All Chromebooks run an operating system called Chrome OS, which receives automatic updates from Google. However, all Chromebooks have an auto-update expiration (AUE) date. Learn how to find your Chromebook end-of-life date and what you can do when that day comes.
Information in this article applies to all Chrome OS devices regardless of the manufacturer (Acer, Dell, Google, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Toshiba, etc.).
Google is working on a way to separate Chrome browser updates from Chrome OS updates, which will extend the life of your Chromebook. We'll update this article once we know more.
How Long Do Chromebooks Last?Google
Google's policy is to support Chromebook devices for at least five years. The updates Chromebooks receive, which often include new security features, ensure the optimal performance of your device.
Because such updates rely on device-specific hardware, older Chromebooks can't support some newer Chrome OS features. Before you buy a new Chromebook, check the AUE date to make sure Chrome OS will continue receiving updates for at least a few years.
Chrome OS updates automatically by default, but you can also manually update your Chromebook.
How to Find Your Chromebook's End-of-Life Date
Google's support website lists the end-of-life dates for every Chromebook model. Select your device's manufacturer to find out when your Chromebook will receive its final software update. Alternatively, open your Chromebook's settings and go to About Chrome OS > Additional details, then look for the AUE date under Update Schedule.
Google extended the AUE date for several Chromebook models in 2019, so double-check to see if your device's end-of-life date has been pushed back.
What to Do With a Chromebook After Its End of Life
Chromebooks continue working as normal after automatic updates expire. You can keep using it for as long as it works, but keep in mind that you won't get the latest security updates, which means you could be susceptible to malware.
There are a few things you can do at the end of your Chromebook's lifespan. If your device's AUE date is approaching, then it is likely several years old, which means it's probably time to buy a new computer. You can also repurpose your Chromebook by installing another operating system.
Upgrade to a New Chromebook
Newer Chromebooks are more energy-efficient and come with greater RAM and hard drive capacity than older models. The Google Pixelbook, for example, is just as powerful as a regular laptop. Chrome OS devices made after 2017 also support Android and Linux apps.
Install Windows on Your Chromebook
It's possible to turn your Chromebook into a Windows PC by installing Windows 10. This will allow you to run many programs that aren't available for Chrome OS.
Install Linux on Your Chromebook
Installing Linux on a Chromebook is a more straight-forward process than installing Windows. You can even switch between Ubuntu Linux and Chrome OS using a program called Crouton.
CloudReady is used to run Chrome OS on Windows PCs, but you can install it on a Chromebook and continue receiving updates from Google. This requires opening up your device and replacing the system BIOS. It may be worth it to buy a new computer since your device may not be able to take advantage of new Chrome OS features.