How to Install Windows 10 on Chromebook (But Why?)

However, these instructions come with a huge disclaimer! They are not a guaranteed, foolproof method of Windows installation on Chromebooks. We’re only providing them below to illustrate the cumbersome, potentially dangerous steps involved in the installation process.

Not only do these actions require some familiarity with a Linux-style terminal and confidence with computer hardware, there’s also a real risk of damaging your ChromeOS device and/or voiding your warranty because you’re making essential, unsupported changes to the BIOS (among other things).

In a nutshell, anything that goes wrong is entirely on you.

To start, you’ll need the following:

  • The Chromebook you want to install Windows on
  • A separate Windows PC or Windows laptop
  • A USB flash drive for installation media
  • A USB keyboard and mouse

To prepare your Chromebook:

  • Turn off the Chromebook by shutting down or pressing the power button.
  • Open the back of the Chromebook and remove the Write Protect Screw (consult teardown guides for its location).
  • Press ESC + Refresh + Power to enter Recovery Mode.
  • Press CTRL + D and then press Enter to enable Developer Mode.
  • Press CTRL + D to boot Chrome OS.
  • Press CTRL + ALT + T to open up a terminal.
  • Type in shell and press Enter.
  • Copy and paste this command into the terminal: cd ~; curl -L -O && sudo bash
  • Press Enter.
  • Select Full coreboot Firmware from the options.
  • Press Y to confirm.
  • Press U to install the UEFI firmware

To create Microsoft Windows installation media:

  • Open a browser on your Windows PC or laptop.
  • Go to Microsoft’s website and download the Windows 10 ISO (or whichever version of Windows is current).
  • Open the file you downloaded and click Accept.
  • Insert the USB flash drive.
  • Select “Create Installation media” (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC.
  • Click Next.
  • Choose “Use the recommended options for this PC” and click Next.
  • Choose “USB flash drive” and click Next.
  • Wait for the process to complete, then click Finish.
  • Note: You can also use the tool Rufus to create bootable Windows and Linux installation media.

To install Windows on your Chromebook:

  • Take the Windows installation media (i.e., USB flash drive) and plug it into the Chromebook.
  • Your Chromebook should boot directly from the USB device. If nott, press ESC as soon as the Chromebook boots. Find your USB device in the menu and select it.
  • Connect your USB keyboard and mouse to the Chromebook.
  • Select your language and your region, then click Next.
  • Click “Install now.”
  • When asked to enter the product key, select “I don’t have a product key.”
  • Select the version of Windows you want to install. This will likely be Windows 10 Home or Pro.
  • Select “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).”
  • Delete all partitions listed. Ignore any warnings that might appear, then click Next.
  • Let Windows finish installing and then reboot.
  • Remove the USB drive if asked to do so.
  • Set up Windows. Skip the Internet connection step.
  • Install drivers for Windows.

Even if everything goes smoothly up to this point, this last step could be your undoing. Incorrect drivers can cause software crashes, random shutdowns and other ongoing problems. The right drivers will depend on variables like your system hardware (an Intel or an AMD CPU, for example) and your peripherals.

A developer known as CoolStar has some tips on solving the many issues and driver incompatibilities that occur when installing Windows on common ChromeOS devices from Acer, Samsung and other well-known manufacturers. Typing “Coolstar Windows install Chromebook” into your preferred search engine should get you closer to finding those resources.


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