Use a virtual host

If you're using a managed Chromebook and your administrator has set up a virtual hosting system like Citrix® Receiver, you might be able to use Windows or Mac programs on your Chromebook. You do this by opening the virtual host in a browser tab.

Open your virtual host

  1. If you haven't yet, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Open a new window in Chrome.
  3. In the address bar, type in the hosting system’s web address and press Enter. If you don't know the address, ask your administrator.
  4. Sign in to the hosting system.
  5. Launch apps, browse your file system, and create and save files, just like on your old computer.

To learn more about using your virtual host, ask your administrator or see the host's documentation.

Save and edit files on your virtual host

If you have programs on your virtual host that you want to use to edit files, you can open and save those files on your virtual host.

For example, if someone emails you an image file that you want to open in Adobe Photoshop, and you have Photoshop on your virtual host:

  1. Open and sign in to your virtual host.
  2. Open a web browser. (If you don't have one, ask your administrator to install one.)
  3. Open your Gmail account at
  4. Sign in using your email address and password.
  5. Open the message in Gmail.
  6. Download its attachment to your virtual host.
  7. Open the image in Photoshop.

Note: Make sure to access the file using your virtual host. If you open Gmail on your Chromebook, not within your virtual host, you can only download the file to your Chromebook. Your virtual host won't be able to access the file.

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

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