How to Use Windows 10 Apps on Chromebook Using Wine

How to Run Windows 10 Apps on a Chromebook (Guide)

Many argue that Chromebook is not a complete machine, and it panders to users who have limited use-case. Frankly, that’s true to some extent. However, with the support of Android and Linux apps, the gap has closed significantly. Having said that, the lack of Windows app support is still the bottleneck for many users who want to move from a Windows PC to Chromebook. But that is also changing. Now, you can run Windows 10 and 11 apps on Chromebook, thanks to native Linux support. In this article, we will show you how to install and use Windows apps on Chrome OS using Wine. So, let’s get started.

Use Windows Apps on Your Chromebook (2022)

We have added comprehensive instructions right from setting up Wine to installing Windows apps on Chromebooks. Then, we also teach you how to create a shortcut to those Windows apps for convenient access.

How to Install Wine 7.0 on Your Chromebook

Here, we will begin by installing the latest version of Wine (7.0) on our Chromebook. In case you are wondering what is Wine, well, it’s a compatibility layer that allows you to use Windows apps in a Linux environment without going through the emulation route.

To cut things short, you will basically use Windows applications through a compatibility layer called Wine, which will run inside the Linux container. I know that seems a mouthful, but don’t worry the performance is good and more than usable for light applications. Now, having said that, let’s begin with the installation of Wine 7.0 to run Windows 10 and 11 apps on your Chromebook.

1. Before anything, you need to set up Linux on your Chromebook. Follow our linked guide for detailed instructions.

2. After Linux is installed, open Terminal from the app drawer and run the below command to add support for 32-bit apps.

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

3. Next, run the below commands one by one to download and add the repository key.

sudo mkdir -pm755 /etc/apt/keyrings
sudo wget -O /etc/apt/keyrings/winehq-archive.key https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/winehq.key

4. Once you have done that, run the below command to download the WineHQ sources file.

sudo wget -NP /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/debian/dists/bullseye/winehq-bullseye.sources

5. Next, run this command to update the packages.

sudo apt update

6. Finally, run the last command, which will install Wine 7.0 on your Chromebook. Press “Y” when asked to confirm the installation.

sudo apt install --install-recommends winehq-stable

7. Once the installation is complete, type winecfg in the Terminal and hit Enter. This will prompt you to install additional files required to run Windows apps through Wine on Chromebooks. The prompt may appear multiple times so click “Install” every time it appears.

8. Finally, to test if you have installed Wine 7.0 successfully, run winecfg again and move to the “About” tab. There you have it! Wine 7.0 running on your Chromebook without any issues.

winecfg

9. If the window resolution is too small for you, move to the “Graphics” tab and change the screen resolution to 120 dpi or whatever looks best to you.

How to Install Windows Programs on Your Chromebook

Now that you have successfully set up Wine 7.0, it is time to install and run a Windows 10 or Windows 11 application on your Chromebook. Here, for example, I am going to show you how to install IrfanView– a popular image viewer– on Chrome OS. Let’s look at the steps:

1. First, all you have to do is download the 64-bit EXE file (of any Windows program) and move it to the Linux files section. Make sure to rename the file to something easier to type.

Note: As a thumb rule on Linux, rename files and folders to one word, which you can then easily type in the Terminal. It will immensely help you while dealing with files in the Linux Terminal.

2. Now, open the Terminal and type the below command. Make sure to replace irfanview.exe with the filename of your chosen app, in case you are installing a different application. Instantly, a setup wizard will open up, and you will be able to install the application just like Windows programs.

wine irfanview.exe

Create Shortcuts for Windows Apps on Chrome OS

After you have installed the program, the next part is to run it. While Wine creates a shortcut for your Windows program in the App Drawer (under the Linux folder) on your Chromebook, the shortcut doesn’t work because of the incorrect file path. To fix it, you will have to find the correct path and use a program called Menulibre to create a custom shortcut. Here is how you can do it.

1. Open the Files and move to the Linux Files section. Here, click on the 3-dot menu and enable “Show Hidden Files”.

2. After that, open the .wine folder and navigate to drive_c. Here, you will get a file-directory system similar to Windows. Now, check where the program has been installed, either in Program Files or Program Files (x86) folder. Once, you locate the correct folder, open it, and find the .exe file. That’s the Windows app you will have to run through the Linux Terminal on Chromebook.

3. After that, open the Terminal and note down whatever is written before @penguin. That’s your username. For example, mine is arjun.

4. Now, this is how your file path will look like. Here, you will have to change yourusername to the username you noted above. Similarly, change Program Files/IrfanView/i_view64.exe to the file path shown in your File Manager.

/home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/IrfanView/i_view64.exe

5. Finally, this is how your complete file path will look like. Now, add wine at the beginning and a space thereafter, followed by the file path within quotes. You can also run the below command in the Terminal to check if your file path is correct or not. If right, the Windows application will open up. Now, copy the whole file path as you will need to use it in the next step.

wine "/home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/IrfanView/i_view64.exe"

6. You have finally created the file path and tested it via Terminal, so let’s create a custom shortcut. Open the Terminal and run the below commands one by one to install and open MenuLibre.

sudo apt install menulibre -y
menulibre

7. In the MenuLibre program, click the “+” icon in the top menu bar and select “Add Launcher“.

8. After that, under the “Application Details” section in the right pane, next to “Command”, paste the final file path of the Windows app you copied on your Chromebook in step #5.

9. Next, click on the “New Launcher” textbox in the right pane and enter the name of the program for easier identification. I have entered “IrfanView”. Finally, click the “Save” button in the top menu, and you are done. You can also click on the icon and choose an icon image for the program.

10. Close the MenuLibre window and open the App Drawer. Further, open the “Linux apps” folder, and here you will find the newly created shortcut. If it does not appear, wait for 5 to 10 seconds.

11. Click on it, and the program will open on your Chromebook instantly.

12. You can also pin the Windows app shortcut to the Chrome OS shelf without any issues.

13. Here is another Windows application, IDM (or you can use any of its alternatives) running on Chrome OS. We have mentioned the file path below to take note of. Once you learn how to create the file path, running a Windows app becomes a breeze on Chromebooks.

wine "/home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Internet Download Manager/IDMan.exe"

14. To remove non-functional Linux shortcuts from the app drawer, open the Files app, enable hidden files, navigate to the below path, and open the program folder. Here, delete the .desktop files to remove shortcuts.

.local folder/share/applications/wine/Programs

Enjoy Installing and Using Windows Apps on Chromebook

So that was our deep dive into how you can run Windows apps on Chromebook using Wine 7.0. As is evident in this tutorial, Windows apps work pretty well through the Linux container on Chrome OS. Among other apps, we tried Skype, Notepad++, and VLC as well. So go ahead and try your favorite Windows 10 or 11 apps on your Chromebook. And if you are interested in gaming on your Chrome OS device, do learn about Steam gaming on Chromebooks. Also, check out a list of the best Linux apps to use on a Chromebook using this curated list. Finally, if you are facing any issues, let us know in the comment section below.

71 Comments

  1. i got to step 8 did it and this is what came up
    winecfg
    -bash: winecfg: command not found
    how do i fix this ?

  2. for some reason it says /usr/bin/winecfg: 46: exec: /usr/bin/wine: Exec format error” what do i do? by the way i have a acer chromebook spin 311

  3. shortcuts not work evry time i got Program error but game started using terminal works like it should

  4. Can someone help me get plants vs zombies with wine for chromebooks i followed this tutorial every single step and it won’t work

  5. I have wine installed perfectly fine but for some reason when I type “wine InstallWizard101.exe” into my terminal. It constantly says there was issues with the program.
    Is there something extra I need to do? I have a Chromebook HP laptop

  6. To tell you the truth, chrome os or chromium os are not suitable to use for hard type editing. I do not recommend using wine in chrome os, it is better to use play on linux and wine but the storage is too small.the only option is change your laptop or increase the storage and change the operating system to corporate type linux for example linux mint or manjaro

  7. Dear , Thanks for your Support ,but i have stuck on step Nr 7 , i have got this Message
    E: Malformed entry 2 in list file /etc/apt/sources.list (Suite)
    E: The list of sources could not be read.
    E: Malformed entry 2 in list file /etc/apt/sources.list (Suite)
    E: The list of sources could not be read.
    Thanks again
    Darwish

  8. Great instructions just need to take it slowly and do each step one at a time.

    When I followed the instructions wine 6.0.1 was installed and I was able to launch the target application

    At step 10 the final edit of file home/abc123/.local/share/applications/wine/Programs/IrfanView/’IrfanView 64 4.58.desktop’

    resulted in the line below

    Exec=env WINEPREFIX=”/home/abc123/.wine” wine “/home/abc123/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/IrfanView/i_view64.exe” /Unix /home/abc123/.wine/dosdevices/c:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start\\ Menu/Programs/IrfanView/IrfanView\\ 64\\ 4.58.lnk

    abc123 is your local linux username

  9. Make sure you open the .desktop file in maximized mode. I faced this problem that I tried installing notepad++ and because it was not maximized the line broke in between and it was not reading aftert “/n
    otepad++/….”
    something like this. Maximized this and put in one line. And also make the exec value same as syntax for writing wine command with path.

  10. BE VERY Careful of trying this!
    Totally screwed up my Linux environment so will have wipe and everything!

    Needless to say, I wont be trying this again!!

  11. No offense…but this is like trying to touch your nose from around the back of your neck. A total waste of time. I just tried to install Windows version of Putty x64, it did install but nothing ever appeared under either of the ‘Program Files’ folders, but there was a copy each in my pictures, my videos, my documents etc.. Putty kept multiplying copies and eating up space.

    I couldn’t uninstall, either Putty or (silly) Wine (that was like another rabbit hole), so I ended up killing my Linux instance and restarting all over again. Thanks for such a great post.

  12. Heeelllpppp … i apologize in advance lol , Im SUPER new to ALL of this so please bare with me …. I keep getting stuck at the 7th step . I keep getting the message ” E:Unable to locate winehq-stable ”
    I have tried to re do the whole process twice now making sure to follow step by step but I still end up hitting in the same spot :/ There may be an extremely east answer to this and I just look silly , but when I say Im new to this , I mean … I know NOTHING … I get one the computer to email family and randomly watch youtube clips, THATS IT .. I am trying to learn something new lol….. Thanks in advance if anyone’s able to reach out!

    1. I had the exact same problem? Did you fine a solution? Issue with very last command of item 7.

  13. I did everything like you said, but theres no App. I cant open Windows and every other app from Linux doesn´t work too. I think I did something wrong in the last step. How can I make it undone?

  14. sudo apt install –install-recommends winehq-stable
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    winecfgE: Unable to locate package winehq-stable

      1. this is what happend when i did it

        sudo apt install wine
        E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run ‘sudo dpkg –configure -a’ to correct the problem.

  15. when i get to step # 7 it says: E: Malformed entry 5 in list file /etc/apt/sources.list (Component)
    E: The list of sources could not be read.
    E: Malformed entry 5 in list file /etc/apt/sources.list (Component)
    E: The list of sources could not be read.

    can u help

  16. When I try the second code on the 7th instruction it says this:

    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    winehq-stable : Depends: wine-stable (= 5.0.3~buster) but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

  17. I am having trouble understanding number 7…..everything else has worked so far. Could someone possible give me a step by step?

  18. I’m at the very end, everything worked but now it says that
    E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/apt/lists/lock – open (13: Permission denied)
    E: Unable to lock directory /var/lib/apt/lists/
    W: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/pkgcache.bin – RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)
    W: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/srcpkgcache.bin – RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)

    Any suggestions or solutions to this? Thank you.

  19. getting an error after i try to launch the application: a problem occurred while accessing the registry check to make sure that the emulator is installed correctly.

  20. When I run: sudo apt install nano
    I get:
    E: Type ‘Install’ is not known on line 3 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list
    E: The list of sources could not be read.
    E: Type ‘Install’ is not known on line 3 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list
    E: The list of sources could not be read.
    What to do?
    Is there a way I can remove it all and start over?

  21. Judging by the the comments this didn’t work just for me, it just doesn’t work. Thanks for trying I guess.

  22. when i try to run the “winecfg” comand it looks like this.

    smith11582@penguin:~$ winecfg
    /usr/bin/winecfg: 46: exec: /usr/bin/wine: Exec format error

    can you help?

    1. I tried this walkthrough on another Chromebook, 32-bit, and I got the same error. I assume that this won’t work on a 32-bit chromebook (worked fine on my 64-bit).

  23. I am stuck on step 8, it does not launch Wine 5.0, when inputting
    winecfg

    001e:err:ntdll:RtlpWaitForCriticalSection section 0x7bebbb20 “loader.c: loader_section” wait timed out in thread 001e, blocked by 001b, retrying (60 sec)
    000f:err:service:process_send_command receiving command result timed out
    000f:fixme:service:scmdatabase_autostart_services Auto-start service L”winebus” failed to start: 1053
    0030:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Application tried to create a window, but no driver could be loaded.
    0030:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Make sure that your X server is running and that $DISPLAY is set correctly.

  24. 25 packages can be upgraded. Run ‘apt list –upgradable’ to see them.
    bennyda5ta@penguin:~$ sudo apt install –install-recommends winehq-stable
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Unable to locate package winehq-stable

  25. 25 packages can be upgraded. Run ‘apt list –upgradable’ to see them.
    bennyda5ta@penguin:~$ sudo apt install –install-recommends winehq-stable
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Unable to locate package winehq-stable

    ANY SUGESTION ALMOST DONE BUT DONT WORK

  26. when i use the command:

    sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys DFA175A75104960E

    it says:

    Executing: /tmp/apt-key-gpghome.LAjvrvpZMy/gpg.1.sh –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys DFA175A75104960E
    gpg: keyserver receive failed: No keyserver available

    everything else worked until this point

  27. it says Executing: /tmp/apt-key-gpghome.LAjvrvpZMy/gpg.1.sh –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys DFA175A75104960E
    gpg: keyserver receive failed: No keyserver available
    when i type in sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys DFA175A75104960E

  28. My issue is that the package is not getting installed

    Here is the code:

    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    winehq-stable : Depends: wine-stable (= 5.0.2~buster)
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

  29. When I use the command:

    sudo apt install nano

    It says

    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    You might want to run ‘apt –fix-broken install’ to correct these.
    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    libavcodec58 : Depends: libavutil56 (= 7:4.1.4-1~deb10u1) but 7:4.1.6-1~deb10u1 is to be installed
    Depends: libswresample3 (= 7:4.1.4-1~deb10u1) but 7:4.1.6-1~deb10u1 is to be installed
    libxml2:i386 : Depends: libicu63:i386 (>= 63.1-1~) but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unmet dependencies. Try ‘apt –fix-broken install’ with no packages (or specify a solution).

    I’m really confused
    Anyone have any suggestions

    1. you only get problems like this if you didnt expand your linux disk size, default is set to 5 gigs, set it to 30 gigs and then run
      sudo apt–fix-broken install

      1. 7.5 gigs worked just fine for me and it worked it doesn’t actually need 30 gigs 7.5 works just fine

  30. When I use the command

    sudo apt install nano

    It says

    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    You might want to run ‘apt –fix-broken install’ to correct these.
    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    libavcodec58 : Depends: libavutil56 (= 7:4.1.4-1~deb10u1) but 7:4.1.6-1~deb10u1 is to be installed
    Depends: libswresample3 (= 7:4.1.4-1~deb10u1) but 7:4.1.6-1~deb10u1 is to be installed
    libxml2:i386 : Depends: libicu63:i386 (>= 63.1-1~) but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unmet dependencies. Try ‘apt –fix-broken install’ with no packages (or specify a solution).

    Anyone have any suggestions

  31. I successfully got iTunes loaded and running… but the window is extremely small and all dark… is there a way to fix this?

  32. I have iTunes successfully loaded on my Chromebook… but I don’t know [the file path] how to launch it. When I try, it keeps launching the installer, not the actual program. Not sure what the path is for the .exe file. Any help?

  33. Thank you fo the effort that you’ve made with this writeup. I followed the writeup and then
    tried: wine windowsapplication.exe
    is it obvious what’s wrong from the output below?

    wine: created the configuration directory ‘/root/.wine’
    No protocol specified
    0012:err:ole:marshal_object couldn’t get IPSFactory buffer for interface {00000131-0000-0000-c000-000000000046}
    0012:err:ole:marshal_object couldn’t get IPSFactory buffer for interface {6d5140c1-7436-11ce-8034-00aa006009fa}
    0012:err:ole:StdMarshalImpl_MarshalInterface Failed to create ifstub, hres=0x80004002
    0012:err:ole:CoMarshalInterface Failed to marshal the interface {6d5140c1-7436-11ce-8034-00aa006009fa}, 80004002
    0012:err:ole:get_local_server_stream Failed: 80004002
    000b:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Application tried to create a window, but no driver could be loaded.
    000b:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Make sure that your X server is running and that $DISPLAY is set correctly.
    No protocol specified
    0014:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Application tried to create a window, but no driver could be loaded.
    0014:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Make sure that your X server is running and that $DISPLAY is set corr
    ectly.
    0014:err:ole:apartment_createwindowifneeded CreateWindow failed with error 0
    0014:err:ole:apartment_createwindowifneeded CreateWindow failed with error 0
    0014:err:ole:marshal_object couldn’t get IPSFactory buffer for interface {00000131-0000-0000-c000-000000000046}
    0014:err:ole:apartment_createwindowifneeded CreateWindow failed with error 14007
    0014:err:ole:StdMarshalImpl_MarshalInterface Failed to create ifstub, hres=0x800736b7
    0014:err:ole:CoMarshalInterface Failed to marshal the interface {6d5140c1-7436-11ce-8034-00aa006009fa}, 800736b7
    0014:err:ole:get_local_server_stream Failed: 800736b7
    0010:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Application tried to create a window, but no driver could be loaded.
    0010:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Make sure that your X server is running and that $DISPLAY is set correctly.
    Could not load wine-gecko. HTML rendering will be disabled.
    wine: configuration in ‘/root/.wine’ has been updated.
    0009:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Application tried to create a window, but no driver could be loaded.
    0009:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Make sure that your X server is running and that $DISPLAY is set correctly.
    0025:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Application tried to create a window, but no driver could be loaded.
    0025:err:winediag:nodrv_CreateWindow Make sure that your X server is running and that $DISPLAY is set correctly.

  34. my linux keeps saying its a “bad EXE format” when i try to install these? i couldnt figure out why so if you could help thatd be great

    1. Make sure you are in the right path and the file you are trying to run ends in .EXE, other formats such as .MSI gave me that error too

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