Have you ever wondered what happens when your Chrome OS device reaches the end of its support? Me too. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), my Chromebook Pixel 2 was promised updates until a few months ago. This article will be the first in a series where I talk about breathing new life into your Chrome OS device. Let me share my experiences and what we have figured out.
The official Google-coined term is “auto-update expiration”, or AUE for short. Other terms you may see online are end-of-life (EOL) or end-of-service-life (EOSL). This means that Google will no longer provide Chrome OS updates to the device. There are lots of nuanced details so let’s cover them in a frequently-asked questions (FAQ) section.
How do I know if my Chrome OS device has reached AUE?
Google provides a full list of AUE dates for each vendor here. A message will also pop up after logging in saying:
Final software updateChrome OS AUE Message
This is the last automatic software and security update for this Chromebook. To get future updates, upgrade to a newer model.
Will Chrome OS continue to annoy me about it being AUE? Yes, but…
You have the option to disable the notification by selecting “DON’T REMIND ME AGAIN“.
Will my Chromebook/Chromebox/Chromebase still work? Yes!
Google will not deactivate anything. Your device will continue to function as-is.
Will Chrome OS still get updates? No.
The AUE date means that whatever the latest stable version of Chrome OS is during that date, you will continue to get all of the minor updates in the weeks to come. Once other Chrome OS devices move onto the next major release, your device will be left behind.
Will Chrome (the web browser) still get updates? No, but…
LaCros may change that. We’ve been covering development on LaCros for a while now. Google is separating the web browser from the operating system. A potential benefit to this would be that the web browser could continue to get updates despite Chrome OS reaching its AUE date. So far, Google has not officially announced anything surrounding this so be sure to keep an eye on Chrome Unboxed for more details as they roll in.
Will my Chromebook be less secure? Yes, but…
LaCros could keep the weakest security point patched: the web browser itself. Even though you are still running the most secure operating system on the market, every week new vulnerabilities are found. That means your Chrome OS device becomes more insecure over time.
Can I install another operating system such as Linux or Windows? No, but…
With a few tweaks to your system, you can convert it into a normal laptop that can install any operating system. We will explain this in further detail in future articles.
Should you sell your Chromebook/Chromebox? No.
You don’t have to! It still works. Especially if you are tight on money, it is safe enough to keep it around for a little while longer.