Google released Chrome OS Flex in February 2022 to give obsolete Windows PCs and MacBooks a fresh lease on life. In-depth instructions for installing Chrome OS with Play Store compatibility on a PC have already been written by us, but because they are based on Project Brunch, they are difficult to install. The easy installation method and extended support period of Chrome OS Flex, which Google now supports for third-party devices, make it stand out. Earlier, I gave the Chrome OS beta release a go, and it performed flawlessly. Things are looking even more spectacular now that Chrome OS Flex has reached its stable build. So, if you’re interested in learning how to install Chrome OS Flex on your used Macbooks, Linux computers, and Windows laptops, read the comprehensive instructions below.
How to Install Chrome OS Flex (Updated July 2022)
The stable build of Chrome OS Flex installation instructions for PCs and Macs are provided in this article. Additionally, we have discussed what Chrome OS Flex is and my own experience with Google’s new operating system. To understand more about all the specifics, enlarge the table below.
What is Google Chrome OS Flex?
Google bought Neverware, a New York-based business that was working on CloudReady, two years ago. It enabled users to run Chrome OS on outdated PCs and give them new life. Based on the open-source Chromium OS platform, CloudReady was created.
The project was taken over by Google in February 2022, and the first beta build of Chrome OS Flex (also known as CloudReady 2.0), which is based on Chrome OS, Google’s official desktop operating system and supports Google Assistant and other Google services, was made available. Additionally, it added full Linux support, but Google Play Store was absent. After six months, Google has officially made Chrome OS Flex available in a stable build that supports more than 295 approved devices.
Google is providing Chrome OS Flex for free to users in the education and enterprise sectors. However, common folks can also put Chrome OS Flex on their old Windows computers and MacBooks. This project aims to make use of outdated hardware while providing performance that is nearly on par with that of contemporary systems. We anticipate more participation from a wide range of different manufacturers, including HP, Apple, Asus, and others, now that Google is looking after the project for hundreds of devices.
Requirements to Install Chrome OS Flex
1. A USB flash drive with 8GB or more of storage minimum.
2. A Windows computer with an x86-64-bit processor from Intel or AMD. Not yet supported are ARM CPUs.
3. A minimum of 4GB of RAM.
4. Internal storage must have at least 16GB of space.
5. Verify that Chrome OS Flexhere is approved to run on your PC. You are good to go if your PC is on the list. Do not be concerned if your model is not on the list. The installation can still go ahead. As we’ve demonstrated below, Chrome OS Flex is compatible with non-certified PCs; however, some functionality may be restricted. Google will expand its certified list of PCs over time.
Flash Chrome OS Flex On a USB Drive
1. First, click this link to install the Chrome extension for the Chromebook Recovery Utility. You may flash the Chrome OS Flex build onto your USB device with this plugin.
2. After that, insert your USB drive into the Chromebook Recovery Utility and launch it. Next, select “Get Started.”
3. Select a model from a list by clicking the link on the next page.
4. Select Google Chrome OS Flex from the drop-down selection under Select a manufacturer. Select Chrome OS Flex from the drop-down selection that follows. Click on Continue now.
5. Next, choose your USB flash drive and press Continue.
6. To build a bootable Chrome OS Flex drive, select Create now in the Chromebook Recovery Utility. Depending on your internet speed, the entire process will take 10 to 15 minutes.
Install Chrome OS Flex on a Windows Laptop or MacBook
1. Restart your computer and press the boot key after the flashing process is finished. Check the table below if you are unsure of your computer’s boot key. Up until you get the boot selection page, keep pushing the boot key. Find the boot key based on the manufacturer of your motherboard online if you’re installing Chrome OS Flex on a custom-built computer.
2. Using the arrow keys, choose your USB device on the boot selection page, then press Enter.
3. The CloudReady 2.0 Welcome screen will now show up. Click Get Started here. Follow the on-screen prompts to sign in using your Google account.
4. Before installing Chrome OS Flex on your hard drive, I advise you to first explore it. By doing so, you may determine whether your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, touchpad, keyboard, mouse, and other hardware components are compatible.
5. Once you’ve made up your mind to install Chrome OS Flex, click Sign out in the Quick Settings window in the bottom-right corner.
6. Next, select Install CloudReady from the menu in the bottom left.
7. Lastly, select Install CloudReady 2.0 and then select Install once again. It should be noted that this action will completely wipe your hard drive, so be sure to create a backup before carrying it out. Shut down your computer after the installation is finished, then take out the USB disc.
8. That’s it.
Remove Chrome OS Flex and Reinstall Windows on PCs
Your device will successfully boot Chrome OS Flex. On Chrome OS Flex, you can now enable the new Chrome OS launcher and do a lot more.
Chrome OS Flex on a Windows Laptop: First Impressions
You may uninstall Chrome OS Flex quite quickly if you want to switch back to Windows. For step-by-step procedures, go to our comprehensive explanation on how to uninstall Chrome OS Flex and reinstall Windows 11/10. You must install Windows on your computer using a bootable USB drive that you have created. It should be noted that carrying out this process will erase the data on your hard drive, so create a backup first.
To compare Chrome OS Flex to Windows 11 or 10, it’s safe to state that it performs quite well. I frequently use an 8th-generation i5 Chromebook, but my 6th-generation Windows laptop performs better with Chrome OS Flex. The amazing thing is that Google has integrated support for Google Assistant in Chrome OS Flex. But keep in mind that there is no Android app support, and Google has not said whether or when the Play Store will be included in this iteration.
However, there is complete Linux support, which is fantastic in and of itself. On your Chromebook, you can run desktop-grade Linux applications. You can even run lightweight Windows apps on your Chromebook running Chrome OS Flex thanks to Wine.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s incredible that Chrome OS Flex’s current stable build is built on Chrome OS 103. In conclusion, Chrome OS Flex is a fantastic substitute if you require a device for everyday work and casual browsing but have an old PC or MacBook.
Is Flex for Chrome OS free?
Yes, you can download and install Chrome OS Flex for free on your outdated MacBook, Linux, or Windows computer. Because Chrome OS Flex is built on the free and open-source Chromium OS platform and is a product of Google, there are no fees associated with purchasing it.
Are Chrome OS Flex and Chrome OS the same thing?
One may describe Chrome OS Flex as a simplified, light-weight version of Chrome OS. You can install Linux software, utilise the Chrome browser for all of your routine duties, and more. It does not support Play Store and Android apps, in contrast to the default Chrome OS. Additionally, not many people are aware that the keyboard layout for Chrome OS Flex and the default installation are different. As a result, several frequently used Chrome OS keyboard shortcuts might not function on Chrome OS Flex.
How safe is Chrome OS Flex?
Yes, Chrome OS Flex is now available and may be installed without risk on any Chromebook, MacBook, or Windows machine. Chrome OS Flex is a lightweight OS with all the bells and whistles that is focused on the Chrome browser, and it is also easy to install.
Will Chrome OS Flex work with 1GB or 2GB of RAM?
You must have at least 4GB of RAM on your previous PC in order to install Chrome OS Flex, according to Google’s published specifications. We wouldn’t advise doing that because the installation could encounter problems and make your machines with 1GB or 2GB of RAM ineffective.
Are Android apps supported by Chrome OS Flex?
Will You Install Chrome OS Flex on Your PC or Laptop?
No, Android apps are not supported by Chrome OS Flex. On your Chrome OS Flex device, you can install both Linux and Windows apps if you so want and activate full-fledged Linux support. But once you switch to this slim Chrome OS edition, be careful what applications and programmes you install.