How To Get A Chromebook To Run Windows 10
Last Updated: July 7, 2020
The main benefit of a Chromebook is that it runs Chrome OS and requires less powerful hardware than Mac or Windows. It’s light, fast and ideal for light work, browsing, emails and keeping in touch with people. It is not designed for games or for running other operating systems but you can get a Chromebook to run Windows 10 if you really want to.
Now that Project Campfire is officially dead, you will no longer be officially able to dual boot Chrome OS with Windows 10. If you want to continue using Windows, you’re going to have to do it yourself.
The Chromebook isn’t designed to run Windows 10. It won’t perform as fast as a more powerful PC or laptop and may have compatibility issues with some programs. Aside from that, you can have Windows 10 up and running on a Chromebook within a couple of hours.
Run Windows 10 on a Chromebook
Before you begin, have a good think about whether running Windows instead of Chrome OS is going to add anything to your experience. Most apps and programs have Chrome or web-based alternatives and the Chromebook is not the most powerful of devices. You can get it working but it isn’t exactly going to fly.
Plus, to install Windows, you’re going to need to modify the UEFI and use some hacks to get it working. It is possible and it shouldn’t brick your laptop but it is an involved process. If you’re still willing, let’s get started.
First, a caveat. Not all Chromebooks will play nicely with Windows 10. If you’re not sure, check out this website. It has a list of many major Chromebook manufacturers and models and will give you a good idea of whether it will work on yours or not. You will need an SSD with more than 16GB free so you can install Windows 10. You will also need two USB sticks of at least 8Gb each and you will need to remove the write protection screw if your Chromebook has one.
If your Chromebook has a write protect screw or switch, the website linked above will tell you. If that’s the case, you will need to access it to disable it. If yours isn’t listed, perform an internet search to find the screw or switch. There are so many makes of Chromebook that it is impossible to list all the types here.
- Turn off your Chromebook and plug it into the mains.
- Unscrew the bottom case of your Chromebook to access the motherboard.
- Located the write protection screw and remove it. If it’s a switch, flip it.
- Replace the casing of your Chromebook and secure it.
Now you should be able to perform full modifications to your Chromebook. We will need to enter Developer Mode in order to make full use of the hardware. You will need two USB drives of at least 8GB for this to work. One for the backup and one for the Windows 10 ISO.
- Hold down the Escape key and F3 and press the power button on your Chromebook. You should see a boot screen telling you Chrome OS is missing or damaged.
- Press Ctrl + D and then Enter to boot into Developer Mode.
- Boot your Chromebook once more and press Ctrl + Alt + T to open a terminal window.
- Type ‘shell’ into the window and hit Enter.
- Paste ‘cd ~; curl -L -O http://mrchromebox.tech/firmware-util.sh; sudo bash firmware-util.sh’ into the shell window and hit Enter. It loads a file from tech which is the main resource for this process.
- Type ‘3’ to install new firmware and ‘Y’ to flash your firmware in preparation for Windows.
- Type ‘U’ for UEFI. Ignore the legacy option.
- Back up your system to USB when prompted. This is in case this all goes wrong.
- Download a Windows 10 image from Microsoft using the tool linked on the page. You will obviously need to use a different PC for this.
- Select the option to ‘Create installation media for another PC’ in the Microsoft tool.
- Download and install Rufus from the website.
- Create a bootable USB with Rufus using ‘GPT partition scheme for UEFI’ and ‘NTFS’ settings.
- Select the Windows 10 ISO you downloaded and create a bootable disk.
- Insert the Windows 10 USB key into your Chromebook and boot it.
- Select Boot Manager when you see the initial boot screen.
- Follow the Windows 10 installation wizard to load the operating system.
Once completed, you will need to install drivers. This needs a hack.
- Right click the Windows Start button and select Command Prompt (Admin).
- Type ‘bcdedit -set testsigning on’ and hit Enter.
- Install your hardware drivers from the manufacturer’s website. Remember to choose Windows drivers this time. Ignore the security warnings Windows will show.
- Reboot your Chromebook without the USB drive inserted.
Your Chromebook should now boot into Windows 10 like any other PC!