You may be asking yourself, “Why switch to Chrome OS at all?” or is it already a done deal for you?
This article is not intended to fully convince you to make this step, but to provide you with information on how to get started.
Advantages of Chrome OS
In many places on the blog, on YouTube, and later in my planned online courses and e-books, I keep pointing out Chrome OS’s many advantages and limitations. It’s fast, secure, easy to learn, and easy to use. There’s a web, an Android, or Linux app, or a Chrome browser extension for almost every use case imaginable.
I use it privately for everything I do. If you’re interested, I also use Chrome OS in my digital content creation startup for everything I do, except video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro and rare image manipulation with Adobe Photoshop.
I want to leave it at that here.
Your previous knowledge of operating systems
The more advanced you are and the more experience you’ve gained over the years, the faster you can make the move.
Chrome OS is almost as easy to set up as an Android or Apple smartphone from a regular user’s perspective. However, if you want to switch to Chrome OS, you need to manage a few things, such as data migration and finding counterparts to your related apps.
Depending on the OS you’re switching from, this can be a quick thing, or it can involve many steps!
If you get involved with the Google ecosystem and make a cut, then you’re ready to go right away.
Switch entirely to the Google ecosystem
Yeah, could you see yourself doing that?
Do you already own an Android smartphone and maybe an Android tablet? Then you might swap your Windows laptop for a Chromebook, or you want to use them side by side. In that case, it wouldn’t be such a long way.
If you only own Apple devices, there may be some obstacles if you want to stick with things like iMessage. In recent years, Google has done a lot to make things work as easily across multiple devices in the (Google-only) world as they do in the Apple ecosystem. Something like AirDrop & Co. is also available from Google!
If you leave everything behind and switch from Microsoft and Apple services to Google services, you have chosen the simplest option. Because of this way, you can continue to use your current notebook or MacBook and applications. When you have found an alternative from Google or other manufacturers for everything, you will only use your Chromebook if that is your goal.
Switch from Windows to Chrome OS
Here, it depends a bit on which version of Windows you’re using.
If you still know Windows 7, many things will seem familiar. On the other hand, many elements in Chrome OS appear similarly in newer versions of Windows, like 10 and 11. For example, the Control Panel in Windows and the System Settings in Chrome OS. It used to be a lot of panels with small controls, and now it’s almost all big switches that you can flip. That basically makes it easier for both camps.
If you’ve been using Windows and the Windows Store for a while and Chrome or Edge is your primary browser, then you should be fine in Chrome OS with Chrome browser, Google Play Store with Android apps, and the Files app. If you’re used to installing desktop software manually, Chrome OS’s Linux mode might be for you if you can’t find an equivalent on the web, among Chrome browser extensions, or on Android, or if you prefer the desktop variant.
I almost went too deep into the topic there. You can read more about switching from Windows to Chrome OS here: Link.
Switch from macOS to Chrome OS
You may be scolding me, but not that much has changed about the essential elements of macOS over the last few years.
Whether it’s macOS Catalina, Big Sur, or Monterey, the move to Chrome OS is pretty similar.
If you create a Google account on your first Chrome OS device and log in, you’ll quickly get comfortable with the centered application icons in the shelf, just like in the macOS Dock. Chrome OS’s launcher is very similar to macOS’s Launchpad, and other controls and behaviors are also similar to macOS. Chrome OS’s Files app can be a bigger hurdle if you are very used to macOS’s Finder or have strong reservations about Google’s solution.
If you want to learn more about it, here’s my overview of the step to switch from macOS to Chrome OS: Link.
Switch from Linux to Chrome OS
If you use Linux, you’re a nerd, aren’t you? 😀
Joking aside. Some distributions make Linux comfortable and easy to use. Unfortunately, however, there are so many that I can’t possibly provide you with a guide to each one.
If you are using a Gnome, KDE, or, e.g., Linux Mint Cinnamon desktop environment, you should have no problem with the core system of Chrome OS.
For some time now, Chrome OS has had a Linux mode. It’s currently based on Debian 10 Buster. In the future, it will allow other Linux distributions like Linux Mint and Ubuntu without bending with Crostini and activating Chrome OS’ debug mode. Also in parallel in different containers. For those, however, you need a well-equipped Chromebook.
I may have jumped the gun a bit too quickly on that one, or it sounds appealing to you, in which case you can read on here: Link.
Chrome OS offers many advantages that I never get tired of repeating 😀.
If you want to switch from Windows, macOS, or Linux to Chrome OS, the amount of time it takes, and the success, depends on factors like your prior knowledge of operating systems, the decision to make a cut, and the degree of your openness to new things.
If you get involved with Google’s ecosystem (Chrome OS & Android devices), the interplay between all the components can be as convenient as in the Apple world you hear so much about. 🙂
Are you still missing an operating system such as iPadOS? Have you checked out my content on your origin system on my various channels but are still missing a topic? Below is the comment function! 😉
Words in italics may be registered trademarks or companies! Examples: Google, YouTube, and Android. Or they are technical terms from the IT world, which are described in various locations in the blog.