One of the beautiful things about Chromebooks is that they’re largely cloud-based. You don’t have to fill up your hard drive with endless files. Instead, you can do just about everything through Google Drive. But as great as that is, most of us are used to Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Luckily, you can run Microsoft Office on Chromebooks.
You can’t install desktop versions of Office on a Chromebook, but you still have options when it comes to running Microsoft Office on Chromebook. Depending on what software you run on your Chromebook, you’ll be able to use Office in a somewhat limited capacity. Let us tell you how it’s done.
Microsoft Office for Chromebook: Google Play Store
The easiest way to get Microsoft Office on Chromebook is to download the Office apps that are available for Android. Some older Chromebooks still don’t have access to the Google Play Store, but most do. Check out our list of compatible Chromebooks to see if yours has access to the Google Play Store.
Follow these simple steps:
- Open the Google Play Store.
- Search for the Office program you want to download and select it.
- Click Install.
- Once the app is done downloading, open the Chrome launcher to open the app.
- Sign into your Microsoft Account or Office 365 subscription account.
Click on the links below to download specific apps:
Microsoft Office for Chromebook: Office Online
If your Chromebook only has access to the Chrome Web Store, you unfortunately can’t download the various Office apps. You’re not out of luck, though. It’s possible to use Office Online.
With the online version, you’ll be able to work on, edit, and share Office files directly in your browser. You need to be connected to the internet to use Microsoft Office on Chromebook, which may not be ideal, but it means you have an alternative to Drive.
The best part is that you can access OneDrive and Microsoft Office web apps with a free account. You get more benefits and extra services if you pay for an Office 365 account, but it’s not necessary just to use Microsoft Office apps online.
Stream from your PC
If you don’t want to use Android apps (or can’t), another option is to run Microsoft Office on a PC and stream it to your Chromebook. This might be beneficial because you get the option to run the full desktop version made for PC. It will have all features and no compromises.
Before you start, make sure you have Microsoft Office and Google Chrome installed on your PC. Also, make sure you have a stable internet connection on both your PC and Chromebook.
How to stream Photoshop on Chromebook:
- Open the Chrome browser on your PC and visit the Chrome Remote Desktop website.
- Click the Set up remote access option.
- Install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on your PC.
- Return to the original tab on your PC and name your computer.
- Click Next and create a PIN with at least six digits.
- If prompted, enter the PIN you created on your PC.
You could also use a PC cloud service like Shadow. This company offers Windows machines that can be accessed remotely through any compatible device. Supported operating systems include Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, Android, and iOS. You don’t see Chrome OS on the list, but remember Chromebooks can run Android apps! Once set up, you could install Photoshop on your remote Windows machine and stream it. Just keep in mind Shadow isn’t exactly cheap! It currently costs at least $11.99 per month.
Check out the links below to learn more about using Chromebooks and to figure out which ones are worth your money.