August 16, 2022

Revive old Windows PCs and Macs with “ChromeOS Flex”!

3 min read

Google has released “ChromeOS Flex” that can be installed on older Windows PCs and Macs. We will explain how to install and use it from the basics of “ChromeOS Flex”.
What is “Chrome OS Flex”?
“ChromeOS Flex” is an OS that Google has released free of charge for the purpose of effectively utilizing outdated Windows PCs and Macs in companies and schools. General users can also use it.

Originally, Neverware provided an OS called “CloudReady” based on “Chrome OS”, but Google acquired Neverware in 2020. The name was ChromeOS Flex, and it was previewed for preliminary evaluation from February 2022.

We have made improvements while reflecting user feedback, and on July 15th (US time), we released it as a stable version to the public.

How is it different from Chrome OS?
Google also has its own Chrome OS. The OS is pre-installed on Chromebook computers and cannot be obtained separately.

On the other hand, ChromeOS Flex is a big difference in that you can get the OS alone and install it on a Windows PC or Mac that meets the usage conditions.

Also, since it is based on Chrome OS, basic performance such as underlying technology and management tools are common, but there are differences in terms of security.

For more information, see the help page below.

● Differences between ChromeOS Flex and Chrome OS
https://support.google.com/chromeosflex/answer/11542901

What are the terms of use for ChromeOS Flex?
Google regularly tests computers that run ChromeOS Flex stably, and publishes certified computers on its certified model list.

● Certified model list
https://support.google.com/chromeosflex/answer/11513094

Performance and stability are guaranteed for any computer on this certified model list. However, please understand that some features are supported by the certification model and some are not.

In addition, a deadline is set for the certification period for each certified model. You can check this in the certified model list, so let’s check it in advance.

Then, if you ask whether it can be installed on a computer that is not on the certified model list, that is not the case. Some computers can install it, but that means performance, functionality, and stability are not guaranteed.

If you try it on a computer that is not on the certified model list, please understand that point. As will be described later, you can also check the operation before installation.

The minimum computer requirements for installation are as follows:
In addition, a USB memory or SD memory card of 8GB or more is required for installation.

Create a USB installer
To install ChromeOS Flex on your computer, first create a USB installer.

The computer to create does not need to be a computer that uses ChromeOS Flex, but it will use the browser software “Chrome”.

Prepare Chrome and a USB memory or SD memory card with a capacity of 8GB or more and start working.

In addition, it is known that USB media from some manufacturers such as SanDisk do not function as an installer.

Known Issues

First, start Chrome and click “App” at the left end of the bookmark bar just below the address bar. Once the app icons are listed, click Web Store to open it.
Once the web store is open, search for “Chromebook recovery utility” in the search box on the top left.

Click “Chromebook Recovery Utility” displayed in the search results. Click “Add to Chrome” on the next screen and click “Add extension” on the confirmation screen to add it.

This will add “Chromebook Recovery Utility” to the right of your address bar. Click the “x” to close the additional notification screen.
When “Chromebook Recovery Utility” starts up, click “Start”.

On the “Identify Chromebook” screen, click “Select model from list”.

When the “Insert USB flash drive or SD card” screen appears, insert the USB media into your computer.

Once inserted, select the media you want to use and click Continue.

On the Create Recovery Image screen, click Create Now. If the “User Account Control” screen appears during the process, click “Yes”.

After removing the USB media, the creation of the USB installer is complete.

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