How To 

How to install Windows on a Chromebook


Chromebook’s are cheap and accessible and while Chrome OS is pretty good for browsing and using Google Docs, it can’t do much else. If you would prefer to have it run Windows it is possible, but doesn’t work seamlessly. If you still like the idea, here is how to install Windows on a Chromebook.

Important note: Windows isn’t officially supported on a Chromebook and the standard UEFI will need replacing in order to make this work. If you’re not comfortable taking a Chromebook down to its most basic level, you may not want to attempt this. The OS change is also not supported on all hardware. Check the website to see if yours is supported.

Install Windows on a Chromebook
To make this work you will need a Chromebook, a USB keyboard and mouse and USB installation media of 64-bit Windows.

1. Back up anything you don’t want to lose from your Chromebook.
2. Plug it into the mains and keep it there.
3. Power off your Chromebook and then hold the Escape key and F3 while pressing the power button. You now boot into recovery mode.
4. Press Ctrl + D and then Enter to boot into Developer Mode.
5. Boot your Chromebook once more and press Ctrl + Alt + T.
6. Type or paste ‘shell’ and hit Enter. The prompt should change from ‘crosh>’ to ‘chronos@localhost / $’.
7. Type or paste ‘sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1’.
8. Type or paste ‘sudo crossystem dev_boot_legacy=1’.
9. Plug the Windows installer USB, keyboard and mouse into your Chromebook and reboot.
10. Instead of Ctrl + D, hit Ctrl + L to load into the legacy bios we just enabled.
11. Press Esc when you see the text appear and then select USB as the load device at the next screen.

The standard Windows Install process should now begin. You will need to wipe the drive and install Windows fresh.

Some Chromebooks need you to remove a write-protect screw in order to change the BIOS. Mine didn’t but if you have an older one, check out how to remove the screw here. There are also a couple of other sudo commands that maybe necessary to allow your Chromebook to boot. The page linked above shows you how to do that too.

The exact sequence of events for installing Windows on a Chromebook differs slightly depending on manufacturer. Mine was an Asus, your mileage may vary. Just amend the process as you need to.

More Windows 10 tips can be found elsewhere on Tom’s Hardware:
How to fix Windows 10 error Page Fault In Nonpaged Area
How to fix Windows 10 error 0xc000021a
How to fix Windows 10 Message Class Not Registered error