Turn your old computer into a Chromebook for free

If you are considering buying a new computer but are strapped for cash. Then you may want to take a look around your home for any old computers you own. You can now easily turn your old PC into a Chromebook by installing ChromeOS Flex.

This is a great way of saving money as it means it could avoid you having to spend money on a brand new computer. At the moment the world is suffering from a cost of living crisis, so anything that can help you spend less is surely a good thing.

The best thing about ChromeOS Flex is that it’s absolutely free to use for consumers. If you’re a business then there are costs involved to use ChromeOS Flex for enterprises. However, if you’re an individual and using your computer for personal use; you can install ChromeOS flex for free.

What is ChromeOS Flex?

ChromeOS Flex is a brand new operating system maintained and designed by Google. It has been specifically created for owners of old PCs or MAC computers. A good move by Google as it will help them promote their OS, but also a great way to help the environment. Instead of throwing your old computer away, you could install ChromeOS Flex to give it a new lease of life.

The operating system is very similar to ChromeOS, which is the operating system used by Chromebooks. I’ve installed ChromeOS Flex on my Chromebook, and it’s very similar to ChromeOS. In fact, you can hardly tell the difference. Although I installed ChromeOS Flex on a Chromebook it’s important to point out this isn’t why the OS was created.

ChromeOS Flex has been specifically created for older PCs and MACs and Google does not recommend installing it on a Chromebook. Also, there isn’t any reason to install it on a Chromebook unless it stopped receiving updates before 2021. If your Chromebook has stopped receiving updates in 2022, you can continue to use a Chromebook safely by installing Lacros.

ChromeOS Flex is incredibly fast

If you own a computer you no longer use it’s most likely because of performance issues. This is something you come across a lot with Microsoft Windows. A Microsoft Windows computer usually performs fine for a couple of years. You then notice a slow decline, which is mainly due to Microsoft Windows updates. These updates require a computer with more processing power and a time will come when your once-fast MS Windows computer is ready for the scrap heap.

Because ChromeOS Flex is based on the operating system used for ChromeOS Computers. You don’t need to own a computer with a lot of processing power. Even if your computer is a few years old, you will end up with a decent-performing computer once ChromeOS Flex is installed.

Main differences between ChromeOS Flex and ChromeOS

ChromeOS Flex is a fully functional operating system, but it does not provide the exact same functionality as you get with a Chromebook. If you own or have previously owned a Chromebook you will be aware that you’re able to install Android Apps. This is not something that is possible with Chrome OS Flex.

This is also the case with Linux Apps, which can be installed on most medium and high-spec ChromeOS Computers. Linux app capability is not available on ChromeOS Flex.

These are the two main differences. Although I love using Android and Linux apps on my Chromebook. When I’m using my Chromebox that I use for work I rarely use Android and Linux apps. This is because you can get most things done by visiting a web address or using a Progressive Web App (PWA). Therefore, you may be surprised with how much you can actually do using ChromeOS Flex.

Some potential issues of using ChromeOS Flex

Google has been working hard to make ChromeOS Flex compatible with many older computers. However, it simply isn’t possible to get the OS to work fully on all computers ever made. Therefore, you may come across a few issues.

These issues are usually linked to the drivers that are required for specific hardware in your computer. For example, you may find after installing ChromeOS Flex that your sound card is no longer working, so you get no sound from your computer. You could easily fix this by using a Bluetooth speaker, which is what I did for my Chromebook.

The type of issues you may have will depend on the computer you decide to install ChromeOS Flex on. You can take a look at this list from Google, which shows the current computers compatible with ChromeOS Flex.

Summary

If you own an old PC or MAC and are not interested in spending money on a new computer. Then you can’t really go wrong by installing ChromeOS Flex. As I’ve mentioned it’s absolutely free of charge and will give your old PC a new lease of life.

It will take a few days to get used to using ChromeOS Flex if you’ve been using Windows for a long time. However, you will soon get the hang of how it works, as it’s very easy to get to grips with. Also, you will find there are plenty of apps available that you can use without having access to Android apps. These include Microsoft Office and the free Google Office suite.

So before you throw your old computer away, I’d strongly recommend taking a look at ChromeOS Flex. This Google page will help you to install ChromeOS Flex on your old PC.

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