5 Ways to Run .exe Files on Chrome OS

Chrome OS is a popular operating system developed by Google that runs on Chromebook laptops and other devices. It is known for its lightweight design, fast boot time, and security features. However, one of the limitations of Chrome OS is its inability to run traditional desktop software like .exe files. This can be frustrating for users who need to use such applications, but don’t have access to a Windows or Mac computer.

In this blog, we will explore different methods to run .exe files on Chrome OS, so that users can take full advantage of their Chromebooks.

Method #1 Using Linux Terminal

The best way only if your chromebook has the linux Beta Mode.

One of the easiest ways to run .exe files on Chrome OS is to use the Linux terminal. This way, you can access a virtual machine to run apps meant for Linux such as the Wine app.

Now, what does the wine app do? it simply acts as a compatibility layer, bridging the gap between Windows apps and Chrome OS, allowing you to run windows programs.

Here are the steps to install a Linux terminal and run .exe files using Wine on Chrome OS:

  1. Go to the Chrome OS settings and enable the Linux (Beta) feature.
  2. Install the Terminal app from the Chrome Web Store.
  3. Open the Terminal app and enter the command “sudo apt-get install wine” to install the Wine compatibility layer.
  4. Download the .exe file that you want to run and place it in the Linux Files folder.
  5. In the Terminal app, navigate to the folder where the .exe file is located and enter the command “wine filename.exe”. Replace “filename” with the actual name of the .exe file.

Method #2 Using the crossover tool

The best VM to run windows OS chromeOS.

If you want to create a separate environment for the windows app, the crossover tool is a big help. The tool allows you to run Windows software on Chromebook by creating a virtual environment that emulates Windows.

Here’s how to use this tool.

  1. Install Crossover on your Chromebook (download from this link)
  2. Open Crossover and click the Install Windows Software button.
  3. Search for the exe file you want to run.
  4. Click on the Install button to install the software in Crossover.
  5. Once installed, you should be able to launch the exe file from within Crossover.

Note: Some exe files may not work properly on Chromebooks due to compatibility issues or hardware limitations. In such cases, you may not be able to run the exe file on your Chromebook.

Method #3 Using Remote Desktop

Useful but require another device as host.

For those who don’t want to get into things like Linux terminal to run exe files and want to install a virtual machine like in the second method. Using a Remote Desktop is probably the best way out there for them.

But for this you need to have two devices:

  1. A Chromebook
  2. Any device with the Windows operating system.

Why you need two devices is because this method involves connecting Chromebook to a Windows device that has the .exe files installed and accessing the device through Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

Here are the steps to run .exe files on Chrome OS using Remote Desktop:

  1. On the Windows device, enable the Remote Desktop service and take note of the device’s IP address.
  2. Install the Chrome Remote Desktop app.
  3. Open the app and click on “Get started” under the “My Computers” section.
  4. Follow the instructions to set up a remote connection to the Windows device.
  5. Once the connection is established, the Windows desktop will appear on your Chromebook screen.

Method #4 Using Android Apps

Apps like android emulators are easiest way to run windows programs.

Finally, some .exe files can be run on Chrome OS using Android apps. This is because Chromebooks have the capability to run Android apps from the Google Play Store. This method is only applicable to .exe files that have equivalent Android apps available.

Here are the steps to run .exe files on Chrome OS using Android apps:

  1. Go to the Google Play Store and search for the equivalent Android app for the .exe file you want to run.
  2. Download and install the Android app on the Chromebook.
  3. Open the Android app and follow the instructions to run the .exe file.

Method #5 Using apponfly

Run windows OS online on your chrome’s web browser.

Apponfly is an online tool used to run Windows operating online in a web browser. It’s the simplest way to simulate the windows operating system and run popular windows programs such as Microsoft word, office, etc. The only downside with this method is that you can not run specific exe files. Also, it’s a paid website so you will need to pay some bucks.

Video guide

Here’s the video guide to walk you through an step by step method. This video demonstrate two ways one is using the crossover tool and second way is using apponfly.

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