Drive

4. Click on the “Select a manufacturer” drop-down menu and choose “Google Chrome OS Flex“. From the next drop-down menu, select “Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable)”. Now, click on “Continue”.

Flash Chrome OS Flex On Your USB Drive

5. After that, select your USB thumb drive and click on “Continue“.

Flash Chrome OS Flex On Your USB Drive

6. Finally, click on “Create now“, and the Chromebook Recovery Utility will create a bootable Chrome OS Flex drive. The whole process will take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your internet speed.

Flash Chrome OS Flex On Your USB Drive

Install Chrome OS Flex on Windows Laptop or MacBook

1. Once the flashing process is complete, restart your PC and press the boot key. If you don’t know the boot key for your computer, check the table below. Keep pressing the boot key until you see the boot selection page. If you are installing Chrome OS Flex on a custom-built PC, find the boot key based on your motherboard manufacturer from the internet.

Steps to Install Chrome OS Flex on PC and Windows Laptop

2. On the boot selection page, select your USB drive using the arrow keys and hit Enter.

Steps to Install Chrome OS Flex on PC and Windows Laptop

3. Now, the “Welcome to CloudReady 2.0” screen will appear. Here, click on “Get Started“. Now, go through the on-screen instructions and sign in with your Google account.

Steps to Install Chrome OS Flex on PC and Windows Laptop

4. I suggest you explore Chrome OS Flex first before installing it on your hard drive. This way, you can check the compatibility of your Wi-Fi, keyboard, mouse, Bluetooth, touchpad, and other hardware devices.

Steps to Install Chrome OS Flex on PC and Windows Laptop

5. Once you are sure that you want to install Chrome OS Flex, open the Quick Settings panel from the bottom-right corner and click “Sign out“.

Steps to Install Chrome OS Flex on PC and Windows Laptop

6. Next, click on “Install CloudReady” at the bottom-left corner.

Steps to Install Chrome OS Flex on PC and Windows Laptop

7. Finally, click on “Install CloudReady 2.0” and then click on “Install” again. Note that this step will wipe your complete hard drive, so make sure to take a backup before performing this action. Once the installation is complete, shut down your computer and remove the USB drive.

Steps to Install Chrome OS Flex on PC and Windows Laptop

8. And that’s it. Chrome OS Flex will boot up on your device without any issues.

Steps to Install Chrome OS Flex on PC and Windows Laptop

Chrome OS Flex on a Windows Laptop: First Impressions

It’s safe to say that Chrome OS Flex is quite performant in comparison to Windows 11 or 10. I use an 8th-gen i5 Chromebook regularly, and in contrast, the performance with Chrome OS Flex on my 6th-gen Windows laptop is on a different level. The surprising part is that Google has added Google Assistant support in Chrome OS Flex, which is awesome. However, do note that there is no Android app support, and Google has not announced that it will add Play Store to this build in the future.

  • How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Your Windows PC, Laptop, and MacBook
  • How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Your Windows PC, Laptop, and MacBook
  • How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Your Windows PC, Laptop, and MacBook
  • How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Your Windows PC, Laptop, and MacBook

Nevertheless, there is full-fledged Linux support, and that is great in itself. You will be able to use desktop-grade Linux apps on your Chromebook. And with Wine, you can even run lightweight Windows apps on your Chromebook powered by Chrome OS Flex.

By the way, the current Chrome OS Flex build is based on Chrome OS 100, which is amazing. In a month or two, Chrome OS Flex will become stable for anyone to boot and use. To sum up, Chrome OS Flex is a great alternative if you have an aging PC or MacBook and need something for casual browsing and day-to-day tasks.

Will You Install Chrome OS Flex on Your PC or Laptop?

So that was our guide on how to install Chrome OS Flex on aging PCs and Windows laptops. Although I didn’t test Chrome OS Flex on an Apple MacBook, rest assured, the installation steps are similar, so you can give it a try. Apart from that, I attempted to dual-boot Chrome OS Flex with Windows 11 side-by-side, but currently, the bootloader has some issues. When we have it working properly, we will surely let you know. Anyway, that is all from us here. If you wish to learn about the best Chrome OS tips and tricks, go ahead and check our detailed article linked here. And if you have any questions, comment down below and let us know.

120 Comments

  1. After done in the installation process, it shows brunch installed instead of chrome os installed. Does it work if I wait, after booting there’s a choices of chrome os and idk what is the other one I think it’s settings. I choose Chrome OS then, it show root fs and patches are being applied, I wait a couple of minutes and nothing happen.

  2. Hi, I have installed Chrome os flex, my kid wants to play som basic games, from where can I download?
    Please suggest..

  3. Thanks for this article which helped to me regain my older laptop in greater speed but my USB DRIVE is gone for now after using the pendrive for chrome os i cant even format it or doing anything with it. Everytime i connect it to my another lap it just shows many USB drives and thats all i am unable to access it and its just got wasted. KINDLE FIND ANY SOLUTION FOR THAT.

    1. Plug the USB drive on a Windows Computer and press Windows + X and open Disk Management. Find the USB disk on bottom-left corner, right-click on it and format. By the way, you can also format the USB drive using Chrome Recovery extension that you used for flashing Chrome OS Flex. Click on the gear icon on top.

  4. I used the try it first option, and then restarted with my Windows, but now the time zone is changed and is not updating/not able to sync now. What to do

  5. I installed the chrome os, but if I want to use windows 11 for some time so I will need to go to boot menu and then do it or there is any other way to switch easyly

  6. After I restarted my laptop it was stuck on the Chrome screen for 6 hours,Please help.(Do I need to format my Usb Drive ??)

  7. Can Try install dual boot type not real dual boot just swap spare hard disk to install and then remove it from laptop and plug it with hard drive case
    Change boot sequence 1st from usb. 2nd fom hardrive
    when there is no hard drive in usb port it will boot windows from laptop hardrive

  8. Installed Chrome os flex in Asus Vivobook. Bluetooth is not working for me. Does anyone face the same issue.

  9. Can we revert back to Windows 10 if Chrome OS Flex isn’t working properly? If yes, can you give a step by step process?

  10. I tried to install chrome os flex on my 5400 rpm hard disk when it installs and shut down it boot loops i tried another 5400 hard disk it did the same when i tried my main kingstone ssd it worked i think the have a software bug that blocks booting for hard disks

  11. Can I install Chrome OS Flex on Windows 11 laptop and Switch between Windows and Chrome OS when required?

  12. Hi Arjun, Thanks for this article, this is very helpful. I like the work you and team is doing.
    I’ve old HP Dm1 (very old, using since 2009). Which is running on Win 10 and having AMD Vision processor and 2 GB of RAM. This pc is very slow & lags a lot, I don’t want to invest anything on upgrading the h/w at the moment. Please suggest any OS which I can use which is suitable for above config. This is my spare system and I don’t want to scrap it as of now.

    Please advise.

      1. Bhai install to krlia ab wapis se mujhe remove krna h chrome os flex aur windows install krna h.. Windows ki flash pendrive h mere pas but ho nhi rhi boot manager se kya kru reply asap wrna pitai padegi bro

  13. I installed the Chrome OS Flex but while enabling the Linux on it, it says, “Error starting the virtual machine. Please try again.” Help me out.

  14. I have installed on my Lenova laptop with AMD a6 chip. When I tried it worked like a charm. When I installed it, its not going ahead from the chrome logo. It gets stuck there or either black screen comes and I cant do anything. Now I cant even go back to windows. Please help!!!

  15. Brother. I have a old sony vaio vpceh36en which does not support uefi or gpt. Can I install it on this laptop as sony brand is not listed in the google list of devices

  16. the usb drive just freezes on chrome os screen tried on 2 laptops and one actually runs arch the other windows any solution?

  17. My screen gets stuck in the chrome screen need some help my laptop is HP Notebook – 15-da0326tu (5AY34PA) please need help

  18. I`ve tested the cloudready chrome, gonna visit a friend and give him the update – lets see im very excited, you have spoken nicely about this product and I already love it before i tried 🙂 I think I downloaded a 10th gen i7 laptop version of Chrome OS, does it need to be “Under Development” version, abselute?

  19. i booted the Chrome OS with my flash drive, but my PC was still lagging heavily, could it be that my flash drive was slow??

  20. Hi,
    I have an old Chromebook dell 7310.
    I was hoping to install Chrome OS flex, but when I try to boot on the usb stick, it says me : the device inserted does not cointain Chrome OS
    Any idea to make it work ?
    Thanks

  21. Brother I cannot play the .mkv video files in the chrome is flex.
    Like the audio part is all good but for the video part all I get is a black screen!
    Is there a app or extension for that? And if it does get played will I be able to use and change the subtitles given along with the video file?

  22. I’ve installed Chrome OS Flex in my old dell latitude and everything is working fine. But I can’t able to find the developer option to enable the Linux environment. Can anybody help to find the developer option?

  23. My laptop screen is going black after showing the chrome logo while trying to install it. is it because my laptop( hp notebook pentium processor) dont support chrome os flex? will i get to install it after a stable release of the chrome os flex arrives? what is the expected release date of it?

    And i used sd card put in a card reader for installing it, will it cause any problem?

  24. I just wanted to know, Will it only erase my data available in C Drive . Or Will erase all C,E and D together?

  25. Every time I finish downloading using the extension, Chrome crashes. What do to do solve it?

    1. Try using Chrome in guest mode. brother. That might change something.

      Or creating a different profile is very much recommended

  26. I tried it but the wifi isn’t connecting but ethernet connection works fine. I want to revert back to windows 10 till the stable build is released for the flex. How to do it ? Please help.

  27. Hey , I tried it’s good but it’s just working with after removing pd it’s boot and stucks at chrome logo ..Now what to do how to reinstall it

  28. When i booted it with usb stick it worked fine but after i signed out and installed it, then after removing usb and starting up it started with the chrome logo stuck.

    1. I’m having the same issue. Running fine with USB boot, but after installation stuck at a black screen after Chrome logo. Let me know if there is any solution to this.

  29. Hey, I just installed it and now it is stuck on chrome logo, and yes I have reinstalled the OS. Now what should I do? Dell Inspiron 3043

  30. Hey! So I installed chrome os flex yesterday and initially I tried it with the usb stick and the os was performing fine. I could connect to my bluetooth earphones and listen to music. But after installing it in my hard drive, the bluetooth menu does not show any bluetooth devices to pair although all of them are in pairing mode. I later booted the os from my usb stick and now it doesn’t work there too. I reinstalled the os but the issue persists. Can I help me out here?

  31. When I tried to create a recovery image, it shows that its unable to unzip the files and try again.
    I tried for like 3-4 times and it still dosent work.
    What should I do ?

  32. So while installing Chrome OS flex i used my hard disk. The main problem is that the expansion is not showing in my pc and i am not able to access the files of my hard disk

  33. IT WILL WIPE OUT THE WHOLE HARD DRIVE OR JUST THE C DRIVE OR THE DRIVE WHERE I WILL BE INSTALLING IT?

  34. 3. On the next page, click on the “Select a model from a list” option.
    Question – Which Model to select from the list. my laptop is not there in the list. lenovo – G570

    1. You don’t need to specify your laptop model. Just select “Google Chrome OS Flex” and “Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable)” from the drop-down menu.

      1. I did that and OS installed Successfully, but OS is not loading and it shows blank screen after “start chrome screen” while loading OS. What should I do?

    1. nothing gets downloaded to my pendrive though it shows all processes like downloading, verifying download, unpacking etc

  35. I tried this version earlier using rufus and brunch, the thing here is i dont know how to go back to windows now, pls help

  36. I have an 8gb sd card
    I did everything just that it is not showing in boot option in the boot menu

      1. Asus flash utility doesn’t seem to have that option, tried scanning the whole are in it. Please guide further

  37. Can we use pendrive after the process like how we use them before installing boot image on them ( not only for Chrome flex ,for windows as well) or the pen drive just become useless and only be used to install chrome flex/windows

    1. You can format the pen drive with the same Chrome Recovery Utility extension. After that, you can use it on Windows or any platform.

  38. When i booted it with usb stick it worked fine but after i signed out and installed it, then after removing usb and starting up it started with the chrome logo but then there was a black sceen with the cursor. even now it works fine with usb stick but the same problem with internal storage

          1. Maybe the size of the partition in which chrome os is installed could be shrinked to create space for windows.

  39. Hi, thank you so much for this,
    I wanted to know if e can run MS word and all the windows office apps as on Windows OS?

  40. will this format my pc
    i mean will i be logged out of netflix account and other things ???

  41. Thanks. Good article.

    Can you install a persistent instance to a USB stick rather than your hard drive?

    1. Hi Yousuf, we tried dual-booting Chrome OS Flex with Windows 11 but faced bootloader issues. We couldn’t dual boot Chrome OS and Windows 11, but we plan to share a guide for the same if we get it working.

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