So, you want to get Discord for your Chromebook.
Itching to see what’s new with your online communities? Or looking to voice chat with your guild?
Or just checking on your friends?
Whatever the case, we’ll talk about how to install and use Discord for Chromebooks.
Even if you’re using a school Chromebook, there are ways to get around the block!
Sound good? Let’s roll.
Can you use Discord on a Chromebook?
Yes, you can easily use Discord on Chrome OS.
There are multiple ways to do it, and we’ll cover them all. The easiest way is to use the web-based version directly through the browser.
This works without having to download or install anything and you can use it anywhere you have WiFi.
The problem is that you may prefer using the desktop app or Google Play app because it’s more user-friendly.
Or maybe you’re on a school computer where Discord is blocked.
So that leaves us to explore all the different ways you get it on your Chromebook.
Choose whatever works for your situation.
If you’re getting Discord on a personal Chromebook, the web version or app works best.
If you’re trying to access it on a school Chromebook (where they block pretty much everything), you’ll have to get creative to unblock Discord!
Does Google Play have Discord?
Yes, it does. But it’s for phones.
You already know that any Chromebook made after 2017 can download and run Play Store apps, right?
So if you’re using a newer one, you probably can download it directly from the Google Play Store and launch it.
The official Discord app is for everything but ChromeOS at this point- perhaps in the future, we’ll have a version to download and install on Chromebooks that’s more compatible.
There are a few exceptions. Your Chromebook must be able to run the software in the first place.
Not all models will be compatible. If you get an error that reads something like “You have no devices” or something like that, likely, your Chromebook doesn’t have the necessary hardware or software to run Discord.
Additionally, if you’re on an older Chromebook, it may or may NOT work. This depends on the specific make and model of it.
There’s a list of models that will work with Google Play Store apps, so you should check it out and make sure your device is on there.
Don’t know what device you have? Check out this tutorial for finding out what Chromebook model you have.
And if you have a compatible device on the list, you don’t have the Play Store yet (because it’s still rolling out), you can get the update early.
Even if you’ve tried everything and still can’t get Discord from the Play Store, it’s OK. There are other techniques to install the chat client.
How to download, install, and use Discord on Chrome OS
Here we’ll cover the different ways to get and use Discord on a Chromebook.
Let’s start with the easiest possible.
The absolute, best way to access Discord on ChromeOS
The easiest way is the way you’re already thinking about- using the Play Store.
It’s as simple as installing and launching any other app on your Chromebook:
- Click on the Launcher button at the bottom left of the screen
- Launch the Play Store from the menus
- Search for “Discord” on Google Play
- Find the big green “Install” button and click it
- Wait patiently like a good person
- When Discord is installed, it’ll appear in your Launcher menu
- Click on it to launch it
- Sign in to your Discord account, or create a new one
That’s it. You now have the Discord app on your Chromebook. For some, this will work.
For others, you’ll get the familiar “Not supported on your device” or similar errors. Remember that this was originally designed for desktops, and THEN was ported over to phones.
You’re downloading the version made for phones, but trying to use it on a laptop.
So you can expect some UI issues and interface problems, cut off buttons, microphone input detection, etc.
You also may see that some screen elements are off the screen or just look a little whacky. This is expected.
If you have a touchscreen or convertible Chromebook, you should be able to use Discord as normal.
But if you use a keyboard/touchpad for interface controls, it can get a bit weird. Though, it should still work overall.
Try exiting full-screen mode if you can’t see a button or menu or if the screen is cut off.
If the Google Play Store doesn’t work for you, the next method is to use the browser.
Through Chrome Browser
Chrome runs Discord without any problems. You can just go to the official site, login to your account, and viola.
You’re in Discord. No downloads or installs are needed. It runs just like the app and works on a laptop or PC. No screen cutoffs of funky navigational glitches.
This is why I use it because I don’t need any more clutter in my Chrome OS menus, so I just bookmark Discord or let it run in the background as I go about my work.
Ah, our old friend Linux always has our backs.
Note: If you’re using a school computer, this probably won’t work.
If your Chromebook is enrolled into a managed enterprise network, the admin likely disabled the ability to enable Linux.
This will allow you to download Discord (the desktop version) if you don’t like using it through the browser.
This is an easy solution
Type in “chrome://settings” in the URL bar on Chrome, then find Linux Beta under the “Advanced” tab to enable Linux Beta.
This will keep all your files and data intact (so your files don’t get deleted) and you can play around with Linux on your laptop.
If you’re stuck, check out this detailed guide for using Linux Beta.
Linux Beta is only available to select Chromebook models, so you may NOT have the option yet. Don’t worry, we can always use Linux Crouton!
After you switch it on, download the Discord .deb file here.
Wait for it to download.
When it’s done, find it in your Downloads folder and launch it.
It’ll execute, install, and finish up by itself. It may take a few minutes, so be patient.
When it’s done, you’ll see the Discord icon in your Launcher. Go ahead and click on it.
Congrats. You now have Discord on your Chromebook. Note that you MUST keep Linux Beta enabled for it to work.
This is the older technique of installing Linux.
It involves more steps and a bit of code, but it’s super easy and works on older models.
Follow this guide for a complete installation of desktop Linux on your Chromebook.
After you’re done, do the following steps:
You should have a working distro of Debian or Ubuntu on your Chromebook at this point.
Go here to download Discord for Linux.
Double-click the .deb file and use the default software manager to install it.
If it doesn’t launch, try using the Gdebi package installer, which can be downloaded from the Ubuntu Software Center (comes bundled with Ubuntu).
It should only take a few minutes to install. This will get you whatever is the newest version of Discord at the time of installation.
Right now, it’s discord-0.0.13. You’re stuck with that version until you update.
It also won’t update automatically when new versions of Discord roll out. You’ll have to do that manually by uninstalling Discord and then reinstalling again with the new release.
Uninstalling is as easy as removing an app on your phone. Use the Ubuntu Software Center, find Discord, and uninstall it.
Then repeat the process with the latest version of Discord and install it. Keep Gdebi on your system if you needed it the first time to save time for future installations of the program.
When you’re done, you’ll find Discord tucked away into the menus depending on what Linux distro you installed.
Find it and launch it. It should work without any problems since Discord officially supports Linux ports.
Note that you need to be logged into Linux for this to work. You’ll be dual booting with both Linux and Chrome OS when you install it this way.
If you need additional instructions on how all this works, check out this tutorial for choosing your Linux distro.
(Love Linux? Check out some of the best Chromebooks for Linux users.)
Chrome Web Store
There’s an app called “Discord Desktop” that used to work fine.
But now with the browser, Play Store, and Linux solutions, this is obsolete.
However, if you’re interested, you can still check it out assuming all other methods don’t work for you.
How do I enable the microphone on Discord?
The mic should be enabled the first time you hit “allow” in the permissions popup when you join Discord.
If you blocked it by accident, you can remove the block in Chrome Settings.
If you’re using an external mic, you may have to select it as your input device in either Chrome or Discord settings.
Improving mic quality
Turning on the mic is easy through the web browser.
When you first join a voice call, your browser will prompt you to allow microphone access.
If you disabled it by accident, you can enable it again in Chrome settings by going to “chrome://settings” in the URL bar.
Joining for the first time will show the permissions prompt. Just click “allow” and you’ll be connected through your Chromebook’s internal mic.
If you’re using an external USB mic, it should connect automatically as the default mic.
And lastly, if your friends are complaining over the crappy quality of your mic, background noise, or volume issues, here are some tips to fix sound problems.
Video chatting works on Chromebooks in the same manner as any other method.
Find the friend you want to video chat with and click on “start video call.”
They’ll connect and you’ll see each other on your screens. If you’re using the default webcam, chances are the video will be laggy and crappy quality (pixelated) for them.
If you’re using an external webcam, your Chromebook should default to using that.
You can adjust the default camera in Chrome Settings and Discord Settings as the video input device.
Improving video quality
Don’t have a webcam? Stuck with the 720P one built into your laptop?
You can greatly improve video quality by doing a few simple things:
- Sit in a bright room with the camera pointed at your chin- not your forehead
- Move slowly and don’t fidget
- Keep the lens clean with a microfiber cloth
- Let the camera focus
- Sit approximate 1 meter (3 feet) away from the camera during long sessions
- Keep your Chromebook plugged in during the conference to avoid battery saving and performance hits
You can fine-tune the webcam to enhance video quality. Check out these tips to fix a blurry or pixelated webcam.
Alternatively, why not call your friends on a different platform if Discord just ain’t doing it for you?
There is plenty of video chatting apps that work with Chromebooks. For free.
How about streaming?
If you’re able to run Discord through the browser, you should be able to watch streams directly through chrome without any downloads, plugins, software, or other things to install.
Your Discord dashboard should be the same no matter if you’re accessing it on your phone, PC, or Chromebook.
To view a stream, just do the following:
- Find a friend that’s currently streaming (they should have a red “Live” label by their username.
- Click on their name, then click on “watch stream”
- You can watch anyone’s stream if they allow you to for free. Discord premium subs can view streams at more than 720P and 30FPS.
- If you want to stream on your Chromebook, you’ll need a beefy machine, an external mic, a dedicated webcam, and streaming software.
How to screen share
To screen share, I suggest downloading Linux and using the full desktop version of Discord. ChromeOS by default is too restrictive.
This should allow you to stream, screen share, call, etc. without any problems.
If you prefer to avoid Linux and screen share without downloading anything, try the following:
- Launch Chrome
- Go to Discord
- Log in to your account
- Find a friend to call
- Call them
- Click “Screen share”
It should work without issue.
Yes. The browser version works. And no downloads are required. Forget the Play Store if it doesn’t work for you. That’s it.
How do you use it on a school computer?
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to use Discord on a school Chromebook, it’s probably blocked.
School computers are enrolled into a managed network which is controlled by the IT department.
By default, some actions are blocked like accessing gaming sites, the ability to download apps from the Play Store, or enabling Linux.
There’s no way around this and you’ll have to either buy a personal Chromebook or get permission from your school.
If you’re using a secondhand Chromebook that you purchased used but is locked to a network, it could be because the previous owner didn’t unenroll it.
You can try to remove it from enrollment by resetting it.
Some “cool” professors use Discord for school in their classrooms as an alternative to Slack.
Of course, this needs Discord to be unblocked for it to work. If you have one of these teachers as your main squeeze, you should be able to access it for personal use also.
Otherwise, you’ll have to buy your Chromebook so it’s 100% unblocked.
There are plenty of cheap and affordable ones that you can use for gaming:
How dangerous is Discord?
Discord is no more dangerous than any other social networking app, in my opinion.
But you should review them before you download and use it yourself to see if everything’s good to go. You’re responsible for your own decisions, mate.
Whether you use Facebook communities, Skype, or Instagram, basic precautions should be taken before chatting or communicating with others.
Of course, there are always those looking to scam or exploit others and even friends can be fake. Sometimes. So use common sense when communicating with others on Discord.
Scammers poses and fake accounts are common. Compromised accounts are also possible as with any other online social network.
Regardless, you must do your own due diligence and review their usage agreements, privacy policies, etc. before you use their software. That’s all on you, friend.
Alternatives to Discord for Chromebooks
If Discord just doesn’t work for you, there are several free alternatives you can try out:
- Google Hangouts
- Steam Voice
Most of these are free and can run through the browser or on Linux.
You can also use voice chat on your phone while you play on your Chromebook.
Just think of your phone as an external mic while you scrim on Dust_2.
Did you get Discord on your Chromebook?
Now that you have everything you need to know- were you able to use Discord on Chrome OS?
It just boils down to using the Play Store or Linux. Both of which SHOULD work on a personal or unblocked Chromebook.
For those that are stuck with their school’s loaner Chromebook, sorry.
There’s nothing you can do to bypass and unblock Discord. You’ll have to either get access or buy your own.
If you have any questions, post a comment and I’ll get back to you.
Now go forth and start chatting away with your Discord friends. On your Chromebook.
Tell the #world how proud you are.