Have an old PC lying around and not sure what should be doing it? Then installing Chrome OS Flex might be the best idea. It will offer your old computer an enhanced performance, improved battery life, and quicker loading times. Also, you can run this cloud OS right from a flash drive or use it as your primary operating system. So the question is, how to install Chrome OS Flex on Windows?
What is Chrome OS Flex?
Chrome OS Flex is a cloud-first, fast, easy to manage, and secure OS for PCs and Macs. It is a free yet sustainable way to modernize your old devices.
It is the successor to Neverware’s CloudReady operating system, which bought Chrome OS to virtually any outdated computers.
Both Chrome Flex OS and CloudReady are based on the Chromium OS. But CloudReady skipped every other version of Chromium OS due to the added development overhead of forking the open-source project.
On the other hand, ChromeOS FLEX is designed to get updates the same way as regular Chromebooks. Also, it does almost everything that the regular version of Chrome OS does.
You are getting the Chrome browser front and center, which allows you to surf the web in a lightweight and safe environment. Also, you can use all the usual web apps like Google Drive, Microsoft Office Online, and other ones. However, it doesn’t have support for native apps.
Chrome Flex System Requirements
Chrome FLEX OS is designed to support both Windows and Mac devices. However, there are a few requirements that you need to meet before you install the OS on your computer. These system requirements are as follows:
- Intel or AMD x86-64-bit
- 4 GB RAM
- 16 GB Internal Storage
- Full Admin Access to BIOS
- Processor/Graphics Cards Not Older than 2010.
- At least 8 GB USB Stick
- Certified Models List
Why Should You Install Chrome Flex?
Chrome OS Flex provides you with one of the simplest ways to make your outdated computers run faster and better. Although, your obsolete computers have the support of native apps. But as they get older, those supported apps don’t perform well, and you get an awful experience as a user.
On the other hand, Chrome OS Flex can run web apps and Linux apps. Also, most people heavily rely on web apps in today’s time. For example, Google offers a whole suite for all your office needs.
Additionally, you can use features like image editing, emailing, shopping, taxing, and everything else using a browser. Plus, many web services these days let you add a shortcut to their app on your desktop. So you can quickly launch your favorite apps and get right into your work.
Also, if you believe that Chrome OS Flex might not be a good fit for you, you can always install it on a USB Drive to try it out before you fully install it on your computer.
How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Windows
Before installing Chrome OS Flex, make sure you have an 8GB pen drive. You will be required to create a bootable pen drive to continue with the installation process.
I have divided the whole installation process into two parts. The first part will talk about how you can download and create a bootable pen drive for Chrome OS Flex, and the second part will guide you with the installation part.
Part 1: Prepare The Chrome Recovery Utility
- First, install the Chromebook Recovery Utility browser extension from Chrome Web Store.
- Once installed, click on the extension icon to launch the program.
- Then, insert an 8GB or more USB Stick into your computer and click the Get Started button.
- Next, enter the model number of your Chromebook or select your laptop from the list and click on Continue.
- After that, select your pen drive and click on Continue.
- Next, click on Create now to create a recovery image.
- Chromebook Recovery Utility will download the image file and flash it on your USB drive.
- Somewhere between, a popup will appear on your screen > Click on the yes button, and it will start creating a recovery image.
- Once the download is completed, click on the done button.
Part 2: Install Chrome OS Flex
- Once the bootable pen drive is ready, put your computer into boot mode and boot using your Pendrive.
- Then, you will see a CloudReady 2.0 screen. Click on the Get Started button.
- Next, you will get two options: Install CloudReady 2.0. Click on the first option to install Chrome OS Flex on your computer.
- Next, add a network by connecting a LAN cable or connect to the wifi network.
- Then follow the onscreen steps and sign in using your Google Account.
- Once installed, you are all set to use Chrome OS Flex.
So that was a quick tutorial on installing Chrome Flex on Windows. Now go ahead and try out the above steps and see how they work for you. Also, if you get stuck at anything, feel free to drop a comment below.
How to Try Chrome Flex without Install (Bootable USB)
If you don’t want to install Chrome OS Flex right away on your PC, try it out first. Then you can use your bootable drive for that as well. For this, follow the below steps:
- First, connect your USB drive to your computer and boot into the Chrome OS Flex.
- Then click on the Get Started button to continue.
- Next, you will find a Try it first option, click on it and follow the onscreen steps to try out ChromeOS Flex.
Rollback to Windows or Uninstall Chrome Flex
What if, after installing Chrome Flex, you don’t like it? You can always go back to your old Windows or Mac installation. You will need to flash your computer with a Windows 11 bootable or macOS drive, and you are good to go.
Is Chrome OS Flex better than Windows?
There is no comparison between Chrome OS Flex and Windows. Since Chrome OS is a cloud-based operating system, it does not offer you native app support as Windows does. But you can use it for running web-based apps and use all of Google’s products like Google Docs, Drive, Gmail, Chrome, and more. Also, using its browser, you can enjoy all the web-based services on Chrome OS Flex. On top of that, it can improve the performance of your old Windows computer.
Can I Install Chrome OS Flex On ARM-Based Windows PC?
Chrome OS Flex is a relatively new operating system that is under development. As a result, you cannot install it on ARM-based devices. Instead, you can only use it on Chromebooks. However, we are hopeful that Google will soon bring Chrome Flex support for ARM-based Windows PCs.
Do Zoom Meetings Work on Chrome OS Flex?
Yes, Zoom has recently launched its Zoom progressive web application (PWA) for Chrome OS. As a result, you can now use Zoom on Chrome OS Flex and other Chrome OS.