Many computer users feel the need to keep their devices up to date with the latest hardware. After all, if you don’t have the latest components or accessories, your laptop or desktop computer might not be compatible. Tap or click here for seven laptop maintenance steps you should do regularly to keep yours happy.
An excellent example of this is Windows 11. There are a few strict requirements that your system must meet before installing the operating system. So, if your computer didn’t make the cut, you might have opted to buy a new one that does.
But what do you do with your old machine? Or what can you do with a computer that hasn’t been powered up in a few years? Read on to find out how new software can give your once-dead computer a new lease on life.
Here’s the backstory
Windows 11 or even Windows 10 needs a fair bit of computing power for your machine to run efficiently. If you have an old MacBook, newer updates to macOS might not be compatible or could slow down your device.
So, what are you to do? Well, thanks to Google and some clever engineers, the company released an operating system that doesn’t much care for the components in your computer.
Google’s Chrome OS Flex is entirely free, explicitly developed for businesses with a small turnover or cash-strapped families. The operating system lets your PC or Mac work like a Chromebook, needing fewer resources to run correctly.
Essentially, it can turn an old Windows laptop or MacBook into a Chromebook. The benefits of Chrome OS Flex are:
- Laptops boot up quickly and the operating system updates automatically in the background.
- Google’s apps and services like Docs and Sheets are always available.
- You can sync your iCloud account with Chrome OS Flex.
- Security features include the ability to block executable files from triggering.
It does come with a caveat though. The entire experience is cloud-based, meaning you will need a reliable and constant internet connection. You can still browse files on your device, but you won’t be able to access content in Google Drive or iCloud without an internet connection.
How to get Chrome OS Flex
If Chrome OS Flex seems like a good option for you, you’ll be happy to know that the installation process is relatively simple. You have two options to choose from, and Google will guide you through each.
If you want to try Chrome OS Flex before switching over, you can load it onto a USB drive. You must then plug it into your machine and boot it from there. Throwing caution to the wind, you can download Chrome OS Flex directly from Google.
You’ll have to sign up for early access since it hasn’t been officially released yet. For early access, go to the Chrome OS Flex landing page and tap Try Chrome OS Flex.
While it technically should work with most old computers, Google says its early access version is unstable. There is a list of models planned to be certified for the free operating system. Your machine also needs to have:
- Intel or AMD x86-64-bit compatible device
- RAM: minimum of 4GB
- Internal storage: 16GB
- Bootable from USB drive
- BIOS: Full administrator access
Just a fair warning: the operating system is still in the development phase, so there might be some unintended bugs. As Google explains, “the OS is in early access and you may experience some instability.”