How to turn a Chromebook into a Microsoft Book

Chromebooks are plentiful these days, with some premium Chromebooks being cheaper than Windows laptops. Even lower-end Chromebooks might be better than a Windows system. So if you need a laptop but don’t want to spend a ton of money on a new Windows device but are used to the Microsoft ecosystem, here are some tips on how to turn a Chromebook into a “Microsoft Book” of sorts.

Tip 1: Use Microsoft Edge

Our first tip is to avoid using Google Chrome. If you really want to turn your Chromebook into a Microsoft Book, you can use Microsoft Edge on the device instead. You need to make sure your new one first Chromebook supports Linuxas using Edge on a Chromebook requires the Linux version of the browser.

Once you can confirm this, it’s as simple as setting up Linux on your Chromebook, downloading the .DEB version of Edge, and launching it from your ChromeOS launcher. However, note that this Linux version of Edge has some limitations for ChromeOS. The webcam may not work and neither may the touch keyboard on tablet devices. We have a guide that might help.

Tip 2: Use OneDrive storage

Five ways you can turn a Chromebook into a Chromebook

Next is a tip about cloud storage. While Google prefers that you use Google Drive on a Chromebook, you can use OneDrive as well. Just verify your Chromebook supports the Google Play Store, and then download the Android version of OneDrive. From there, sign in to the app with your Microsoft account. Allow the OneDrive app to sync, then close and reopen it.

You should then open the Files app on your Chromebook. Look in the sidebar and you’ll see a new “OneDrive” section. From here you can browse your OneDrive files, open images, and save them to your Chromebook. Note, however, that OneDrive is read-only, so you can’t write files to storage through the Files app. If you want to save files to your OneDrive, you need to manually open the Android app and upload them to a folder from there.

Tip 3: Use Office PWAs

Five ways you can turn a Chromebook into a Chromebook

Third is a tip with apps you could use for work or school on a Chromebook. Although Google Docs, Slides, Sheets are the default on Chromebooks, you can also use Microsoft’s own apps manually. Easily create progressive web app versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint. We have a guide that can help you. Using Office.com is even easier because it links to all those Microsoft Office apps that you might want or need. It will be your one stop shop for Microsoft on your Chromebook.

Tip 4: Use the Microsoft Teams PWA

Five ways you can turn a Chromebook into a Chromebook

Of course, if you use Teams for work or school, you can go to the Google Play Store and download the Android version of Teams onto your Chromebook. This version of the app is great, but to get the real “Microsoft Book” experience, you should create a PWA version of Teams. Our guide covered this extensively, but the PWA version of Teams looks and feels more like what you’d expect from a Windows desktop app.

Tip 5: Run Windows over the Internet

Five ways you can turn a Chromebook into a Chromebook

Our final tip is one that jumps through some hoops for a bit. While we’ve focused on how you can run Microsoft apps and services on a Chromebook so far, we also have some advice on how to get Windows running on the system as well. This one is a bit more technical. You need a real Windows PC for this to work, but if you have one, you can run Windows over the internet.

Our previous guide looked at this in detail. Just install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension in Chrome on a PC, download the necessary program and go back to Chrome Remote Desktop. You can then enjoy Windows remotely. There are options for running Windows natively on your Chromebook. You can try Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise, but you’ll need a higher-end system. There are also ways to install Windows in a virtual machinebut it’s not exactly for beginners and doesn’t always work on Chromebooks.

The best of all worlds

As you can see, Microsoft no longer relies solely on Windows like it did in the old days. The company is open to offering its services on all platforms. We’ve put together similar guides on how to use Microsoft apps on an iPhone or iPad, and how to live the Windows Phone life on Android. If you have your own tips, let us know in the comments below.

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