Connect to a mobile data network

Some Chromebooks have built-in mobile connectivity, so you can use both Wi-Fi and mobile networks.

Check if your Chromebook can connect to mobile data

To check if your Chromebook can connect to mobile data networks:

  1. Click the status area, where your account picture appears.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. In the "Internet connection" section, look for a "Mobile data" option. If you see this option, your Chromebook can connect to a mobile network.

Activate mobile data

Activate Verizon Wireless

You can create a new account for your mobile-ready 3G or 4G Chromebook, or add it to an existing Verizon plan:

  1. If you haven't already, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Click the status area, where your account picture appears.
  3. Click your network connection.
  4. Click Activate Verizon Wireless.
  5. Sign in to your Verizon account:
    • To add your Chromebook to an existing plan, enter your Verizon account credentials.
    • To create a new plan, follow the onscreen steps.
  6. Select an amount of data and price.
  7. Review the terms and conditions and click I agree.
  8. Click Activate service.
  9. Wait 3–5 minutes for your Verizon Wireless service to activate. (Don't use your Chromebook during this time.)

When your Verizon service activates, you'll see a confirmation page.

Having trouble?

For more help, contact Verizon.

Activate T-Mobile®

To activate T-Mobile® data on your Chromebook:

  1. Turn off your Chromebook.
  2. Insert your T-Mobile® SIM card securely in the SIM card slot until it locks into place.
  3. Turn on your Chromebook.
  4. Turn off Wi-Fi:
    1. Click the status area, where your account picture appears.
    2. Click your Wi-Fi network.
    3. Click the Wi-Fi network icon Wi-Fi signal on.
  5. From the list of available networks, select T-Mobile®.
  6. Open a new tab in Chrome.
  7. Attempt to go to a website. You'll be redirected to the T-Mobile® activation page.
  8. Complete the online registration form.

When your T-Mobile® service activates, you'll see a confirmation page.

Having trouble?

Call T-Mobile® at 800-937-8997.

Activate a SIM card

For Chromebooks purchased in the U.S.

Before you can use a SIM card, you'll need to set up carrier information on your Chromebook. See how to use mobile data abroad.

For Chromebooks purchased outside the U.S.

  1. To activate the SIM card, follow the instructions provided in your Chromebook box.
  2. Turn off your Chromebook.
  3. Insert the SIM card into the SIM card slot.
  4. Turn on your Chromebook.

Your SIM card might ask for a personal identification number (PIN) the first time you use it. If you don't know your PIN, contact your mobile carrier.

Note: If you enter the wrong PIN more than once, the SIM card will lock, and won't work.

Use a different mobile carrier

To connect to a different carrier's mobile network, set up the access point name (APN):

  1. Turn off your Chromebook.
  2. Insert the SIM card.
  3. Turn on your Chromebook and sign in.
  4. Click the status area, where your account picture appears.
  5. Click Settings.
  6. In the "Internet connection" section, hover the mouse over your mobile network's name.
  7. Click Edit Edit.
  8. In the box that appears, click the Plan tab, then change the APN. If you're not sure what the APN is, contact the mobile carrier.

Connect to mobile data

After you've activated mobile data, you can connect to it:

  1. If you haven't already, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Click the status area, where your account picture appears.
  3. Click your network connection Wi-Fi network.
  4. Click your mobile network.

If a Wi-Fi network is available, your Chromebook will always connect to Wi-Fi rather than a mobile network. To only use mobile data, turn off Wi-Fi Wi-Fi signal on.

Use mobile data roaming while abroad

With a data plan, you can take your Chromebook with you on the road:

Use mobile data roaming

If you're in a location that your mobile network doesn't support, you might be able to use a different mobile network:

  1. If you haven't already, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Click the status area, where your account picture appears.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. In the "Internet connection" section, click Mobile data.
  5. Uncheck the box for Disable mobile data roaming.

Note: Roaming charges might apply.

Use mobile data abroad

For Chromebooks purchased in the U.S.

To use a SIM card with your Chromebook (for example, if you're traveling abroad):

  1. If you haven't already, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Make sure mobile data is turned on.
  3. Open a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
  4. Change your carrier association: Type modem_set_carrier Generic UMTS, then press Enter.
  5. Type exit, then press Enter.
  6. Turn off the Chromebook.
  7. Insert the SIM card.
  8. Turn on your Chromebook.
  9. Click the status area, where your account picture appears.
  10. Click your network connectionWi-Fi network.
  11. Select the SIM card carrier network.

To switch back to your original mobile carrier, open a terminal window and enter this command: modem_set_carrier [carrier name]

For Chromebooks purchased in Europe

You should be able to use any SIM card with your Chromebook. Some Chromebook models can also connect to CDMA networks.

For some networks, you'll need to set up the access point name (APN).

Troubleshoot mobile data problems

Discuss with other Chromies in Chromebook Central.

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

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