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Switch to a Chromebook

Learn how to get started using your new Chromebook with this guide. Along the way, you'll see links to resources where you can find more information.

1. Prepare to switch

On your old computer:

Get a Google Account

A Google Account gives you access to all Google services on the web, including Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive.

  • If you don't have a Google Account yet, create one.
  • If you already have a Google Account, you're good to go.
Back up your bookmarks, apps, and extensions

If you use the Chrome browser on your old computer, sign in to Chrome to save your bookmarks, apps, and extensions to your Google Account.

These settings will then show up automatically when you sign in with the same account on your Chromebook.

Back up your files

Option 1: Save your files on Google Drive

Upload your files to Google Drive so you can see and open your files on the web using your new Chromebook or any other computer.

You can also upload your files to other cloud storage services, such as Box or SMB.

Option 2: Save your files on a storage device

You can back up your files on a compatible storage device, such as a USB thumb drive or external hard drive. Learn which storage devices are compatible with Chromebooks.

2. Set up your new Chromebook

On your new Chromebook:

Sign in to your Chromebook
  1. Turn on your Chromebook.
  2. Sign in using your Google Account.
  3. To set up your Chromebook, follow the onscreen steps.

Once you're set up, your Chromebook will automatically show your Google Account photo and all your settings, bookmarks, and extensions from Chrome.

Find your files

Choose the same option you used to back up your files:

Option 1: Find your files on Google Drive

  1. Click the Launcher Launcher and then All Apps and then Files Files app.
  2. In the left column, click Google Drive.
  3. Wait a few moments for your files to appear.

If you used a different cloud storage service, you can find your files using the Files app (for some services) or by opening the service's website in Chrome.

Option 2: Find your files on your storage device

  1. Connect the storage device to your Chromebook.
  2. Click the Launcher Launcher and then All Apps and then Files Files app.
  3. In the left column, click the name of your storage device.

Tips:

  • With your new Chromebook, you can get even more free Google Drive storage.
  • To keep your Chromebook running fast, keep all your files in the cloud or on your storage device.
Set up your printer

Learn how to set up your printer with your Chromebook.

Or, you can connect your printer to Google Cloud Print. If you don't have a cloud-ready printer, you'll need both your old computer and your new Chromebook to do this task.

3. Get the most out of your Chromebook

Find apps for common tasks

Your Chromebook runs web apps instead of software programs used on other computers. For example, instead of using Microsoft Office to create documents, you can use Google Docs and Drive to create and share files online. Learn about suggested apps you can use for common tasks.

To find and download apps, go to the Chrome Web Store.

Customize your Chromebook Work offline

When you're not connected to the Internet, you can still use your Chromebook with apps like Gmail Offline and Google Docs.

Learn how to use your Chromebook offline, and download offline apps in the Chrome Web Store.

Bonus: Watch a video about switching to a Chromebook (2:19)

Switch to a Chromebook

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

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