Chromebooks to get updates for 10 years – What you need to know

One thing that has frustrated some users when it comes to the Chromebook is the update policy. All Chromebooks come with an Auto Update Expiry (AUE) date, and once this date is reached your ChromeOS computer will no longer receive updates.

The AUE date for most Chromebooks was originally six years, and this is what caused the most concern. This was then extended to eight years, and now Google has announced all Chromebooks released in 2021 and beyond will receive ten years of updates.

If you own a Chromebook that was released before 2021 do not despair, as there is possibly a chance your Chromebook may also get ten years of updates rather than eight, which I’ll go into a little later. First of all, for anyone who is new to ChromeOS and unaware of the AUE date policy, let’s take a look at what it all means.

What is the ChromeOS Auto Update Policy

When you buy a new laptop you may assume that it will last for twenty years, but let’s be realistic about it, would you want to use a laptop as old as that? Technology changes rapidly, so even using a laptop that is six years old, is a bit of a rarity.

ChromeOS is one of the most secure operating systems available for consumer computing. There are a few reasons why this is the case, and you can find out more about why the Chromebook is so secure. One of the reasons is that it gets automatic updates roughly every four weeks. These updates bring about new functionality, but they also include vital security updates to keep you safe online.

The reason why the AUE date exists is all to do with a balancing act. It’s impossible to provide updates for every Chromebook ever made without impacting newer models. You would end up with a two-tier system where the update you received would depend on how old your Chromebook was. This would be difficult to manage, and depending on the model you owned you’d have a different experience. That isn’t a great way to manage an ever-evolving operating system like ChromeOS.

Chromebook computers can last

I’ve owned many Microsoft Windows laptops before I made the move to ChromeOS. I’ve never owned a Microsoft laptop that I was using four years later. This is because they either broke or became unusable because they were no longer powerful enough after receiving so many Windows updates. This is one of the reasons why I think the whole uproar about the ChromeOS AUE date is a tad unfair.

However, I do understand why many people are upset with the AUE Date. Firstly, there are many retailers who sell older Chromebooks, and if you were not aware of the AUE Date. You could end up buying a Chromebook when it only had a couple of years of updates left.

Also, Chromebooks are far more reliable than Microsoft laptops. The operating system is lightweight and isn’t too demanding on the processor. The experience you get with a Chromebook is the same four years after buying it, it does not deteriorate in performance over time like MS Windows. This is why so many users are still wanting to use their Chromebooks after the AUE date has expired. Their Chromebook still works perfectly fine, and they find it hard to justify throwing a working laptop away.

The new ten-year update policy is more than enough

I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that a ten-year update policy for ChromeOS is impressive. Considering it’s highly unlikely any other laptop you own using a different OS would last that long. This should hopefully stop people from being put off buying a Chromebook.

It also means that the Chromebook now offers better value than it ever did before. When you consider you can buy a budget model for around £250/$250. There really isn’t anything to complain about when it comes to value for money.

If your Chromebook was released before 2021

If you own a Chromebook that was released before 2021 then you may be in luck. Google has confirmed following the last update for your Chromebook, there will be an opt-in option to receive updates for ten years overall. Excited to see if your Chromebook will get ten years of updates? Find out how long your Chromebook will receive automatic updates.

As I mentioned earlier, the reason why the AUE date exists is because older Chromebooks will use hardware not compatible with new ChromeOS releases. Therefore, although you may get updates for longer than you had originally expected. Depending on your Chromebook model, you may get limited functionality, if your device simply isn’t up to the new functionality offered by future ChromeOS updates.

I’m currently typing this blog post on my Google Pixelbook Go, which I always use for typing because the Pixelbook Go has an amazing keyboard. It will currently receive updates until June 2026, but following the announcement from Google will now receive updates until August 2029.

Summary

For ages, I’ve read concerns about the Chromebook AUE Date. A lot of these concerns have been over-hyped. However, I do accept there are many Chromebook owners who have real concerns about why a fully working computer that they love, will stop receiving updates before they are ready to upgrade to a new laptop.

This new ten-year ChromeOS update policy will remove most of these concerns, and it now makes the Chromebook the best value-for-money computer you can buy.