Google brings Chrome OS to Mac with new Chrome OS Flex

Macbook Air M1
Macbook Air M1 (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • There's a new way to run Chrome OS on a Mac.
  • Chrome OS Flex is a tool for businesses and schools that can help them run Chrome OS on old Pcs and Macs.
  • It's free and totally compatible with all of Google's services.

Google has a new Chrome OS Flex system that will let schools and businesses run Chrome OS on old Macs and PCs, the company has announced.

In a blog post Tuesday Google stated:

Today, we're excited to announce early access to a new version of Chrome OS bringing the benefits of Chrome OS to PCs and Macs. Chrome OS Flex is the cloud-first, fast, easy-to manage, and secure operating system for PCs and Macs. Learn more below, try it out, and share your feedback to help us shape this product.

Chrome OS Flex is designed with schools and businesses in mind and hopes to solve the issues of end-user computing that plague both, such as slow boot times, updates, security, legacy device management, and more. Google has built the system off the back of its acquisition of Neverware in 2020.

Chrome OS Flex is free to download and fully compatible with Google's cloud-based management service and "modernizes devices you already own, allowing you to experience the benefits of Chrome OS on PCs and Macs."

That includes access to web apps and virtualization, security protection, fast installation through USB or network deployments, and more. Chrome OS Flex is built around the same code base as Chrome OS and is available for testing and feedback now. All users need is a USB drive and a PC or Mac to get started.

Chrome OS Flex could help breathe some new life into old Macs, especially those running on Intel's chips now the company is moving to its own in-house Apple silicon, which powers all of its best MacBooks and desktops including the MacBook Air with M1 and last year's new MacBook Pro (2021).

The company is expected to debut a new M2 13-inch MacBook Pro at a March Spring event next month.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9