Update Chrome devices

As an administrator, you can manage Chrome device updates in your organization. Chrome releases a full operating system (OS) update about every 6 weeks. Minor updates, such as security fixes and software updates, happen every 2 to 3 weeks. The average full Chrome OS update is over 400 MB and minor updates are about 50 MB.

To keep Chrome devices secure and up to date, we recommend automatic instead of manual OS updates. If your organization deploys thousands of Chrome devices, or if you have bandwidth restrictions, you might need to configure Chrome device updates.

Automatic updates

Recommended for all organizations

By default, Chrome devices update to the latest version of Chrome when it’s available. We recommend that you keep the default automatic update settings for Chrome devices in the Google Admin console. That way, Chrome devices automatically update to new versions of Chrome OS as they’re released on the Stable Channel.

Peer to peer automatic updates

If peer-to-peer (P2P) networking is available, devices can automatically update Chrome from nearby devices of the same model. This reduces external network traffic. If P2P automatic updating fails or isn’t possible on your network, devices update as usual. They either download the update from Google’s servers or an intermediate web-caching proxy server.
For P2P automatic updating to work:
  • Your organization’s network needs to allow P2P connectivity.
  • Multicast DNS (mDNS) shouldn’t be filtered or blocked on the local area network (LAN).

Configure updates

Scatter automatic updates
Recommended if bandwidth is an issue
If your organization is deploying thousands of Chrome devices or you have network bandwidth restrictions, consider scattering automatic updates. If you scatter updates over days, choose the fewest days possible, such as 2 or 3. If you do it over weeks, some users might fall more than one version behind.
Speed up updates
Recommended for all organizations
After an update gets applied to a Chrome device, users restart their devices for it to take effect. They get a notification prompting them to restart, but they might not restart the device for some time.
If you want devices to restart sooner, you can sign users out when the device lid is closed by applying the Action on lid close setting. So, if a user doesn’t restart a device after an update and then closes the lid, a user sign-out does a quick restart, completing the update.
Be sure to let users know that they should save their work before they close the lid so they don't lose it.
Pin device version
Not recommended
We recommend that users should be on the latest version of Chrome, but sometimes organizations might need to specify which version devices will run (or “pin” versions). For example, organizations might have special technical requirements or find a critical issue while testing devices on the Beta Channel.
However, try to avoid version pinning. If you forget to unpin device versions, they can fall behind on critical security updates and miss out on new features in Chrome. If you need to pin versions, see Restrict Google Chrome version to at most.
Google Cloud supports only the latest version of Chrome OS.
Cache updates
If your organization has an intermediate proxy cache set up on its network, you can use it to cache Chrome OS updates. Because these updates are downloaded from Google over HTTP, they can be cached on most web-caching proxy servers. Proxy caches reduce bandwidth and improve response times by caching and reusing frequently requested webpages.
However, many proxy caches’ default settings aren’t optimal for Chrome OS updates. To make sure that your proxy cache software can cache Chrome OS updates, experienced IT administrators can configure the following settings:
  • Maximum file object size—This is the maximum individual file size that the proxy will cache. For most web-caching proxy servers, the default max is smaller than the average Chrome OS update. Chrome updates are downloaded as one file, so make sure that the maximum file object size is at least 1 GB.
  • Cache directory size—By default, some web-caching proxy servers cache objects in memory. Most can also be configured to cache to disk. Ensure that the cache has adequate storage space, either in memory or on disk. Browsers retrieve objects cached in memory faster than on hard disk.
  • URL settings—If the server allows you to add settings for particular domains, give preference to dl.google.com, where devices get Chrome OS updates.
  • Maximum object size in memory—Servers don't keep objects larger than the specified value in memory. This value needs to be set high enough to keep Chrome OS updates in memory, but low enough to keep larger objects from hoarding the cache memory. Set the maximum object size in memory at a reasonable limit, such as 2,000 KB.
  • Cache space on disk—The total amount of hard disk space that the server can use to cache objects. If you have a large hard drive (more than 30 GB), you can increase the value to cache more objects.

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