Google has rolled out an update to the developer channel for Chrome OS with support for extended desktop functionality.

What that means is that you can plug in an external monitor to the HDMI or VGA port on a Chromebook and use the extra display for extra space… rather than just for mirroring whatever’s already on your laptop screen.

Chrome OS extended desktop

The latest dev update for Chrome OS also includes a newer version of Flash, the ability to re-order apps in the app list, and “intelligent window positioning,” to automatically arrange windows to show the most content if you don’t manually arrange them.

Bear in mind, some older Chromebook models might not be able to handle the high pixel count that you get when using multiple displays, but the newer models with Intel Celeron processors seem to be up to the task.

In order to take advantage of the new features you’ll need to make sure your Chromebook is on the Dev Channel. You can do that by clicking the Menu icon in the top right corner, choose Settings, and then tapping the Help option in the menu on the left side of the screen.

This will show you what version of Chrome you’re running. You can also tap the “More Info” item to bring up a box that lets you switch between Stable, Beta, and Dev channels.

Or you can just wait a while. Most features that are introduced in the Dev channel eventually make their way to beta and then stable updates.

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6 replies on “Google brings dual monitor, extended desktop support to Chrome OS”

  1. What about extending the screen on chromecast?? Wireless extension ….

  2. This option to switch between channels is not available on my Chromebox. How can I utilize dual monitors with extended desktop?

  3. The Chromebox has three display outputs, I wonder if you can use them to set up three different desktops.

  4. Could somebody try this on the new ARM ChromeBook?

    It would be nice to know if the HDMI port on the XE303 is capable of driving an external display with desktop extension properly.

    1. I can’t get it to work on the ARM ChromeBook, and it’s extremely buggy on the ChromeBox.

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