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How to install Android apps on a Chromebook

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One of Google’s most exciting announcements regarding its Chrome OS platform and Chromebook hardware is the support for Android apps. While Chrome OS can run Chrome browser extensions, web apps, and Chrome apps, the addition of the millions of Android apps greatly increases the platform’s value.

A handful of Chromebooks can already officially run the Google Play Store and install Android apps, including the Asus Chromebook Flip, the Acer Chromebook R11/C738T/CB5-132T, and Google’s own Chomebook Pixel (2015). If yours is one of those, then jump ahead to step one to get started.

If not, then you’ll need to check if your Chromebook is on the list of those that will eventually be gaining access to Android apps. Note that if your Chromebook was introduced in 2017, then it’s guaranteed to run Android apps one day. Either way, until Google provides official support for your Chromebook, you’ll need to switch your device to the Chrome OS developer channel to grab the Google Play Store and start installing Android apps. Skip to step two to get started.

Step 1: If your Chromebook already supports Android apps, start here

First, make sure that your Chromebook is running the latest Chrome OS version. You’ll need Chrome OS version 53 or later. Check by tapping or clicking on the status area, tap or click the Settings cog, then select “About Chrome OS” at the top of the screen.

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In the “About” window, tap or click the Check for and apply updates button. If there’s an available update, it will download and install. Once it’s finished, tap or click the Restart to update button.

Once your Chromebook is updated, then go to the status area and tap or click the Settings cog. Go to the “Google Play Store” section, and check “Enable Google Play Store on your Chromebook.” You will be prompted to agree to Google’s terms of service — tap or click Agree to continue.

The Google Play Store app will open, and you’ll be asked to accept some additional terms and conditions. Once you’ve done this, you can proceed to step five below to start installing Android apps.

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