Asus Chromebook Flip C434 on table with coffee

A Chromebook is an excellent and (often) cheap alternative to most laptops running Windows or MacOS. However, given the limited storage and use of the cloud with ChromeOS, major software normally found on Windows and MacOS are  often unavailable. The good news is things are slowly changing, especially with the option to now access Android apps on Chrome OS.

Now, let’s take a look at how to get Photoshop on a Chromebook!


1. Use the Google Play Store

Thanks to Android app support through the Google Play Store, Chromebooks have access to millions of apps previously reserved for smartphones and tablets. That means Chromebooks also have access to all the Adobe Photoshop apps available on the Play Store.

How to get Photoshop apps from the Play Store:

  1. Click the circle on the bottom left of the desktop navigation area.
    1. Alternatively, press the magnifying glass key on the keyboard.
  2. Look for and open the Play Store.
  3. In the Search for apps & games search bar, search for Photoshop.
  4. Results should include Photoshop Express, Photoshop Mix, and Photoshop Sketch.
    1. Other Adobe apps include Lightroom, Illustrator Draw, Comp, Capture, and Creative Cloud.

Also read: 10 best Android tablet apps that all tablet owners should have!

It doesn’t make for the easiest time to have so many apps in order to reach feature parity with the desktop Photoshop. Compounding matters are the premium features only accessible through in-app purchases in some apps.

Still, this is the most straightforward method if you want Photoshop on your Chromebook.


2. Stream Photoshop to your Chromebook

Asus Chromebook Flip C434 with coffee

If you aren’t happy with using Android apps, another option is to run Photoshop on a PC and stream it to your Chromebook. Before you start, make sure you have Photoshop and Google Chrome installed on your PC. Also, make sure you have a stable internet connection on your PC and Chromebook.

Also read: 10 best photography apps for Android!

How to stream Photoshop to your Chromebook:

  1. In Chrome on your PC, visit the Chrome Remote Desktop website.
  2. Click the Set up remote access option.
  3. Install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on your PC.
  4. Return to the original tab on your PC and name your computer.
  5. Click Next and create a PIN with at least six digits.
  6. If prompted, enter the PIN you created on your PC.

This isn’t the most ideal way to use Photoshop on a Chromebook, but it works in a pinch. Also, all Chrome Remote Desktop sessions are encrypted for protection.


3. Use the web version of Photoshop Lightroom

Photoshop Lightroom

If you’re not a fan of Android apps or don’t want to stream Photoshop, why not give the web version of Photoshop Lightroom a shot.

It’s not the full Photoshop, but Photoshop Lightroom lets you crop, rotate, straighten, and organize images, tag and rate, process raw files, convert images to black and white, retouch photos, and make panoramas. You can’t combine images, isolate objects, or remove objects.

How to use Photoshop Lightroom on the web:

Photoshop Lightroom on the Chrome browser

  1. Go to the Photoshop Lightroom website.
  2. Sign into your Adobe account.

Make sure you’re connected to the internet if you want to use the web version. Also, the app isn’t available for free. You must pay $9.99 each month or $119.88 each year. The monthly and yearly plans include 1TB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark.


4. Find alternative apps for Photoshop on Chromebooks

Pixlr Editor screenshot

The lack of a proper Photoshop app for Chromebooks is unfortunate, but there exist some great alternatives. One of our favorites is Pixlr Editor, a web app with many Photoshop features available for free. You can even load .psd files, if you don’t want to completely leave Photoshop behind if you use it on a PC.

Other alternatives include Fotor, GIMP Online, and Polarr Photo Editor.


Hopefully, these ways to get Photoshop on Chromebooks helped! If you’ve used any of these methods, let us know your experience in the comments section below.

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