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How To Turn Your Old MacBook Into A Chromebook

Until recently, anyone wanting to install ChromeOS on their MacBook had to rely on unofficial and hacky ways like installing a Linux-based clone of ChromeOS on their MacBook. However, in December 2022, Google acquired Neverware, a company that provided users a free ChromeOS clone called CloudReady OS. Since the acquisition, CloudReady has been renamed “ChromeOS Flex,” and it can now be installed on any device that meets the minimum requirements set by Google.

You will need a few things to initiate the conversion from macOS to ChromeOS on your MacBook. Begin by taking stock of your old MacBook to see if it still boots up, and check for signs of aging, such as a swollen battery. Connect to power and see if the battery will hold a charge.

Next, check your old MacBook for compatibility with ChromeOS Flex. Google has a short list of certain certified Macs that are officially supported. Although ChromeOS Flex will work on MacBooks other than those certified by Google, the performance may not be very good. If you are willing to take the risk, you can expect your Mac to be supported as long as it meets basic requirements.

Google recommends that your old device have at least 4GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. But you can still run ChromeOS Flex on an old MacBook, even if it has less than 4GB of RAM.

You will also need another functional PC or laptop with the Chrome browser installed. Once you prepare your laptop, you will need a USB thumb drive of at least 8GB in size. This is required in order to prepare the installation media. Note that the drive will be formatted in the process, so make sure you take a backup of anything important stored on it before starting the process.

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