Old laptops can be given a new lease of life with Google's free tool

By TechThop Team

Posted on: 26 Jul, 2022

ChromeOS Flex, Google's cloud-based OS, is now available to anyone who desires to give their old laptops a new lease of life.

Laptops can run without any problems for about three to six years, depending on their model. It might last until the manufacturer stops supporting the operating system (OS) you installed on it if you take really good care of it.

Eventually, though, you'll probably notice that your old laptop is slowing down and decide to upgrade.

Once that happens, you may decide to recycle the laptop or simply store it in a drawer and forget about it. We burn or landfill 59 million tons of electronic waste (e-waste) every year as a result of people just throwing old equipment away.

Cloud-ready, a product developed by New York City startup Neverware in 2015, replaces an old laptop's existing OS with one based on Google's open-source Chromium OS.

Cloud-ready, like Chromium, runs completely on the web, so it puts less strain on a computer's hardware than an OS that runs locally. Thus, it makes a previously slow Mac or PC perform like a Chromebook.

Having acquired Neverware in 2020, Google announced in February 2022 that it was launching a free version of Cloudready called ChromeOS Flex.

As part of the early access program, Google identified and fixed bugs in the OS. With nearly 300 devices certified, the OS is now available to everyone - you just need to download it to a USB drive and install it on your old laptop.

If you haven't used a Chromebook before, it's basically the Chrome browser on a laptop with some extra features - you can't run things like Adobe Photoshop or PC games.

ChromeOS Flex, however, could be an excellent way to still get some use out of your old laptop - and keep it out of a landfill as long as possible.

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