February 4, 2023


Your Partner in the Digital Era

Have an aged notebook or laptop? Give it new everyday living with Chrome OS Flex

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Do you have an old laptop or personal computer sitting in the corner of your office, collecting dust and having up area? In its place of stating that you can expect to locate a use for it, one particular day, just take a handful of minutes out of your working day to give it new lifestyle by setting up Google’s free running method, Chrome OS Flex. Fundamentally, Chrome OS Flex turns any pc it is set up on into a Chrome OS device, giving that pile of electronics a renewed goal. 

Under I will stroll you as a result of the approach of setting up Chrome OS Flex, which is compatible with Home windows, Mac, and Linux computer systems. Proper now, Chrome OS Flex is in early access, by means of Google’s dev channel, so not all characteristics will get the job done, and not every notebook and configuration will be supported. So, be expecting to run into a few bugs or concerns while using it as Google irons out the remaining create. 

Procedure needs to install Chrome OS Flex

There is certainly a very extensive checklist of products on Google’s Chrome OS Flex aid web page, every 1 marked with different levels of guidance. I would not check out the record as something that if your laptop computer or computer system is not on the listing you can’t attempt Chrome OS Flex. In reality, I utilised a Huawei MateBook D — which is not on the listing at all — for this quite posting. 

Google does listing the minimum amount product demands for a Pc, Mac, or Linux machine to operate Chrome OS Flex. Here it is, taken instantly from a Google support site:

Minimal unit prerequisites:

  • Architecture: Intel or AMD x86-64-little bit compatible machine
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Inside storage: 16 GB
  • Bootable from a USB drive
  • BIOS: Comprehensive administrator entry. You can require to boot from the Chrome OS Flex USB installer and make some changes in the BIOS if you run into difficulties.
  • Processor and graphics: Components manufactured just before 2010 may possibly outcome in a lousy experience.
  • Take note: Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650 graphics components do not fulfill Chrome OS Flex effectiveness expectations.

As you can see, the needs are minimal. Chrome OS Flex is developed to run on, extra or significantly less, any laptop created immediately after 2010. 

Other demands

In addition to a computer that meets the bare minimum necessities, you may will need a laptop or computer with the Chrome browser and an 8GB USB travel that you are going to use to flash the operating program to the aged personal computer. 

Develop a Chrome OS Flex USB installer


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

To set up Chrome OS Flex on a different laptop or computer, you may to start with need to develop what is actually named a USB Installer. The USB generate has all of the files and data necessary to put in the operating program. Google created it effortless to develop the installer applying the Chromebook Restoration Utility extension. Sure, it really is an extension in the Chrome browser. Magnificent, huh? 

You have to have to include the extension to your browser from the Chrome Web Keep. Here’s a immediate backlink to it

The moment it can be additional, open up the extension and then comply with the prompts in the window. The approach is composed of formatting the USB travel you’re utilizing (erasing anything that is at the moment on it, so make certain it isn’t going to have nearly anything crucial). On the next monitor, you’re asked to recognize your Chromebook. Simply click on Pick out a model from a checklist, followed by the Manufacturer dropdown, then find Google Chrome OS Flex in the list and find it. Up coming, click Select a solution and simply click on the only solution, Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable). Lastly, click Carry on.

From here, link the USB drive to your pc, pick it from the dropdown, and click Continue adopted by Create now. The extension will acquire a few minutes to download all of the important documents, and then publish them to the USB generate you might be making use of. 

Come to feel free to go for a stroll, get a cup of espresso, or do some shopping on Amazon when the extension does its job. It took under 5 minutes for me, but a great deal of that is dependent on how quickly your net relationship is. 

How to set up Chrome OS Flex on a Computer system, Mac, or Linux device


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

After the installation travel has been developed, you’re ready to consider out or set up Chrome OS Flex on your aged computer system. 

With the previous computer system turned off, plug the USB installation push into it. Press the electric power button, and then right away start pressing your computer’s boot key. If you never know what that is, Google has a record of common keys broken down by brand name.

On a Mac, for illustration, you maintain the Alternative important. On a Dell, you can expect to press F12. If your personal computer isn’t on the record, you might have to restart it a couple periods and try out distinct keys though it is booting up. Alternatively, you can research your notebook design additionally the boot essential to discover it. 

The course of action from this issue will vary based mostly on the kind of laptop or computer, but the important actions involve you to find the USB set up push as the generate you want to boot the pc from, which in flip reboots the personal computer, launching the Chrome OS Flex set up device. 

If you have trouble with this move, I suggest searching for your specific personal computer design alongside with “How to boot from USB” in the question. 

As soon as you’ve got booted from the USB install push, you are requested if you want to exam Chrome OS Flex prior to absolutely wiping your old computer’s travel. If that’s the route you choose, then the OS will operate on the USB push. 

Or, if you have currently created up your brain, install Chrome OS Flex and stick to the prompts. You’ll want to have your Wi-Fi info useful, and once it really is all completed you can will need to sign in utilizing a Google account — so make guaranteed you have that facts nearby as well. 

After the set up completes, your computer will reboot and you will be greeted by the standard Chrome OS indicator-in website page, where you can then log in with your Google account and start out utilizing your previous personal computer, with a brand name new functioning process.