Are you on the verge of giving up on your old PC? Well, the time is not just yet, because there is a solution that can make your PC work like new without installing any new additional hardware components like SSDs or RAM. Every operating system gets heavier with time, and the one you previously had installed on your PC will not give the same performance as the hardware hasn’t been upgraded. There is a straightforward solution to this problem. You can install Chrome OS Flex on Windows. This article will tell you everything you need to know about Chrome OS Flex and how to install Chrome OS Flex on your old or even relatively new computer.
What is Chrome OS Flex?
Chrome OS flex is a lighter, faster, and highly compatible version of ChromeOS. While the interface might look the same, there are striking dissimilarities. Chrome OS flex does not have native support for Android apps and partially lacks Linux app support. However, Chrome OS and Chrome OS flex both rely on web technologies. Your computer can be free of damaging computer viruses with ChromeOS, just like Android and iOS smartphones, as Chrome OS Flex does not support native applications. Here are the key features of Chrome OS Flex:
- Lightweight and modern UI, easy to use: Chrome OS Flex boots quickly, even on your old PCs, almost bringing it back to life. With Chrome OS Flex, you can use your old PCs again, so if your machine has been acting slow lately, you can give it a rejuvenation.
- Easy Installation: You can easily install Chrome OS with a USB drive or other media. You can install over networks, and the user settings are synced over the cloud, so as soon as you log in to Chrome OS flex via your G-mail account, your settings are synced almost instantaneously.
- Better Security: Chrome OS Flex uses sandboxing technology to keep any malicious software, application, or file from damaging your computer. Sandboxing technology limits the malicious application or file to an environment where it cannot access your computer to damage it further.
- Energy Efficient: Chrome OS Flex is extremely energy efficient, so if you have a device with a small battery backup, Chrome OS Flex can work more efficiently and give you a better battery backup.
- Web-Based Operating System: Chrome OS Flex is a web-based operating system. It means that most of the apps that work on it are web apps, and depending on your computer’s hardware, you can use some Linux apps too. The web apps get very smooth and easy to use when all you need to do is some basic tasks like web browsing, emailing, viewing and editing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, online shopping, etc.
- Reduced Total Cost Of Ownership: If you own a business and want to deploy an operating system that stays in perfect sync with all other computers in the organization, Chrome OS Flex is the right fit for you. You can get computers with lesser hardware capabilities and still run a sleek, fast, and fully capable OS. Also, Chrome OS Flex is entirely free, unlike Windows.
- Regularly Updated: Google has a reputation for keeping the computers updated, as with Chromebooks. Each device comes with at least 6.5 years of regular updates. You can expect the same or even better with Chromebooks.
Chrome OS Flex System Requirements
Chrome OS flex is highly optimized and lightweight, so there aren’t many system requirements to run. Google has officially stated that components made before 2010 will result in poor performance. Other than that, here’s what you need to run Chrome OS Flex:
- 4 GB Of RAM
- 16 GB Of Storage Space
- Intel or AMD x86 compatible device
- BIOS supporting booting from a USB device
Google has also stated that Chrome OS Flex won’t work on PCs with mobile chipsets like Snapdragon and M1. So you won’t be able to run Chrome OS Flex on Macbook M1 and some Microsoft surface laptops. Check the complete list of compatible devices here.
Why Should You Install Chrome OS Flex?
With the features, it must’ve been already clear that Chrome OS Flex is a straightforward, lightweight, and easy-to-install alternative to the regular bulky OS like Microsoft Windows and macOS. There can be numerous reasons you should install Chrome OS flex on your computer. However, there are two primary reasons. The first is that you have a PC with old hardware, and you want to blow new life into it. The second one is to get a UI that will only do basic tasks for you, often related to work, reducing several distractions and boosting productivity.
Chrome OS Flex is also great for enterprises, as it can be easily deployed on multiple computers and reduces the cost of setup as it requires very few resources. It is also very safe and secure to use as it does not have native app support and uses sandboxing technology to restrict malicious apps to only a closed environment.
How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Windows?
Installing Chrome OS Flex is a pretty straightforward process. You need a USB drive or SD card with at least 8GB of usable storage space. The data on that USB drive or SD card will be erased, so make sure you don’t have something on that, that you don’t want to lose. Here are the steps:
- Open your Chrome browser and go to Chrome Web Store. In the Chrome Web Store, install the extension called Chromebook Recovery Utility, an extension made available by Google Itself.
- Once you download the extension, click on it and insert a USB drive into your computer.
- You’ll be asked to select a model, select Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable), and continue.
- Now, select the USB device, and the process will happen automatically. It will take some time to complete. After which, you’ll have a Chrome OS Flex bootable USB with you.
Once you have a bootable USB, you have to start your computer with the USB drive plugged in and press the dedicated key to enter the BIOS. BIOS entrance keys are different for different manufacturers. It can DEL or F2, or F12 key. You can search the same for your manufacturer easily on the web.
- In the BIOS, select the USB drive you wish to boot from. Restart, and it should boot from the drive.
- In the Chrome OS Flex installation menu, you’ll have two options. Whether install Cloudready (Chrome OS Flex) directly on your computer, erase the previous OS, or run it from the USB to try the OS. Select the one appropriate for you.
- Once you select the option, you’ll be asked to choose to connect to a network for the OS to function.
- Once that is done, agree to the policies, read them out, and blaze through the steps to finally get to Chrome OS.
Rollback to Windows or Uninstall Chrome Flex
Since Chrome OS Flex is not an application, it is evident that there is no direct uninstall button in the OS. To Uninstall Chrome OS Flex, you have to install a new OS in place of it. To do so, you first have to create a bootable USB with the respective OS to install it on your computer. Then enter the BIOS by pressing the dedicated key during the startup and entering the bootable USB.
After that, the steps are pretty simple. You have to follow the OS installation instructions on the screen to install a new operating system.
You cannot roll back to Windows with all your data back in place unless you’ve created a disk image for your Windows OS. To move back to Windows, you can install a fresh new copy of it just like any other OS.
Chrome OS Flex is in the early development stages. It is not meant to be compared to Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, or any other fully functioning OS, as Chrome OS flex is more like an extension to Chrome Browser if you look at the larger picture. You can give it a go if you need an OS for your less powerful/old PC that does the job.
Is Chrome OS Flex A Stable Operating System?
No, Chrome OS Flex is not a stable operating system for now, and it is only recommended to install it on the secondary or spare machines.
Does Chrome OS Flex Support Android Apps?
Unlike Chrome OS, Chrome OS Flex does not support Android apps. Chrome OS Flex is a web-based operating system. The OS supports only G-suite apps and some Linux.
Is Chrome OS Flex More Secure Than Windows?
Chrome is flex should be comparatively safer than Windows in terms of viruses and malware. Unlike Windows, Chrome OS Flex does not support native apps. It uses a Sandboxing technology to restrict malicious apps and files to an enclosed environment preventing your PC from harm.
How to Install Chrome Flex on Bootable USB?
To try out Chrome OS Flex from a bootable USB, you must first create a bootable USB from the Chromebook recovery utility Chrome extension. Then boot the PC into the USB by entering the BIOS, keeping the bootable USB inserted during the startup. Once you are into the bootable USB, you’ll be prompted with two options. Either install Chrome OS Flex entirely by wiping out the old OS or try Chrome OS flex by running it from the USB. Select the latter one and proceed with other simple steps to try Chrome OS flex from a bootable USB.