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Chrome OS Flex: How To Bring An Old PC Back to Life?

Google has just unveiled Chrome OS Flex, a version of Chrome OS that can be installed on any PC or Mac. Currently available in preview, Chrome OS Flex can already be installed. Here’s how.

You can now officially install Chrome OS on any PC. Google unveiled Chrome OS Flex a few days ago , a modified version of Chrome OS based on CloudReady . This operating system developed by the company Neverware (which has belonged to Google since December 2020) is itself based on Chromium OS.

Simply put, Google used all the development work done on CloudReady by Neverware teams to develop Chrome OS Flex. This new OS, which can be installed on any PC or Mac, is a new alternative to bring an old machine back to life.

Also Read: Chrome 97 Is Available Now: New Features

Eventually, Chrome OS Flex is set to replace CloudReady . Current users of the Neverware OS, however, do not have to worry: Google has clearly indicated that they will be offered to migrate to Chrome OS Flex as soon as the operating system is available in a stable version.

Still under development, Chrome OS Flex is already available in preview. You can also install it today on your machine, provided however that you accept the risks involved, in particular to suffer from bugs and other instabilities.

To do this, you need a machine with a 64-bit Intel or AMD processor, at least 4 GB of RAM and at least 16 GB of storage space. Additionally, you will need a USB stick of at least 8 GB to create the bootable installation media.

1. Install Chromebook Recovery Utility

To be able to create a Chrome OS Flex installation USB key , you must use the Google Chrome web browser . If you haven’t already, download and install it on your machine.

You will then need to install Chromebook Recovery Utility in Google Chrome . This utility runs from Chrome and allows you to create an installation (or restore) USB key for Chromebooks. Here in this case, it will be used to create a Chrome OS Flex installation USB key.

2. Launch Chromebook Recovery Utility

Launch Chrome then click on the button for accessing extensions represented by a puzzle piece , at the top right of the window. At the bottom of the menu that appears, click Chromebook Recovery Utility.

3. Create the installation USB key

A new window for Create recovery media for your Chromebook should have opened on your machine. Click the Start button .

In the next window, the tool asks you to Identify your Chromebook . Since the installation USB is not here for a Chromebook but intended for Installing Chrome OS Flex on a PC or Mac, click Select a model from a list .

Click the Select a manufacturer drop-down menu , then select Chrome OS Flex .

In the Select a product drop-down menu , only one choice is offered: Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable) . Choose this option and click Continue .

Then insert a USB flash drive of at least 8 GB in your computer, click on the Select drop-down menu and choose your USB flash drive. Finally click on Continue .

You are now about to delete all the data stored on your USB drive. Click the Create button to start creating the Chrome OS Flex bootable installation USB drive .

Be patient, the process can take more than fifteen minutes.

Also Read: Google Working On Chipset For Chromebooks and Tablets

4. Boot your machine on the USB key

To be able to install Chrome OS Flex on a PC, you must enter the BIOS/UEFI to change its boot order. The handling, which differs on each machine, is sometimes indicated when the computer starts. It is very often necessary to use the Esc, Del, F1, F2, F8 or F10 keys. Refer to your computer’s manual, or go to the manufacturer’s website to try to find the exact manipulation in the support pages.

If you’re going to install Chrome OS Flex on an older Mac , you basically just have to hold down the Alt key during startup to select the disk you want to boot to.

5. Install Chrome OS Flex

Once your machine has booted from the Chrome OS Flex installer USB drive , you should land on the OS installer wizard home page.

You will obviously need to change the language and select the keyboard layout corresponding to your machine before clicking on the First step button .

Chrome OS Flex , or rather CloudReady 2.0 , can be installed directly ( Install CloudReady 2.0 button ), or run live from the USB key ( Try first ).

Choose this option first to discover the interface and familiarize yourself with it if you have never used Chrome OS.

When you are ready to install it, you just have to follow the instructions detailed in the installation wizard to correctly configure your machine. You will need to connect it to your Wi-Fi network, and identify yourself using your Google account to complete the configuration.


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