Chromebooks released after 2020 will now get 8 years of updates

When you buy a Chromebook you may be unaware that previously your device received automatic updates for six and a half years. This has caused concern for some people, but to keep Chrome OS lightweight it’s necessary. Find out more why expiry of automatic updates is essential to keep Chrome OS the fast operating system it currently is.

Google has recently announced that Chromebooks released in 2020 onwards will now receive these updates for eight years. This is great news for anyone who was previously concerned about losing automatic updates too early.

WHAT ARE AUTOMATIC UPDATES

When you buy a new Chromebook you’ll notice from time to time that automatic updates occur. This happens when the Chrome OS operating system receives updates.

These updates ensure you’re using the latest operating system available for your Chromebook. They also deal with any security flaws that have been found since the previous update. Most people feel these updates are absolutely essential because it’s the only way to keep your Chromebook safe from viruses and other security issues.

Join the Chromebook Community

These updates are provided free of charge and usually happen in the background. This means you do not need to take too much notice about them. Providing your Chromebook is receiving updates you’ll be using the latest Chrome OS operating system.

Most Chromebooks made in 2019 will receive these updates for 6.5 years, which is more than the previous 5 years of updates. This new announcement will mean Chromebooks released in 2020 onwards will get up to 8.5 years of updates. However, it’s not as black and white as that, which I’ll explain later.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The issue of automatic updates was mainly surrounding buying Chromebooks in the second-hand market. However, it is also a concern for people buying a Chromebook from new if the device has been available for some time.

The automatic updates are linked to when the Chromebook was released and not when you bought the Chromebook. This means if you bought a Chromebook from new in 2019, which was released in 2016, you may only receive automatic updates until 2021.

Although you can still use a Chromebook after automatic updates have stopped. There is a concern that using a Chromebook after this date is a risk. It’s true the risk does increase a little because if a security flaw is fixed after your Chromebook stopped receiving updates. It’s possible that your Chromebook could then be vulnerable to that risk.

Auto Update Expiration date to show in Chrome OS settings
All Chromebooks have an Auto Update Expiry date (AUE)

CHECKING YOUR CHROMEBOOKS AUTO UPDATE EXPIRY DATE

Until recently it was not possible to check your Chromebooks Automatic update expiry (AUE) date. To find out when your Chromebook would stop receiving updates would mean visiting Google. Google provides a list of all Chromebooks and the AUE date for each model.

However, there was an update to Chrome OS recently, which now means you can check directly from your Chromebook when updates will stop working. This is great because it now means you can check directly from your device rather than rely on an internet page.

There is a very good reason why Chrome OS now provides this option. It’s because we are no longer in a situation where all devices receive updates for 6 years. It all depends on the exact model you own. This is because the eight-year AUE date is not just to do with when the Chromebook was released. It also depends on when the processor and other internals were released.

If your Chromebook was released in 2020 but relied on processors released in 2017. It’s possible that the Chromebook would only receive updates for 6.5 years rather than 8.