The first Chromebooks were designed to run web apps only. But a few years back Google added support for running Android apps, and then Linux apps.

Now you can also run Windows applications on a Chromebook… although it requires installing a third-party tool that sells for $40 and up.

CodeWeavers has announced that CrossOver 20 for Chrome OS is now out of beta, allowing you to install and run many Windows applications on most recent Chromebooks with Intel processors.

CrossOver has been available for Linux and Mac computers for years, allowing users to run supported Windows applications on those platforms. CodeWeavers released an early version of CrossOver for Chrome OS in 2016, but it was a new build based on Android that was still pretty rough around the edges. It’s been in beta ever since.

After Google added support for running Linux software on Chromebooks, CodeWeavers shifted gears and made sure its existing Linux software was compatible with Google’s “Crostini” tool, which is a Linux subsystem that runs within Chrome OS.

CodeWeavers says that things work well enough now that the company felt comfortable removing the beta label, and you can now buy a stable version of CrossOver for Chrome OS for:

  • $40 – Current version only
  • $60 – Current version + 12 months of support and updates
  • $500 – Lifetime support and updates

Before pulling out your wallet though, you should probably make sure that your Chromebook is supported. You’ll need:

  • A model that supports Linux (this includes most 2019 and later device)
  • An Intel processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 200MB of free disk space + space for applications you’ll install

Keep in mind that not all Windows applications are compatible with CrossOver, but you can browser the CodeWeavers compatibility database or search by name for the software you’re hoping to run to see if it’s supported.


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3 replies on “CrossOver lets you run Windows apps on Chromebooks (now out of beta)”

  1. Unfortunately, even though it is out of Beta, it isn’t better. This seems to be nothing more than a repackage of the Linux product without any optimization or improvements for running on chromebooks.

    Performance on my Pixelbook is absymal. Display scaling is still off even though I reported it on their support forum over 2 years ago.

    I’ve had more usable results by installing WINE and PlaysOnLinux and installing my Windows apps that way. Oh well.

    1. CrossOver actually fund/support/upstream the most for Wine. You can think of them as a commercial front that helps fund an open source project. They earn their keep in the community.

  2. Not nearly enough layers of abstraction. Once we’re running emulated windows 95 inside chromium running on emulated windows 10/7 running on gnu/linux running alongside android running alongside several random python programs each inside their own gnu/linux Docker container, all on chrome/linux, then we can truly begin to gaze into infinity.
    It’s filled with bloat.
    I guarantee that Harmony and Fuchsia would need to emulate this entire stack. Unless…maybe google wants to lose the case VS oracle on purpose just to destroy all interoperability with copyright so it doesn’t have to deal with this junk anymore.
    That is, if many an internet armchair lawyer’s description of whatever is going on with that is right.

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