How To Convert An Old Laptop Into a Chromebook

Martin Wilson

Jun 28, 2022

A Chromebook can sometimes outperform a Windows laptop. Users who are often puzzled by computers and the personnel who assist them with IT support often have a more difficult time due to complexity. An easy-to-use Chromebook interface takes care of everything from installing drivers to avoiding spyware.

More crucially, Chromebooks run a lightweight operating system that is quick and responsive on older and inexpensive hardware, making them considerably more affordable. If you have an outdated laptop, you can make your Chromebook for nothing.

How To Make a Chromebook Out Of a Laptop

On the same open-source code that Google used to build Chrome OS, we'll be employing Neverware's CloudReady operating system. You may do so here if you want to learn more about the similarities and differences between the two operating systems. The only missing feature is Android app compatibility. Google The only way to use an unofficial Chromebook is to buy an official one. If you don't, then you're all set.

Step 1: Check Your Laptop's Specs.

CloudReady's basic system requirements are similar to those of Chrome OS. If the laptop is older than 2007, it must have at least 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and full BIOS access. There's a chance your CPU doesn't fulfil CloudReady performance criteria if it has an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) graphics processor (such as a 3600 or 3650).

Ideally, you should be able to identify your laptop on Neverware's list of authorised devices that indicate capability for technologies like webcams and touchscreens. That information may be viewed by clicking on the model's name.)

Step 2: Install Flash Drive

An 8GB USB drive (at a minimum) and a PC, Mac or Chromebook to build the installation discs are required for CloudReady to be installed. About 20 minutes are needed to complete the task.

We'll be utilising CloudReady Home Edition, which is free and will function even if you want to use this Chromebook for academic purposes. Any cautions or remarks concerning management licencing limitations are for the CloudReady Enterprise and Education editions, which an institution would acquire. Ignore them. With a Windows PC, you can just download the USB Maker and let it take care of the installation procedure.

Step 3: Boot to USB

You'll have to override your laptop's default startup sequence to use the freshly generated flash drive for the first time. By pressing a key while your computer is still plugged in, you'll access the BIOS.

You can find instructions online if you don't know how to go to the boot priority menu on your laptop. Our Lenovo ThinkPad X240, for example, needed us to press F12 during boot, whereas our HP Spectre x360 asked us to press F9.

Step 4: Setup CloudReady

One option is to immediately wipe your laptop's hard drive and install CloudReady, or you may set up CloudReady on a USB stick and use it on your computer. For a limited time, you may use CloudReady to test out Neverware's OS without having to make any permanent changes to your system by selecting the second option.


To see the time on the bottom right-hand side of the screen, you must wait until you see a welcome screen and then click on time there. Select Install OS from the drop-down option that displays.

Assuming your data has been successfully backed up, you can now proceed with wiping the hard drive and installing CloudReady. It may take anywhere from five minutes to twenty minutes, according to Neverware, depending on your flash drive's speed and the hard disc size of your laptop.

Use a flash disc to try CloudReady

Let's will begin the installation process when the welcome screen appears. To get to your desktop, you'll need to configure your Wi-Fi, share your data, and log in to your Google account. To begin using CloudReady, close the pop-up window that displays information on the premium versions and the most recent release notes.

Step 5: Log into your Google account.

It's merely connecting to the internet (either over Wi-Fi or ethernet), setting your data sharing preferences, and signing into your Google account once you've installed CloudReady on the laptop's hard drive. A pop-up window with information about the premium editions and the most recent release notes will appear when you return to your desktop.

Close it, and you're ready to go with your DIY Chromebook. It is no longer necessary to manually install proprietary media plugins with CloudReady version 89.

How Reliable Is It?

For this post, we utilised a 2013 Lenovo ThinkPad X240 acquired from our IT department's collection of retired laptops. This 12.5-inch touchscreen model is outdated in terms of modern laptops owing to its spinning-platter hard drive, which was noticeably slow even while running Windows 8.1's most basic applications. Today's low-cost Chromebooks can't compete with the X240's Intel Core i5-4300U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 500GB hard drive

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