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How to install Chrome OS on MacBook or iMac

Maybe your older MacBook doesn’t fit the specifications needed to run Catalina OS, or your child’s school has suddenly decided to switch to Google Chromebooks. In all cases, there is now a very simple way to turn your old Mac into a fully functional Chromebook compatible device.

Although we can’t install the original Chrome OS that Google uses, we can install the open source Chromium OS which anyone can install, modify, and use as they see fit. But this requires some technical expertise. Fortunately, there are some great developers like Neverware who have modified Chromium OS and made it easy to install on your Mac.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

Comparison of Google’s Chrome OS and Cloud-Ready OS

Just like Chrome OS, Neverware also developed the OS by basing on the open source Chromium OS project. They have taken the source code from Chromium and added their own code to create a remarkably efficient operating system. Cloud-Ready looks and works just like Chrome OS and the best feature of Cloud-Ready compared to Chrome OS is that you can install it on a wide range of devices including Mac and Macbooks.

Just like Chrome OS, Cloud-Ready also sends you regular updates to improve features and security. It is also as stable as Chrome OS. But there is a caveat, even though you can run Linux apps on Cloud-Ready, you can’t install Android apps on it, which Chrome OS can do.

Neverware has said that its system will support Android apps in the future, there is still no indication of this update at the moment.

How to install Cloud-Ready on any Mac or MacBook

1. Go to the Neverware website, scroll down until you see an option Personal use, home. Click on it. Alternatively, you can click on this link.

2. There you can see the download links for Windows, Mac and Chromebooks.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

3. Under the Mac section, download the 64-Bit zip file.

4. Now decompress the image file using The Unarchiver app.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

5. Now open the Chrome browser. If you have not installed it before, download and install Chrome now.

6. On the Chrome Web Store, download Chromebook Recovery Utility by pressing the button Add to Chrome.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

7. Then click on Add app on the pop-up window.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

8. An application will be installed Chromebook Recovery Utility It will appear on the Apps page in Chrome browser. The Applications page should automatically appear. If not, write chrome://apps in the address bar of Chrome browser.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

9. Open the Recovery app on the Applications page and this screen will appear right after that.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

10. Click on the gear icon at the top and click on the option “Use a local photo.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

11. Then locate your image which you have extracted using the Unarchiver app.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

12. Insert and select an 8GB or 16GB USB drive. The data on the USB drive will be lost in the process, so be sure to back up the data there first.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

13. This process will install Cloud-Ready OS into the USB drive. Once the process is complete, remove the USB drive. And you’re ready to install the Cloud-Ready OS using a USB drive.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

14. Now you need to boot the computer using the USB drive. To accomplish this you need to change Custom Boot. Reboot the device and press and hold the . key Option to open the boot options.

15. Then select the USB drive that Cloud Ready is installed on.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

16. The device will boot from USB where the Cloud Ready logo will be displayed.

17. Then click on “Let’s go” To start. It may take several minutes for the pop-up to appear after booting the operating system from the USB.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

18. Connect to the Internet using an Ethernet cable or WiFi.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

19. The operating system will check for any updates and then ask you to sign in with the email address associated with your Google account. I advise you not to log in immediately.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

20. You can use the Cloud Ready operating system in the same way by directly booting with a USB drive. So if you don’t want to install it to your hard drive permanently, you can continue to log in. But if you want to wipe the entire Mac OS and install Cloud Ready natively in the system, continue reading.

21. The installation part is very easy, but now just check whether the whole machine is working properly or not. Check WiFi, keyboard, mouse or trackpad, etc. If something is not working properly then there may be a compatibility issue, it is better that you do not install the OS because it is not compatible with your device.

However, if everything is fine, you can proceed to the next step to install Chrome OS. Also, make sure you back up your data in your computer to the cloud or external hard drive, as once you install the operating system, you will lose all your data on the computer.

22. To install, click on the time in the lower right corner and click on the toggle bar to install the operating system in the quick settings panel.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

23. Then click again on CLOUD-READY INSTALL.

How to install Chrome OS on a MacBook or iMac - Mac

24. Once the installation process is complete, turn off the computer, remove the USB drive and turn on the device again. You can see that Cloud Ready has been successfully installed on your computer.

There are some caveats though – some of the apps and browser extensions in the Chrome Web Store aren’t quite as straightforward, and there doesn’t seem to be as much scrutiny as the apps rendered as you see in Apple’s App Store. But for those of you who might already be working in this world, converting an unused Mac to Chromium OS with CloudReady is a great option and better than just letting it gather dust.

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