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How to make a switch from Windows to ChromeOS

Windows is a popular operating system that people use for all sorts of things, like having fun, getting stuff done, studying, and playing games. It’s known everywhere because it can be personalized to fit what you want, whether you’re using a computer you bought ready-made or one you put together yourself.

On the flip side, Windows often brings to mind problems like viruses, malware, and other nasty stuff that bother its users every day. Also, a lot of folks tend to ignore the updates that happen in the background, which can create even more problems later on. Some of the top Chromebooks out there are pretty tempting, so it’s not hard to understand why some folks might think about making the switch to ChromeOS.

Also read: How to easily install Android 14 on your smartphone

ChromeOS explained

Before ditching Windows, it’s important to get a handle on what exactly a ChromeOS gadget is all about and what it’s capable of (or not). While Windows PCs are awesome for everyday use, they might feel like too much of a hassle for those who just want something straightforward that doesn’t need a lot of attention. With a ChromeOS device, you’re mostly relying on apps that live on the web, and that’s a big part of the whole user experience, different from what Windows offers. Usually, when people talk about ChromeOS, they’re thinking about Chromebooks first. These are quick, effective, internet-dependent laptops designed to keep things simple for regular folks.

Another cool thing about ChromeOS is that most new Chromebooks can work with the Google Play Store, so you can get lots of your fave Android phone apps on there. Plus, all Chromebooks update themselves without you having to do a thing, and they don’t get those pesky viruses that drive Windows users crazy. That doesn’t mean ChromeOS can’t catch any other bugs, like malware, but it’s not dealing with the same security probs that Windows has to battle every day. The fact that it’s easy to use, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and is extra safe should definitely get you stoked about ChromeOS.

That also means your new Chromebook won’t be able to do everything your Windows computer can. There’s a bit of a learning curve when you switch from one major operating system to another. Think about all those programs you love that only work on Windows. You’ll have to find something similar that works on a Chromebook, because those Windows ones won’t just work automatically. Luckily, some programs have web versions or apps that you can find on the Chrome Web Store, so you’ll have to check each one to see if you can use it on your shiny new Chromebook.

Make backup of important data

Chromebooks come with their own little hard drive so you can store stuff even when you’re not online, but it might not be big enough for everyone. They usually have something like 128GB to 256GB of space, which helps keep the price down for most Chromebooks. If you don’t have a ton of files to move over, you can always use an extra hard drive. Just pick out the important stuff, like your fave music, videos, pics, or anything else you want to have on your Chromebook.

Once your files are cozy on the external drive, just plug it into your Chromebook using a USB cable. Then open up the Files app and slide those files onto the actual Chromebook. Boom, your files are all snuggled up in their new home, easy peasy. If you’re not keen on keeping your files on the Chromebook itself, you can use cloud-based services like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox. That way, you can shuffle your files around online on any gadget, no matter what operating system you’re using.

Also read: How to quickly pair devices to your Chromebook using Fast Pair

Choosing the right Chromebook

Chromebooks are usually known as those budget-friendly gadgets perfect for light use online that won’t drain your wallet. However, over the years, it seems like there’s a Chromebook for every shape and size, and some of them are pricier. These days, you’ve got a whole bunch of options to pick from. Touchscreens, those fancy 2-in-1 gadgets, and big screens are all up for grabs. The good ol’ cheap Chromebooks are still around, but now there’s this whole new set of swanky ones if you’re looking for something a bit more top-notch.

Back in October 2023, Google rolled out the Chromebook Plus line, kicking things up a notch for Chromebook fans. Take RAM, for instance. In the old days, most Chromebooks made do with 4 gigs, but now the Chromebook Plus crew is stepping it up to 8 gigs as the new norm. They’re not stopping there either.

The processors, storage space, and even the screens are all getting a boost, promising better performance across the board. With a starting price of 400 bucks, this new line sets a fresh bar for what Chromebooks can do. By beefing up the basic hardware and focusing on what users really need, they’re driving the whole industry forward.

Switching shouldn’t be a hassle

Switching between operating systems can be a bit of a hassle, depending on a bunch of different stuff. But moving from Windows to ChromeOS isn’t as tricky as you’d think. Yeah, there are some things missing, and Chromebooks probably won’t totally replace your trusty old Windows setup just yet.

But you can usually find web versions of the apps you’re used to, which can help you get used to the whole mostly-online vibe that Chromebooks are all about. Once you’re all settled in, ChromeOS is a cool operating system that doesn’t need much looking after from you.