Make an old laptop into a “Chromebook”

My father-in-law needed to use a web browser on an old laptop. He liked using Chrome, but Edge would open and not close. Random apps popped up and took up the screen. Windows 10 on an HP laptop was hogging memory with McAcfee and Windows Store games. He just wanted a browser and could not get that after a fresh Windows 10 install.

The “Chromebook” solution has been the right call. The computer boots up quickly and is always responsive. He gets his browser without the extra nonsense.

Chromebooks are maintained by Google, but the open source operating system is repackaged by Neverware into CloudReady. They have different versions, but the free version is the Home Edition.

To install, if you have a Windows computer

  1. Plug in a USB stick
  2. Download the installer and run it (~20 minutes to download the OS image)
  3. Move the USB stick into the destination “Chromebook”
  4. Boot into the USB stick.
  5. Play around with your “Chromebook” and then install by selecting on the bottom right of the Desktop, then “Install OS”.

If you do not have a Windows laptop, you need to manually do steps 1 and 2 on your own, but their website has instructions. It is similar to any Linux bootable USB stick.

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1 Response to Make an old laptop into a “Chromebook”

  1. Micah says:

    Thanks for the tip. Very clear explanation, I look forward to trying it out.

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