Connect to mobile networks

Some Chromebooks are equipped with mobile connectivity built-in, so you can access both Wi-Fi and mobile broadband networks. That way, you can take your Chromebook on the go and browse the web no matter where you are. Once you've activated your access to a mobile network, you can connect to it anytime by clicking the network icon in the lower-right corner of your screen and selecting your mobile network name.

Going somewhere far? Take your Chromebook with you and just enable mobile data roaming if you're in a location that isn’t supported by your mobile network. You can also change your network settings to use a SIM card.

Supported carriers: Your LTE Chromebook is certified for use with the Verizon Wireless LTE service. You may be able to use another carrier, but Google is unable to support any level of connectivity/service with any other provider in any other market. We can only support connectivity with Verizon Wireless, where Verizon provides mobile service.

Enable mobile data usage and connect

  1. If you haven’t already, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Make sure you've activated your access to the mobile network. If you're using a SIM card, make sure it is inserted.
  3. Click the network icon network icon in the lower-right corner of your screen.
  4. Click your network status in the menu that appears.
  5. Make sure mobile data usage is enabled, which will allow your Chromebook to connect to mobile networks. Click 3g not connected icon from the menu that appears. If you see 3g connected icon, that means your Chromebook is ready to connect to mobile networks. If you don't see these options, that means your Chromebook is not able to use mobile networks.
  6. Select the mobile network's name from the network menu to connect to it.

SIM card users: You'll be asked to enter a personal identification number (PIN) if the SIM card is locked. If you're borrowing a friend's Chromebook, ask him or her for the PIN. Otherwise, contact your mobile carrier if you don't know the PIN.

Note: Your Chromebook only uses the mobile network to transmit data when no other networks are connected. So if it's connected to both the mobile network and to a Wi-Fi network, the Chromebook will use the Wi-Fi network for data transmission. If you don’t want your Chromebook to connect to Wi-Fi networks, disable Wi-Fi from the network menu.

System updates: While the updates you receive on your Chromebook are free, you may incur costs if the updates are sent to your device while you are using 3G or 4G networks.

Using mobile data roaming

If you're in a location that isn’t supported by your mobile network, you may be able to use another mobile network maintained by a different carrier to go online. Roaming charges may apply. To enable or disable this feature, follow these steps:

  1. If you haven’t already, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Click the status area in the lower-right corner, where your account picture appears.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. In the “Internet connection” section, click Mobile data.
  5. Use the mobile data roaming checkbox to adjust this setting.

Using mobile broadband abroad

Chromebooks purchased in the U.S.

If your Chromebook was purchased in the U.S., it is associated with Verizon Wireless by default. To use a SIM card with your Chromebook (for instance, if you're traveling abroad), follow these steps:

  1. If you haven’t already, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal window.
  3. Change your carrier association by entering this command: modem_set_carrier Generic UMTS
  4. Enter exit to return to your browsing window.
  5. Turn off the Chromebook and insert the SIM card.

You should now be able to use an activated SIM card with your Chromebook. Click the network icon network icon and see if the SIM card carrier is listed in the menu. Make sure mobile data is enabled.

To switch your carrier back to Verizon, open a terminal window and type this command: modem_set_carrier Verizon Wireless

Chromebooks purchased in Europe

If you purchased your Chromebook in Europe, you should be able to use any SIM cards with your Chromebook. Some Chromebook models can also connect to CDMA networks, like Verizon Wireless. For some carriers, you may need to configure the access point name before you can connect to their networks.

Next steps

Chromebook - Connectivity

Discuss with other Chromies in Chromebook Central.

Arneil is a Chromebook expert and author of this help page. Help him improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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