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The Chromebook and the operating system it runs on Chrome OS has grown in popularity over the years. We are now at a point where the Chromebook is becoming mainstream.
It’s a great computer because it’s easy to use, fast and secure. One of the main reasons they sell well is because how safe a Chromebook is to use. The regular updates from Google help to keep the Chromebook safe.
These updates take place every six weeks and in some situations if a critical security patch is needed as regular as two weeks. This means any security flaws or new threats can be dealt with swiftly.
As long as your Chromebook is still receiving these updates. You can use your Chromebook knowing that you’ll be safe when surfing the internet or using your favourite Android apps. However, these updates don’t last forever.
CHROMEBOOK AUTO POLICY AND AUE DATE
To keep Chrome OS fast and secure it’s not possible for Google to support older Chromebook devices. This is because of the changes we see in hardware over the years. This means a cut off point for updates for all Chromebooks exist. Find out more about why the Chromebook Auto Update policy is necessary.
This is known as the Auto Update Expiry (AUE) date. Once you’ve reached your AUE date you’ll know longer receive updates for Chrome OS. At first, this is not such a major issue. However, being that updates are every six weeks, it will not be long before your Chrome OS version becomes seriously out of date.
Any Chromebook manufactured before 2020 will receive updates for five years and some models released in 2018/19 may receive updates for six and a half years. Most devices manufactured from 2020 onwards receive updates for eight years.
It’s important to note some devices manufactured before 2020 may receive eight year of updates. It all depends on the device in question and the hardware that it uses.
To help with this Google recently added into Chrome OS a place where you can check the AUE date for your specific Chromebook. This will give you a date when your laptop will stop receiving automatic updates. If you don’t own a Chromebook but want to check the AUE date before buying one. You can check any Chromebook AUE date on this Google page.
Google is apparently looking into whether it would be possible to remove the AUE date for Chrome OS devices. However, there is no guarantee this will happen and if it does, it won’t happen overnight. Until then the AUE date is here to stay.
YOUR CHROMEBOOK MAY BE UNSAFE ONCE UPDATES EXPIRE
When your Chromebook stops receiving updates. You can no longer guarantee you’ll be safe online. Because of the number of threats we now face from the internet. It’s possibly not wise to keep using your Chromebook with an outdated Chrome OS version for too long.
You’d most likely be fine for a couple of months and you can of course still continue to use your Chromebook. You’ll just have to be aware of the added risk if you decided to do this.
There are a few options you have available when this happens. One of those is to keep your Chromebook as close to Chrome OS as possible and still receive updates.
HOW TO KEEP RECEIVING UPDATES AFTER THE AUE DATE
Although it’s not possible to receive Chrome OS updates. You can add a new operating system, which is very similar to Chrome OS. You can install this operating system from Neverware.
The CloudReady OS is built using Chromium OS, which is the same OS used for Chrome OS. It’s available to home users free of charge but enterprise and education customers have to pay a fee.
If you decide to do this you’ll be replacing Chrome OS with CloudReady OS. You’ll then continue to receive updates to the OS, which means you’ll be able to continue using your Chromebook safely.
MORE ABOUT CLOUDREADY OS
Although you’re using a different operating system. The way you use your Chromebook is virtually identical. The OS looks and works almost exactly the same as Chrome OS. So you’ll feel comfortable with how it works, and should not come across too many issues.
CloudyReady OS is always a couple of versions behind Chrome OS. Updates are received automatically very similar to Chrome OS. When an update is available you’ll see an update icon appear at the bottom right of the screen.
Although CloudReady OS is virtually identical to Chrome OS you will lose some of the functionality Chrome OS offers. For example, you’ll not be able to use Android apps with CloudReadyOS. This is because Android apps and how they work with Chrome OS is not opensource. Therefore, Neverware is not permitted to include Android apps without having permission from Google.
However, if you’re in a position where you are reaching your AUE Date. It’s unlikely the Chromebook you’re currently using supports Android apps, so this should not be an issue.
Although some people would prefer to continue using Chrome OS until their laptop eventually dies. This is not currently possible with the Auto Update policy.
If you’re wanting to still use your Chromebook after the AUE date, but not interested in installing Linux. Then CloudReady is a good way of keeping your Chromebook and experiencing the closest match to Chrome OS.
The good thing is you can continue to use your Chromebook knowing you’ll continue to be safe online. It’s not ideal, but it’s much better than just throwing away a perfectly good laptop.