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Turn Old Macs and PCs into Chromebooks

18 Jul 2022 3:17 PM | Anonymous

Do you have an old Windows or Macintosh system that you have since replaced? For instance, how about that older computer that is now simply sitting in a closet gathering dust? Here's a suggestion: simply convert it to a Chromebook.

I say "simply" because that is what it is: a very simple conversion. All you need is the old computer plus a flashdrive (that is only used during the conversion).

This works well especially if the older, no-longer-used computer is a laptop. However, the conversion also works well for desktop systems. You can then use the newly-converted system as a traveling laptop (assuming it is a laptop) or as a second system for use at home or at the vacation cottage or for a gift to a non-computer-literate senior citizen or to an adolescent or for most any reason you might want a second (or third or fourth or ???) computer. Best of all, it is FREE (if you already have an older, working computer).

For the reasons why you might want to have a Chromebook, see A Google Chromebook Should Be Your Next Laptop And Here's Why by Ian Morris published in Forbes at

I travel a lot and usually take only a Chromebook with me on trips simply because a Chromebook is cheap. I won't feel too bad if the (cheap) Chromebook gets stolen or damaged. That would be much less of a financial loss than having the same thing happen to my (much more expensive) MacBook Pro system.

Chromebooks work well for about 95% of why most people use computers. It reads and writes email, surfs the web, plays games, reads the news and sports, accesses social media sites, and much more. You probably won't want to use it for editing videos but, then again, that is something for which you probably want to use a $1,000+ Mac or Windows system anyway.

Google has officially released ChromeOS Flex, a method of replacing the operating system on older PCs and Macs that essentially turns them into Chromebooks.

The idea is that if you have an aging Windows (or Mac that can't run macOS 12 Monterey), then you can install ChromeOS Flex on it using a bootable USB stick and then try out what Google's cloud-first operating system has to offer.

If you're not yet ready to install ChromeOS Flex on devices, you can temporarily run it using the USB installer. That way, you can test and verify that device functionality works as expected. For more help on the installation and configuration process, consult the ChromeOS Flex installation guide at.

Google claims that ChromeOS Flex (as used on Chromebooks) will allow you to "easily try modern computing with cloud-based management" while extending the lifespan of older devices, thereby reducing e-waste.

I agree with Google's claims. (I love my Chromebook.)

Want to spend an hour or so breathing new life and useful productivity into an old and no-longer-used laptop or desktop? To learn more, go to

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