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How to run Android apps on your Chromebook

Websites are great, but nothing beats a native app.
How To
By
September 25, 2021
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 tablet mode
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Running Android apps on Chromebook devices enhances the overall experience, giving owners the chance to use the same apps they do on their phones, as well as play popular mobile games. It also makes the platform much more helpful. Android has a selection of creative, work, and productivity apps you can use for serious tasks.

If you’re wondering whether or not you have a Chromebook that runs Android apps and want to know how to set them up, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find everything you need to know about the topic in this post.

More: What is a Chromebook, and what can it do?

How to run Android apps on your Chromebook

Editor’s note: All instructions in this tutorial were put together using a Lenovo Chromebook Duet running Chrome OS version 93.0.4577.85. Remember, steps may differ depending on your device, but most things are the same from Chromebook to Chromebook. 


Which Chromebooks support Android apps?

Chromebook screenshot settings - Android apps on chromebook devices

If your Chromebook was released in or after 2017, there’s a good chance it can run Android apps. There are two ways to check this. The first one is to head to our list of all the Chromebooks that support Android apps. You can also check if your device can use Linux apps too, which would bring a whole other level of functionality to your Chrome OS device.

Here: These are the Chromebooks that support Android and Linux apps

Is your Chromebook on the list of supported devices?:

  1. Check in our list, linked right above.
  2. Alternatively, you can check the Chromium website and see if your device supports Android apps.
  3. The list of Google Play Store-supported devices is long. To find it quicker press Ctrl + F (if you are using Windows).
  4. Type in your Chromebook’s model.
  5. If your device name is found, it means you should have access to the Google Play Store.

If you don’t know the model name of your device or don’t want to search through the Chromium website, you can quickly check for Google apps support in the settings of your Chromebook.

Check if your Chromebook supports the Google Play Store on your device:

  1. Turn your Chromebook on and log in.
  2. Click on the status bar in the bottom-right corner of the user interface.
  3. Click on the Settings cog.
  4. Select Apps.
  5. If your Chromebook supports the Google Play Store, you will see a Google Play Store option. This means you can run Android apps on your Chromebook.

Don’t have Google Play? It’s not all lost yet

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook being typed on

Many older Chromebooks — released in or before 2017 — didn’t ship with Android app support. However, some of them did receive access to the Play Store via a software update. So, in case you have an older device and are not seeing the Play Store in there, updating to the latest version of the OS may change that.

How to update your Chromebook:

  1. Turn your Chromebook on and log in.
  2. Make sure you connect the device to the internet.
  3. Click on the status bar in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  4. Select the Settings cog.
  5. Hit the About Chrome OS option.
  6. Click on Check for updates.
  7. Follow instructions until the update finalizes.

Once that’s done, all you have to do is follow the instructions in the previous section to check if a Chromebook supports Android apps. If you still don’t see the Google Play Store option in the settings, your device doesn’t support Android apps.


How to enable Google Play Store on your Chromebook

Google Pixelbook Go Review front view open
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

If your Chromebook supports Android apps, you should see the Play Store in the app drawer on your device. But in case you don’t see it, you’ll have to enable it first. It’s easy and won’t take more than 30 seconds of your time.

How to enable the Google Play Store on your Chromebook:

  1. Turn your Chromebook on and log in.
  2. Click on the status bar in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  3. Select the Settings cog.
  4. Click on the Apps option.
  5. Hit the Turn on button next to the Google Play Store option

That’s all there is to it — you should now see the Play Store in the app drawer of your Chromebook.


How to download apps on Chromebook

Chromebook downloading Google Play music 1 - Android apps on chromebook devices

I’m sure most of you know how to download apps on Chromebooks, but I’ll explain the process for those who are new to Chromebooks and Android apps in general. In short, the process is more or less identical to downloading apps on your Android phone or tablet.

How to download Android apps on your Chromebook:

  1. Turn your Chromebook on and log in.
  2. Open the app drawer.
  3. Find the Play Store app and open it.
  4. Search or browse for your app of choice.
  5. Click on Install.
  6. Let your device do its thing.

More: The best Chromebooks you can buy

Once you install the app, it will show up in the app drawer. Just open it.


Bonus tip: Not all apps are optimized for Chromebooks

Chromebook screenshot app - Android apps on chromebook devices

While many Android apps — especially the more popular ones — are optimized for Chromebooks, many still aren’t. An optimized app will work in full-screen mode, making it easy to use. These apps work just like standard Chromebook apps you get from the Chromebook app store.

However, apps that aren’t optimized show up in a phone screen format, which only takes up a portion of your screen. They can still be used, but the experience isn’t the best. You can check out how an unoptimized app looks like on a Chromebook in the screenshot above.


Easy, right? And in case you want to check out more Chromebook tutorials, you can find a few of them below.