Do you have an old pc that you want to convert into a Chromebook? Or do you want to dual boot Chrome OS Flex alongside Windows 10/11, Linux or macOS? Then this post is for you. In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to install Chrome OS Flex on any PC.
Chrome OS Flex is Google’s new narrative to reach more customers with its Chromebook OS. Before now, if you wanted to install Chrome OS, you had two choices; buy a Chromebook PC or install Chrome OS using Linux, which is a bit complicated and, If not done correctly, could lead to data loss. Chrome OS Flex, however, makes this process easy for anyone who wants to install Chrome OS on their PC.
What Is Chrome OS Flex?
Chrome OS Flex is a modified version of Google’s Chrome OS that you can install on any PC or Mac. It is an open-source and Linux-based OS that uses Chrome’s web browser as its main interface. The OS is lightweight (and uses fewer device resources), easy to use, and free.
Read also: Best Android emulators for PC and Mac.
Over 400 devices have been certified to run Chrome OS Flex without issues. While Flex offers most of the Chrome OS features to give you that Chromebook experience when you install it, some important features are missing and exclusive to Chromebook PCs.
For a complete list of Chrome OS Flex-certified PCs, click here.
Why Install Chrome OS Flex?
Depending on how you use a PC, there are several reasons to install Chrome OS Flex. If you’re someone that most of your PC usage resolves around the web and don’t use any special apps, then flex best option for a lightweight and fast experience.
Maybe you game a little too or you’re into coding, Chrome OS Flex will also meet some of your needs. For gaming however, you may need to rely on cloud gaming services since Flex doesn’t come with Android support and you can run Android apps.
Chrome OS Flex Screenshots
Chrome OS Flex System Requirements
- Intel or AMD x86-64-bit compatible device.
- 4GB RAM.
- 16GB internal storage.
- Full admin access in BIOS.
- Process and graphics made in 2010 or later.
How To Install Chrome OS Flex On PC Easily
Flex installation is straightforward and will replace the current operating system on your PC. Currently, you cannot dual boot Flex if you’re planning to make it a secondary OS on your PC. However, if you want to change your OS completely, then proceed with the guide below.
- An Intel or AMD x86-64-bit compatible device
- At least an 8GB flash drive
- 20GB or more partition space (If you need more storage)
- Internet connectivity (to download)
Steps To Install Chrome OS Flex
There are two steps in installing Chrome OS Flex on any PC; the first step is to create a bootable Chrome OS Flex flash drive and install the OS using the bootable drive.
Step 1. Create A Bootable Chrome OS Flex USB
There are two ways you can create a Chrome OS Flex bootable USB media; you can create a bootable media using the Chromebook Utility Tool, which is the official method. Or you can download the Chrome OS Flex iso file and create a bootable USB using Rufus or any other media. If you’re using the official method, ensure a good internet connection.
Use Chromebook Utility Tool To Create A Bootable USB
- Install the Chromebook Utility Tool browser extension from the Chrome web store.
- Once installed, click on the utility tool icon to launch the tool.
- Click on get started on the utility tool main window.
- You’ll be required to select your device model and the Chrome OS Flex version you want to install.
- On the select device model drop, scroll until you find Chrome OS Flex and select it. For the version, click on the drop-down, select the stable version, and click on continue.
- Plug in your USB flash drive, select the USB from the list if you have multiple connections to your PC and click on continue.
- You’ll get a confirmation screen which shows the version of Chrome OS Flex you’re about to install and a quick warning that all your files and data will be erased. If you have any important files on the USB, copy them somewhere safe and click the create new button.
- Chrome Utility Tool will now download the OS files (about 1.2GB) and create a bootable USB. The process will take a few minutes, so sit back and let it run.
- Once the bootable USB is ready, you’ll get a success message on the tool. Click on done and close the utility tool.
Alternatively, you can download the Chrome OS Flex bin file and manually create a bootable USB. This process is faster and easier.
Downloads Chrome OS Flex ISO File To Create A Bootable USB
- Click here to download the Chrome OS Flex bin file.
- Download the Rufus media creation tool (recommended).
- Open Rufus and select the USB drive you want to make bootable.
- Click on select next to the boot selection and import the Flex bin file.
- Now, leave other settings and click the start button.
- Wait for Rufus to prepare your Flex bootable media.
- Once the bootable media is complete, Rufus Ready button will turn green.
That’s it, your Flex bootable media is now ready.
Step 2. Installing Chrome OS Flex From Bootable USB
- Boot into your PC BOIS boot menu. If you don’t know how to do that, click here to check your device boot menu hotkeys.
- In your boot menu, using the up and down arrow key, scroll down and select the bootable USB you just created and hit enter.
- If everything works correctly, the Chrome OS Flex boot screen will appear and take you to the welcome page after loading.
- On the welcome page, click on get started to start the installation process.
- The next windows will ask if you want to install Chrome OS Flex or try it first. If you haven’t tried it before, you can choose the ‘try it first’ option, which will let you run Chrome OS Flex off the bootable media without installing it.
- Click on install Chrome OS Flex.
- A confirmation page will appear stating that your hard drive will be erased. If you agree, click on install to continue.
- The installation process will take some minutes, so you can sit back or do something else while the process is running.
- Once the installation is complete, you’ll get an ‘installation complete’ message on the screen.
- Now, remove the bootable USB and click on shutdown.
- Turn on your computer, and Chrome OS Flex should load up normally and take you to the welcome screen.
- Click on get started and connect your device to a network. Either Wi-Fi or LAN and click continue.
- Google will ask who will be using the device on the next page. If you’re setting up the PC for your child, choose the child option; otherwise, choose ‘You‘ and click next.
- Sign in to your Google account (Gmail account).
- After signing in, click next, and you’ll be taken to the Chrome OS Flex desktop.
That’s it; you’ve successfully installed Chrome OS Flex on your PC.
How To Install Google Playstore On Chrome OS Flex?
Currently, the Flex OS doesn’t come with Android support, so you cannot install Google’s Playstore. However, you can install FydeOS, a Chromium OS fork which comes with all the Chrome OS features and Android support.
You may also like: The best Android OS for PC.
How To Uninstall Chrome OS From Your PC?
If you want to uninstall Chrome OS Flex, create a bootable media of the new OS you want to install and format your hard drive.
Chrome OS Install Guide FAQs
Can I Dual Boot Chrome OS Flex?
No. Currently, Google doesn’t offer dual boot for the Chrome OS Flex; however, I believe it is possible.
Is Chrome OS Flex Free?
Yes, Chrome OS Fex is completely free for everyone.
Does Chrome OS Flex Have Playstore?
No, Chrome OS Flex currently lacks Android support so the Google Playstore won’t work.
Can I Run Android Apps On Chrome OS Flex?
No, you can’t because Chrome OS Flex does not have Android support.
Can I Play Games On Chrome OS Flex?
Yes, you can use cloud gaming services but can not play Android games.
Can I Run Linux On Chrome OS Flex?
Yes, Chrome OS Flex comes with Linux support. You can install Linux on the OS and run Linux apps natively.
Can I Use Chrome OS Flex For Coding?
Yes, if you’re a Linux developer, Chrome OS Flex is useful for coding.
Chrome OS Flex is the best option for anyone who wants a simple and fast PC experience. Although the OS currently lacks Android support, limiting its capabilities, you will still enjoy the Chromebook experience.
Read also: Best lightweight Android web browsers.
That’s it on our Chrome OS Flex Install guide. If you find this post helpful, please share and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more interesting and informative content.