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Install Android apps on your Chromebook

You can download and use Android apps on your Chromebook using the Google Play Store app.

Currently, the Google Play Store is available for these Chromebooks using Chrome OS version 53 and up.

Note: If you’re using your Chromebook at work or school, you might not be able to add the Google Play Store or download Android apps. For more information, contact your administrator.

Step 1: Get the Google Play Store app

1. Update your Chromebook software

To get Android apps on your Chromebook, first update your Chromebook software. Your Chromebook must run Chrome OS version 53 and up.

2. Sign in to the Google Play Store

  1. Click the status area, where your account picture appears.
  2. Click Settings Settings.
  3. In the "Google Play Store" section, check the box for "Enable Google Play Store on your Chromebook."
  4. In the window that appears, click Get Started.
  5. You’ll be prompted to agree to the Terms of Service. Once you’ve read and agreed, click Agree.
  6. To confirm your current Google account, click Sign In.
  7. You’ll see the Google Play Store app open. In the box that appears, click Accept.

Step 2: Get Android apps

Now, you can find and download Android apps on your Chromebook.

Your Chromebook won’t automatically download the same Android apps as your phone or tablet, so you’ll need to download them again. Also, some apps don’t work with Chromebooks, so you won’t be able to download them.

Update your app version or permissions

Update an app to the latest version

If you see a notification that says "Updates available" on the bottom right of your screen, click Update or Update all.

If you don’t see this notification:

  1. Click the Launcher Launcher.
  2. Click All Apps.
  3. Click Play Store Google Play Store.
  4. Follow the steps to update your apps.
Change app permissions

When you install an Android app, you control which capabilities or information that app has access to — known as permissions.

You can control which permissions an app has after the app installs on your device:

  1. Sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Click the status area, where your account picture appears.
  3. Click Settings Settings.
  4. In the "Google Play Store" section, click Preferences.
  5. In the "Device" section, click Apps.
  6. Click an app in the list.
  7. Click Permissions.
  8. Next to a permission you want to turn on or off, click or tap the switch.

Developers: optimize your apps for Chromebooks

To get started, check out how to optimize your Android apps for Chromebooks.

Learn how Chrome OS handles your Android app data

Syncing your apps
Backing up and restoring app data

By default, automatic backup and restore of Android app data is turned on. Keep in mind:

  • When automatic backup and restore is turned on, Android app data is saved periodically to a private folder in Google Drive. Each Chromebook that uses Android apps has its own folder. Backed-up app data won’t count towards your Drive storage quota. Learn how to manage your backed-up Android app data.
  • Android app data can be any data that an Android app has saved (based on developer settings), including potentially sensitive data such as contacts, messages, and photos.
  • Large files, or files that developers have chosen to exclude from the service, will not be backed up. App data from Chrome apps also isn’t backed up.
  • When you install an Android app which you previously used on another one of your Chromebooks, the most recently backed-up data for that app (from any of your Chromebooks) is automatically restored.
  • If you turn off syncing, your Chromebook continues to back up your apps. But if you have more than one Chromebook, your Android app data across Chromebooks may not be in sync.

You can turn backup and restore on or off, or change other settings related to backup and restore:

  1. Click the status area, where your account picture appears.
  2. Click Settings Settings.
  3. In the "Google Play Store" section, click Preferences.
  4. In the "Personal" section, click Back up my data.
  5. To turn data backup off, move the switch from right to left. To turn it on, move the switch from left to right.
Managing your data and app permissions

What your Android apps can see

  • Android apps can download files to and read files from your Chromebook’s downloads location. You can change this by opening an app’s permissions page, then turning off the Storage permission.
  • Some Android apps that have permission to see your location might also access Bluetooth on your Chromebook.
  • If you’re browsing in incognito mode and you open an app, then right click to open a link in that app, you’ll leave incognito mode.
  • If you turn off the Google Play Store on your Chromebook, all data and settings for your Android apps will be erased from your device.
  • You can review other privacy and security settings which come with using Android apps. Remember: some of the settings described in these links might not apply or appear on your Chromebook.

What Google can see

When you opt in to using the Google Play Store, some system apps and features may send Google information about how you use those apps.

If you’ve opted to send Google data about your Chromebook’s usage and performance, Google will also get diagnostic and usage data about your Android apps’ activities, by default.

  • This is general information about your device and how you use it, such as battery level, how often you use your apps, the quality and duration of your network connections, and crash reports when things aren’t working the way they should. It will be used to improve Google’s products and services for everyone. Some aggregated information will help partners, such as Android developers, make their apps and products better, too.
  • This information won’t be associated with your Google Account unless "Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services" is checked on the Web & App Activity page, and the "device information" setting is also turned on.
  • Any crash reports Chrome sends to Google may also include some sensitive information about your Android apps.
  • If you’re the owner of your Chromebook, you can change whether or not you send usage and diagnostic data in the settings menu. If you’re not the owner, or if you’re using a managed Chromebook, you won’t be able to change this setting -- only your administrator can.
Sharing your location

When you opt in to Android apps, you can decide whether you will let Google see your location.

  • Google’s location service uses sources like Wi-Fi and cellular networks, if supported by your device, to help estimate your device’s location.
  • When you turn on location services, your device enters a mode that uses Wi-Fi and cellular networks (if applicable) to provide location information.

You can turn this off in your location settings.

Note: If you’re using your Chromebook at work or school, you might not be able to change your location sharing settings. For more information, contact your administrator.

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

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