How to Download and Install ChromeOS Flex
ChromeOS Flex is Google’s fast, secure, cloud-first operating system for Macs and PCs. This system is designed to refresh older devices and increase their performance for more efficient usage.
Downloading and installing Google ChromeOS Flex is easy, and when you work with a certified Google partner, you’ll have support every step of the way.
About ChromeOS Flex
ChromeOS Flex is a secure, cloud-first, fast operating system for Macs and PCs that is a sustainable way to modernize your devices. ChromeOS Flex is easy to deploy across a fleet of devices or to try out on a single device to see what a cloud-first OS has to offer.
With ChromeOS Flex, you can experience modern computing, even on a dated device. Key benefits of this upgrade include:
- Proactive Security - Chrome Enterprise upgrades utilize sandboxing technology to eliminate the need for antivirus software and has IT controls to prevent data loss or stolen devices.
- Fast Deployment - You can deploy ChromeOS Flex across your fleet via USB or network deployment, and cloud profiles sync settings almost immediately. Plus, you can easily manage devices through the Google Admin console and configure device policies remotely.
- Modern Work Experience - With ChromeOS Flex and Chrome Enterprise upgrades, devices boot quickly, don’t slow down over time, and update in the background every four weeks. Your team will experience fast access to VDI and web apps with an intuitive, clutter-free interface.
- Maximizing Hardware - ChromeOS Flex allows you to refresh older devices with a modern OS and extend their lifespan to reduce e-waste.
ChromeOS Flex System Requirements
In order to download and install ChromeOS Flex, you must have certified device models. Google regularly tests, maintains, and certifies ChromeOS Flex features and functionality on many individual models.
To ensure your devices are certified, visit Google’s certified models list here: Certified models list - ChromeOS Flex Help (google.com). This list is regularly updated to provide the most relevant, accurate information.
How to Download ChromeOS Flex
There are two methods for downloading ChromeOS Flex: the trial method and the direct ISO BIN file download. Note that when you work with a certified Google partner such as Promevo, they can assist you through the downloading process and ensure your devices and data are secure when you download ChromeOS Flex.
Method 1: The Trial Method
ChromeOS Flex allows live boot by running the OS directly from your USB device without installing it. The live boot option preserves your device’s data and OS, so you can test ChromeOS Flex before installing.
Note that Google recommends you fully install ChromeOS Flex instead of using live boot because live booting has performance and storage limitations and doesn’t support automatic updates or enrollment for management.
To perform the trial method, get the device you booted using the USB installer:
- On the Welcome to ChromeOS Flex screen, click “Get started.”
- On the Start Using ChromeOS Flex screen, click “Try it first.”
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
- Sign in to the device.
Method 2: Direct ISO BIN File Download
If you want to install ChromeOS Flex from an ISO or BIN file, you can do so in a few simple steps:
- Create the USB installer. The device you use to create your installer can differ from the device you plan to install ChromeOS Flex on. The installer is where you will download ISO files.
- Then, install Chromebook Recovery Utility by opening the Chrome browser, going to the Chrome web store, and at the top right, click “Add to Chrome.” Then, when prompted, click “Add extension.”
- Once the Chrome Recovery Utility is installed, launch the Chrome Recovery Utility extension in the Chrome browser. Then, click “Get started,” click “Select a model from a list,” and for “Select a manufacturer,” find and click “Google ChromeOS Flex.” For “Select a product,” find and click “ChromeOS Flex,” and click “Continue.”
- You’ll be prompted to insert your USB drive and click “Create now.” When you get a message that your recovery media is ready, remove your USB drive from the device.
How to Install ChromeOS Flex
Once you have your USB installer ready, you can use it to boot the device(s) you want to run ChromeOS Flex on by following these steps:
- Turn off the device you want to run ChromeOS Flex on.
- Insert the ChromeOS Flex USB installer into your USB port.
- Boot the device from the USB drive by pressing the power button and repeatedly pressing your boot key.
- Select your USB installer as the boot device using:
- One-time boot Menu - If your interrupt triggers a one-time boot menu, you’ll see a list of boot options on your screen. Use arrow keys or a mouse to select your USB installer.
- BIOS or UEFI Menu - If your interrupt triggers a BIOS of UEFI menu, you’ll need to find settings related to Boot or Startup. Then follow the instructions to set your USB installer as the first, primary, or preferred boot device.
- Other Menu - If you see other options on the screen, navigate to an option that matches one of the above mentioned menus, then follow the steps listed.
Who Should Use ChromeOS Flex?
ChromeOS Flex is an excellent option for teams looking to extend the lifespan of their existing hardware, reduce e-waste, and easily try modern computing with a cloud-based management system — without making a new device purchase.
This OS allows teams to benefit from a fast and clutter-free work experience using the hardware they already have. If you’re unsure if ChromeOS Flex is right for your organization, the experts at Promevo can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I install ChromeOS Flex on my laptop?
ChromeOS Flex is a cloud-first operating system for PCs or Macs. View a list of compatible ChromeOS Flex devices here: Certified models list - ChromeOS Flex Help (google.com)
Does ChromeOS Flex require additional software?
ChromeOS Flex may require additional software to install the operating system depending on the device. This can either be additional disk-burning software or partitioning software.
Can you download ChromeOS Flex ISO?
Yes, you can download ChromeOS Flex ISO images to create bootable installation media. Google provides official ChromeOS Flex ISO files that allow you to install the operating system on compatible PCs and Macs.
To get started, go to the ChromeOS Flex download page and select the option to "Download ChromeOS Flex ISO". This will download the latest stable release as an ISO disk image file. You can then use software like Rufus on Windows or Etcher on Mac to write the ChromeOS Flex ISO to a USB flash drive or external disk. Booting from this installation media will launch the ChromeOS Flex setup wizard to install the operating system on your hardware.
Downloading the official ChromeOS Flex ISO gives you a simple way to evaluate or install Flex. You can try it out without commitments on spare devices. Google ensures the ISO remains updated with the newest features and security enhancements as well.
How do I download ChromeOS Flex?
The easiest way to download ChromeOS Flex is to get the official ISO image from Google. To download ChromeOS Flex ISO:
- Go to the ChromeOS Flex download page at https://chromeenterprise.google/os/chromeosflex/.
- Under "Download ChromeOS Flex ISO", click on the blue "Download" button.
- This will download the latest stable release ISO disk image file to your computer.
- Use balenaEtcher (Mac) or Rufus (Windows) to write the ISO to a USB drive.
- Boot your device from this USB to launch the ChromeOS Flex installer and install on your hardware.
Downloading the official ChromeOS Flex ISO gives you a simple, direct method to evaluate or install Flex on supported devices. Google provides the most up-to-date Flex release through these ISO images.
How to install ChromeOS Flex without USB?
Here are a few methods to install ChromeOS Flex without a USB drive:
- Network Boot: You can boot ChromeOS Flex over the network if you have a device that supports PXE booting. Set up a PXE server with the ChromeOS Flex image and configure the target device to boot from the network.
- Virtual Machine: Install ChromeOS Flex as a virtual machine using software like VirtualBox or VMware. Download the ChromeOS Flex image and create a new virtual machine, setting the image as the boot disk.
- Dual Boot: If your device supports dual booting, you can install ChromeOS Flex side-by-side with your existing OS. Partition your drive, download the ChromeOS Flex image, unpack it to the new partition and install a bootloader like GRUB to choose between OSes at startup.
- CloudReady: Install CloudReady, a free Chromium OS clone, which can then be converted to ChromeOS Flex. Download the CloudReady image, create a bootable USB and install on your device. Then use the built-in utility to convert to ChromeOS Flex.
- Chromebook Recovery Utility: Use the recovery utility in Chrome browser to download ChromeOS Flex and create a recovery image locally without a USB drive. Then reboot your device into recovery mode and install from the recovery image.
So in summary, network booting, virtualization, dual booting, CloudReady conversion or recovery image creation are some ways to install without a USB drive.
What is the size of ChromeOS Flex ISO?
The download size of the ChromeOS Flex ISO image varies depending on the specific release version. Here are some example ISO sizes:
- ChromeOS Flex 103 - 1.5 GB
- ChromeOS Flex 102 - 1.6 GB
- ChromeOS Flex 101 - 1.6 GB
- ChromeOS Flex 100 - 1.6 GB • ChromeOS Flex 99 - 1.6 GB
In general, the ChromeOS Flex ISO image is around 1.5 - 1.6 GB in size for newer releases. The image contains the ChromeOS system files and software needed to install ChromeOS Flex on a device. The actual disk space required for installing ChromeOS Flex is larger than the ISO due to the installation process. A minimum of 16 GB is recommended for the ChromeOS Flex system partition, though the total disk space required depends on the apps and data stored.
So in summary - the ChromeOS Flex ISO download itself is typically 1.5 to 1.6 GB in size for most recent versions, but additional disk space is required for installation and usage. The actual minimum disk space needed is around 16GB or more.