How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Windows PC or Laptop

Google has leaped ahead of other OS providers with its announcement of Chrome OS Flex for Windows. This new operating system from the tech giant will open up a new space for age-old PCs that no longer function fast. Chrome OS has already become a popular choice among light users, and many institutions use Chromebooks for educational purposes. 

Google now directly supports even the third-party hardware through the Flex OS from Chrome, which leads to a new way for using older generation computers. This new operating system comes with a seamless installation process on Windows and even comes with an assured update cycle.

Even, you can modernize your old Windows PC or experience this new operating system by installing the Chrome OS Flex. So, let’s just dive into the process of installing Flex OS from Chrome. 

What is Chrome OS Flex?

Chrome OS Flex is a free and sustainable way to modernize devices you already own. It’s easy to deploy across your fleet of old computers instead of turning them into e-waste. The Chrome OS came into existence after Google acquired the Neverware firm. 

It’s a New York-based company that was developing CloudReady; an open-source operating system based on Chromium OS. Now, Google has taken over the project and brought the upgraded Chrome OS Flex after the original Chrome OS. 

Requirements to Install Chrome OS Flex on Windows 

You can check the PC compatibility for the Chrome OS from Google’s Certified model’s list page. However, there’s no need to worry, as the OS will work on almost any low-power hardware. The OS might limit some functionalities on a few non-certified models that aren’t mentioned in the model’s list. Moreover, the OS does not support the PCs with Arm-based silicons and only supports Intel and AMD 64-bit x86 processors. 

  • You can use any PC to flash the Chrome Flex OS, as the older PC might take up a lot of time.
  • PC should possess at least 4 GB of RAM or above
  • 16 GB of internal storage or above
  • Support for USB booting with Full Administrator Access on PC
  • A USB drive with a minimum of 8 GB or more storage. 

Issues Encountered While Installing Chrome OS Flex

  • In the process of installing, we found out that some SanDisk pen drives did not support for flashing the Chrome OS Flex. You can even check it out on Reddit as some users have dealt with the same issue.
  • But, there’s still chances for installing, as some Reddit users have successfully completed the process using SanDisk pen drives and SD cards.
  • We have failed to install the Chromebook Recovery Utility tool extension on Microsoft Edge. However, the tool installed without any issues on the Google Chrome browser for flashing the Chrome OS Flex on a USB drive.

How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Windows 

The installation process requires you to install a tool from Chrome that helps in booting the OS onto a USB Drive. After transferring the new Chrome OS on the bootable USB, we will move to the actual installation of Cloud Ready 2.0 on the Windows PC. 

Flashing the Chrome OS Flex on a USB Drive

  1. Install the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension from Chrome store for flashing the OS on a USB drive.
    Chromebook Recovery Utility Extension
  2. After the installation, open the utility tool and connect a USB drive with at least 8 GB of storage to your or any other PC.
    Chromebook Recovery Utility Extension
  3. Now, click on the Get Started button on the welcome page of the tool. 
    Chromebook Recovery Utility - Get Started
  4. From Identify the Chromebook page, select your device by clicking on the “Select a model from a list” option.
  5. Select the “Chrome OS Flex” option in the first menu and “Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable)”; then click on Continue
    Chromebook Recovery Utility
  6. Select your USB storage device in the next menu and click on Continue. 
    Select the storage device for booting Chrome OS Flex
  7. The Recovery tool will take it’s time for making the bootable USB of Chrome OS Flex after Clicking on Continue.
    Chrome OS Flex Installed Successfully on USB Storage
  8. Your Chrome OS Flex Bootable drive is ready for installation.

Install Chrome OS Flex on Windows 

The time taken for the flashing process of the OS on the USB drive should have been around 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the speed of the internet. Now, it’s time for you to install the OS from the USB drive, that contains the OS, to the Windows PC. Let’s just get on with the installation mode of Chrome OS Flex. 

Google Chrome Flex OS - How it works
  1. Connect the Bootable USB with Flex OS and restart your PC.
  2. Now press the boot key on your PC for entering into the selection of boot modes.
    • If you cannot distinguish the boot key, check out your motherboard manufacturer and find out the key. 
      Let’s check out the boot key’s for some popular brands, in the market.
      Acer F2; AsusF8 or Del; Dell F12; HP F9; Intel F2; Lenovo F12.
  3. In the boot selection page, select the USB drive from the list of options.
    Boot Menu to install Chrome OS Flex
  4. You will automatically land into the “Welcome to CloudReady 2.0” screen after the boot up. 
    Welcome to Cloud Ready 2.0
  5. Click on the Get Started button and start the installation process of the OS.
    Install Cloud Ready 2.0 for Chrome OS Flex
  6. We recommend you to select the “Try it first” option instead of installing it right away, for you can experience the features in the first place and then decide.  
    Google Chrome OS Flex Try it First
  7. After experiencing the Chrome OS Flex, you can install the Cloud Ready 2.0 OS by signing out of it from Quick Settings panel.
    Sign out from Chrome OS Flex
  8. Lastly, select the “Install Cloud Ready” in the bottom-left menu to install the OS on your hard drive. 
    Install CloudReady for Chrome OS Flex
  9. This way you can first experience the UI and then Install the Chrome Flex OS on any PC.

Is Chrome OS Flex a replacement for Windows? 

The Cloud Ready 2.0 surely isn’t a replacement for the full-fledged Windows operating system. However, you have the vicinity to install the OS on an older generation, slow-running PCs. The new OS from Google comes as a better option because of its light UI.

There’s no Play Store available as of now on the Flex OS unlike the Chrome OS, but we can expect a new store specially designed for the operating system in the near future. The Flex OS from Chrome comes in the form of an unstable developer version at present.

As a matter of fact, the new OS from Google supports full-fledged Linux, which makes the operating system a worthy try for developers. But, still, you can experience this new innovation from Google and decide yourselves, whether to continue the use of this new OS or switch to the regular Windows operating system. 


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