Some Crafty Nerds Got Windows Running on a Chromebook

You can stop regretting owning that ridiculously cheap Chromebook you picked up last Prime Day. The guys over at CodeWeavers have worked out a way to run Windows on Chrome OS. That means Steam, Photoshop, and a non-web version of Office could all be on your Chromebook very soon.


Chrome OS and the bootloader available on Chromebooks, despite being based on Linux, have been notoriously difficult to hack. That means that even the most technologically savvy users have been unable to use all the great hardware found in Chromebooks for anything but Chrome. While Chrome OS might be a blogger’s dream, it falls incredibly short for anything more productive than a rant written up in Kinja.

CodeWeavers worked around Chrome’s limitations by taking advantage of its new relationship with Android. In May, Google announced that Android apps would now be able to run on select Chrome OS devices.


One of those devices, the Acer Chromebook R11, has an Intel chip inside—the same kind of Intel chip found in Windows devices. CodeWeavers took advantage of that Intel/Android synergy to get Steam up and running on the Acer. Currently the software, Crossover for Android, should only work on Intel-based Chrome OS devices (and some unspecified Android devices) and is still in the alpha stage. But CodeWeavers appears ready to move into beta later this year.

So get ready to run Steam on a whole new line of cheap computers.

[Android Police]

Senior Consumer Tech Editor. Trained her dog to do fist bumps. Once wrote for Lifetime. Tips encouraged via Secure Drop, Proton Mail, or DM for Signal.

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Patrick Kennedy

They’re running Wine in Chrome OS instead of a regular Linux distro. Still can’t run any programs the use DirectX, which is a huge share of games that are on Windows. May as well run native Linux steam, companies have been doing better about porting (or paying third parties to port) games over.