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

Google announced Chrome OS Flex in February 2022 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 a hassle. However, with Google now supporting third-party hardware, Chrome OS Flex stands out with its seamless installation process and longer support window. I tried the Chrome OS beta build earlier, and it worked like a charm. And now with the stable build of Chrome OS Flex, things are looking even more impressive. So if you wish to learn how to install Chrome OS Flex on your old MacBoooks, Linux PCs, and Windows laptops, follow our detailed guide below.

How to Install Chrome OS Flex (Updated July 2022)

In this guide, we have included step-by-step instructions to install the stable build of Chrome OS Flex on PCs and Macs. 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.

Google took over the project in February 2022 and released the first beta build of 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. It also brought full Linux support, but Google Play Store did not make an appearance. And after six months, Google has now released the stable build of Chrome OS Flex with support for more than 295 certified devices.

What is Chrome OS Flex?

Google is 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 for hundreds of devices, we 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 if your computer is certified to run Chrome OS Flex 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 PCsas we’ve tested below, it’s just that some of the functionalities might be limited. Over time, Google will add more computers to its certified list.

Flash Chrome OS Flex On a 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.

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

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

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”. Now, click on “Continue”.

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

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.

Install Chrome OS Flex on a 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.

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

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.

4. I suggest you first explore Chrome OS Flex 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.

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

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

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.

8. And that’s it. Chrome OS Flex will boot up on your device without any issues. You can now enable the new Chrome OS launcher on Chrome OS Flex and do a lot more.

Remove Chrome OS Flex and Reinstall Windows on PCs

If you wish to go back to Windows and uninstall Chrome OS Flex, well, you can easily do so. We have written a detailed tutorial on how to delete Chrome OS Flex and reinstall Windows 11/10, so follow our guide for step-by-step instructions. You need to create a bootable USB drive for Windows and install it on your PC. Note that following this process will wipe the data stored on your hard disk, so make a backup beforehand.

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 the Play Store to this build in the future.

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.

The current stable build of Chrome OS Flex is based on Chrome OS 103, which is amazing. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chrome OS Flex free?

Yes, Chrome OS Flex is free to download and install on your old MacBook, Linux, or Windows PC. Chrome OS Flex is based on the open-source Chromium OS platform and is officially released by Google, so it does not cost any money.

Is Chrome OS Flex same as Chrome OS?

Chrome OS Flex can be called a stripped-down, lightweight version of Chrome OS. You can use the Chrome browser for all of your everyday tasks, install Linux apps, and more. In comparison to the standard Chrome OS, it does not support Play Store and Android apps. Also, not a lot of people know that Chrome OS Flex and the standard installation don’t have same keyboard layout. Therefore, some common Chrome OS keyboard shortcuts may not work in Chrome OS Flex.

Is Chrome OS Flex safe?

Yes, Chrome OS Flex has officially been released by Google and is safe to install on any Chromebook, MacBook, or Windows computer. The process of installing Chrome OS Flex is also simple, and you get a Chrome browser-focused lightweight OS with all the bells and whistles.

Can Chrome OS Flex run on 1GB/ 2GB RAM?

As per Google’s official requirements, you need at least 4GB of RAM on your old PC to install Chrome OS Flex. So the installation may run into issues and render your computers with 1GB or 2GB of RAM useless, so we wouldn’t recommend doing that.

Does Chrome OS Flex support Android apps?

No, Chrome OS Flex does not have support for Android apps. However, if you wish, you can enable full-fledged Linux support and install Linux as well as Windows apps on your Chrome OS Flex machine. But be considerate with the apps and software you install after moving to this lightweight Chrome OS build.

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.

Comments 136
  • Yash Dubey says:

    What happens to the files and data which was already present in the laptop?

  • bill says:

    How to turn on Developer Mode on chrome os in pc
    in Chromebook.

    How do you enable Developer Mode?
    Turn off your Chromebook.
    Turn your Chromebook back on.
    While your Chromebook is restarting, simultaneously hold the Esc key, Refresh key, and Power button.
    Press and hold the Ctrl and D keys at the same time when a warning pops up. …
    The device will now restart and set up Developer Mode.

    but in pc do not work

  • sai Prabhu says:

    After Installing Chrome OS, Touch pad in not working on my lenovo laptop
    can any one help me

    • Arjun Sha says:

      Is your laptop on the certified list?

      • vikram singh says:

        mine is not certified,should i install it?

      • Arjun Sha says:


  • Soumon Majumder says:

    I have installed chrome OS on my HP laptop, but wifi is not getting connected. What to do now ??

    • Sarath says:

      I’m facing the same issue. Can’t access to my wifi so can’t log in to Chrome OS after installation process 🙃

  • User101 says:

    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.

  • Ashish M says:

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

  • Senthilkumar N says:

    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.

    • Arjun Sha says:

      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.

  • aakash says:

    if i install chrome os flex in my laptop the data will be lost or not ?

  • Shivam says:

    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

  • akshat jain says:

    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

  • Senthilkumar N says:

    How many gb of internet is required to download chrome os?

    • Arjun Sha says:


  • Junaid Islam says:

    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 ??)

  • rickin says:

    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

  • Amit says:

    I have 2gb ram and 32 bit can it still work if not plz tell alternative

  • Ibrahim V K says:

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

  • Aravind Venugopal says:

    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?

  • Mohammed says:

    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

  • dv says:

    can i install it on dell inspiron N4010 because it’s name is not on the supported devices

  • Chandan Bhat says:

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

  • Ajay Kumar says:

    My laptop has 3GB RAM can I give it a try?

    • tera papa says:


  • Slash says:

    Bro im going through the same damm issue bruh the cursor stuff is pretty

  • Harshad Kandalkar says:

    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.

    • Arjun Sha says:

      Along with Chrome OS Flex, you can try Linux Mint.

      • Bhalo bhai says:

        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

  • Rags says:

    Even the External MIC is not detected.

  • Rags says:

    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.

  • Atique Mujawar says:

    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!!!

    • Santosh says:

      I have the same issue

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