The dreaded Chrome OS AUE date and why Lacros will fix everything

By - Dan Millward

Published -

Have you bought a Chromebook or considered buying one but been put off by the AUE date? The AUE date is something that I’ve written a lot about because I totally understand it’s something that causes people concern.

Although I totally understand why the AUE date is something that frustrates some Chrome OS users. I also accept that an AUE date must exist. The main issue about the AUE Date is whether it’s safe to continue surfing online once this date has been reached.

The good news is we’re now at a stage where you can still use your Chromebook after the AUE Date safely. To make this possible the Chrome OS team has been working on a project called Lacros.

What is the Chrome OS AUE date?

The Automatic Update Expiry (AUE) date is found on all Chrome OS devices. Find out how to find your Chromebooks AUE Date. Until this date is reached your device will continue to receive automatic Chrome OS updates.

These updates used to take place every six weeks, but this was changed to every four weeks to match update rollouts for the standalone Chrome browser. This change was a necessary step for the Lacros project.

When your Chromebook receives updates they not only include new features such as the new Chrome OS app launcher menu and Chromebook calendar. They also include vital security updates and patches. These security updates will fix any known flaws that may have been found.

This means providing your Chromebook is receiving updates. You’re safe when using your Chromebook and surfing online. These regular updates are one of the reasons why Chromebooks are safe and do not need anti-virus software.

Why Chrome OS devices need an AUE date

You may be thinking why Google has decided to make all devices come with an AUE date. You’ll also find information online, which refuses to accept the reason for the AUE date other than manufacturers and Google wanting to ensure the continuation of new products.

However, this view isn’t really looking at the bigger picture. Essentially the AUE date is vital for Chrome OS to continue to develop. Chrome OS has developed into one of the most successful operating systems. When I look back to how Chrome OS worked in 2011 to where we are now. The differences are huge. All of these improvements are good for the user because it offers us more functionality.

AUE Update schedule for Chrome OS
My Pixelbook Go stops receiving updates in June 2026

To do this the Chrome OS team cannot be made to consider a laptop that was designed ten years ago. It’s simply impossible to continue to develop a system where it needs to consider every Chromebook ever made. Technologies continue to advance and the hardware inside a laptop today is superior to what would have been found in a laptop ten years ago.

If all Chrome OS updates had to work for every Chromebook ever made. The Chrome OS team would never be able to push things forward, which is pretty critical for technology improvements. It would essentially mean anyone buying a new Chromebook would be missing out on new functionality because older Chromebooks were stopping innovation.

Chrome OS and the browser are integrated

Unlike other operating systems you may have used where you decide what internet browser to install. When you use Chrome OS you’ll automatically have the Chrome browser installed and ready to use.

Although the browser may look and feel like the standalone Chrome Browser you can install on any operating system. It is actually a purposely designed Chrome browser that is integrated with Chrome OS. Therefore, when Chrome OS receives updates this also includes updates for the browser. They do not work independently of each other.

Chrome OS and the browser
At the moment Chrome OS and the browser are integrated

This means it’s not possible to update any vulnerabilities found on the browser without updating Chrome OS. It also means when your computer stops receiving automatic updates. This will stop your Chromebook from receiving updates for both Chrome OS and the browser.

Are AUE expired Chromebooks safe?

Because you’ll no longer receive updates after the AUE date. You may be concerned that you’ll no longer be able to use your Chromebook safely. Firstly, you’ll be able to use your Chromebook after the AUE date without any concerns. However, this is only strictly true for about a month or two.

The issue of using a Chromebook where the AUE date has been reached is security. Because, at present, updates to Chrome OS also mean updates to the browser. When your Chromebook stops receiving updates your browser will not receive vital security patches.

This is vital because internet security and the threats to us browsing the internet is a forever moving situation. It’s a situation where technology giants such as Google need to continually fix flaws that the bad guys or the good guys have discovered. The only way to fix these flaws is via updates.

Lacros will fix the issue around the AUE date

Lacros is a project that the Chrome OS team has been working on for well over a year now. It’s a huge project, which will take a lot of time to get right. It stands for Linux and Chrome OS. Once officially released it will remove the integration between Chrome OS and the browser.

Instead of using a browser that is integrated and specifically designed for Chrome OS. Chrome OS and the browser will be separated. Therefore, the browser will be a standalone application, which can continue to receive updates even if Chrome OS updates have stopped.

Because Chrome OS and the current browser have been designed to work together. Changing this means removing all the integration between the OS and the built-in browser. A huge task that will take time to complete.

Lacros is already an option for AUE expired Chromebooks

As I’ve mentioned the Chrome OS team has been working on this project for over a year. This means Lacros is now something you can take advantage of if your Chromebook has reached the AUE date. This is great news and to make it even better you can start using Lacros in the stable channel.

This means you don’t need to put your Chromebook into the riskier developer channel. You can start taking advantage of Lacros by simply enabling a few flags. Chrome OS flags provide you with the ability to take advantage of functionality that hasn’t yet been officially released.

Pixelbook Go receives updates until June 2026
Lacros means you can use a Chromebook safely after AUE date

I regularly use Chrome OS flags for many different future developments. They are easy to enable and can be easily disabled if you run into any issues. If your Chromebook has reached its AUE date then it makes sense to start using Lacros now.

You need to accept it’s still a project that isn’t finalised. Therefore, you may find changes continue to happen whilst enabling flags. That being said, Lacros is now advanced enough to use your Chromebook for internet browsing safely even if your Chromebook AUE date has been reached. Find out how to enable Lacros on your AUE expired Chromebook.

What Lacros means for Chrome OS

Once Lacros is implemented as standard. The OS and browser will be separated for all Chromebooks whether the AUE date has been reached or not. This essentially means you’ll no longer need to worry about safe internet browsing when your Chromebook reaches its AUE date.

It will still be the case that an AUE date will exist for each device. This is because Lacros simply means separating the OS and the browser. Using a Chromebook once the AUE date has been reached will mean you’ll have a browser that will receive vital security updates. Therefore, you can surf online without the worry of it being unsafe.

Although this is great news for anyone who wants to continue using their device. You’ll need to accept that your device will no longer receive Chrome OS updates. Therefore, any new functionality that no doubt we’ll continue to see being rolled out. Will not be something you’ll be able to take advantage of if you’re using a Chromebook where the AUE date has been reached.

It fixes the issue with the Chromebook second-hand market

One thing that I do struggle with about the AUE date is waste. The idea of having to throw your laptop away because it has reached a specific date, but the laptop is still in perfectly good working order. Is something I find a bit out of step in 2022.

It’s a bad thing for the environment and it destroys the second-hand market for Chromebooks. If you like to buy the latest laptop to use for a couple of years before selling on platforms such as eBay. You’d find it can be more difficult with a Chromebook if the AUE date is near. You’ll essentially get a lot less money than it may be actually worth.

Lacros will help Chromebooks do well in the second hand market
Chromebooks will do well in the second-hand market

Lacros will fix this because there are many people who will be perfectly happy buying a second-hand Chromebook, providing they can surf the internet safely. Not everyone is too fussed about getting the latest OS updates. They are more interested in getting a great bargain. This is one of the huge advantages of Lacros.

It will give older Chromebooks a new life well after the AUE date has expired. When you consider there are many countries in the world, that would happily use older technology because new tech isn’t an option. It was only a matter of time before Google had to do something about the AUE date.

Summary

This is great news for Chrome OS. It isn’t just something that will benefit current owners. It will remove an issue that has potentially put people off buying a Chromebook.

This is only a good thing, and I’m sure it will not stop manufacturers from investing in bringing out new devices. Sure, it may mean some people may put off buying a new laptop for a few more years. However, just like Android phones. There will always come a point where older tech isn’t offering you what it once did.

Also, not having access to the latest Chrome OS improvements is something you may be able to deal with for a couple of years. However, I’m sure anyone who has held onto an Android phone longer than intended. Will know that there isn’t anything better than buying a new phone and noticing all the improvements that had been made to the OS that they had missed.

This is why Lacros is great for Chrome OS. It will give older Chromebooks a new lease of life, and I don’t think for one second it will stop others from buying new Chromebooks. It will just open up Chrome OS to a whole new market.

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