How to Get Android Apps on Chromebook (No More Waiting) – 2022

The Play Store is available for a whopping total of 6 Chromebooks.

That’s 3 that have been already released, and 3 that are still only accessible by switching over to the Canary Channel.

Chances are, yours isn’t one of them.

In this tutorial, we’ll go over how to get Android apps on your Chromebook before the update even rolls out.

Are you ready to unlock the potential and flood your Chromebook with Android apps galore?

Let’s get updated.

Last updated: 1/12/22. Updated for accuracy.

How to get Play Store apps on your Chromebook. Now!

As of now, you can get easily get access to the Play Store (albeit, in “beta” only), on pretty much any Chromebook that’s currently scheduled to receive the Android update.

Older models may not have the update yet, which is just inconvenient when it’s already in the pipeline. Why wait for it when you can get it now?

(And probably play with other Chrome features?)

Update: Now in 2022, if you don’t have the update yet on your older Chromebook, you’ll probably never get it. It’s time to upgrade to a newer one. Who else is tired of waiting?

If your Chromebook is in the queue and you don’t feel like waiting, you can snag the update ahead of schedule with some basic hacking and tweaking now.

Like, right now.

This method only works on Chromebooks that will support the Android update at some point, which means it only works if your Chromebook is on the list of supported models.

Even then, it’s not absolutely guaranteed to work. You’re basically forcing an update down your laptop’s throat and it may not take it well. Bugs, glitches, and errors are bound to ensue. And don’t forget that the Play Store update is still in beta testing so that only adds even more issues.

Be sure to backup your data before you start!

Anyway, let’s get on with the actual steps.

Force the Android update

I found out how to do this by piecing together snippets from some smart people over at Chrome Story and 9to5Google.

Thanks to both of them for all their findings.

And one last time, this is not going to be smooth.

I can’t emphasize that enough. But if you want the Android updates early, you’ll have to go for it.

Your Chromebook may freeze, slow down, lag, or otherwise get corrupted. Proceed with caution. Do this at your own risk.

We resume no responsibility nor any liability for what you choose to do with your Chromebook.

Note: You should backup your personal data saved on your laptop. Doing this will automatically perform a Powerwash, which will delete all your saved files, images, videos, and other media on your hard drive.

Get the Play Store early by forcing it on Chromebook.
Ready to get those Android apps? Subway Surfers, Temple Run 2, and Minecraft Pocket Edition? Oh yeah. (Imgflip)

Switching the Channel to Beta

Update: This is the easiest way to switch your version of Chrome to the Play Store enabled version.

Before, you had to use code and the command prompt to do it. This way is much easier. If it doesn’t work, use the old method instead (you can find it below this one).

Simply do the following:

Step 1: Click on your account picture in the bottom-right.

Step 2: Click on the “Settings” button (or look for a cog).

Step 3: Click on “About Chrome OS” and then you’ll see a window pop up.

Step 4: In the new window, click on “More info” below the system information.

Step 5: Click on “Change Channel” and select the “Beta” Channel.

Step 6: Confirm your changes.

Step 7: The Beta release will slowly download into your Chromebook. Sit back and be patient.

Step 8: Restart the Chromebook when it’s complete- it should ask you to restart.

Step 9: After it’s done booting up, tick the box next to “Enable Google Play Store on your Chromebook.” Confirm it.

That’s it. You’re in! To reset it back to normal, see the section below for instructions to switch back.

If this method didn’t work for you, try the original method that follows.

Using the command prompt to force the Play Store update

This is the old method. Use this if you couldn’t the previous one working.

Here we go:

Step 1: Enable Developer Mode on your Chromebook.

I  wrote a detailed guide on how to enable it, which you should refer to if you’ve never used developer mode before. (Seriously, read it if you don’t know what you’re doing.)

If you’ve done this before, just go ahead and press “ESC + Refresh + Power” and your screen will shut off temporarily. Then, a warning window will pop up. Follow the on-screen dialog and proceed.

Step 2: Read the warnings and then press “CTRL + D” which will then start booting your Chromebook into Developer Mode.

This can take a while, so be patient. Some models can take up to 25 minutes.  Go eat breakfast and have a cup of hot cocoa.

After it’s been activated, you’ll have to press “CTRL + D” again when your Chromebook reboots to skip the verification window.

Step 3: Next, we’ll switch to the Canary Channel.

This is where you can access the “try new features” before they’re released to the public in the Stable Channel.

This is where all the bugs and glitches come into play. The Canary channel is not secure and very unstable. You may end up freezing or crashing your Chromebook after you switch Channels, but it’s okay.

To get the Android update, you’ll have to enable it.

By the way, it’s not something you need to worry about because you can easily reset your Chromebook to factory settings if something breaks.

Note: The following lines of code need to be typed exactly as shown without the quotations. If you get an error, double-check your spelling.

To switch to the Canary Channel, press “CTRL + ALT + T” to open a command prompt window.

Type “shell” and press “Enter.”

Then type “sudo su” and press “Enter.”

This will grant you root access (basically administrator access, to keep it simple).

And type update_engine_client – channel=canary-channel – update” which will actually update your Channel settings for your Chromebook.

Step 4: Congrats, you’re officially opted-in to the Canary Channel.

Next, we’ll download the Play Store by forcing the update.

Open another command prompt by pressing “CTRL + ALT +T” just like before.

Type “shell” in the new window and press “Enter.”

Type “sudo sh -” and press “Enter.”

Type “echo ‘–enable-arc’ > /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf” and hit “Enter.”

And finally type “mount -o bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf” and hit “Enter.”

Step 5: Now punch in “CTRL+ SHIFT + Q” twice and you’ll sign out.

Step 6: Sign back in with your login credentials and you’ll see the Play Store splash screen.

Congrats. You’ll now have the Play Store update on your Chromebook.

(Not working? See the Troubleshooting section below.)

It should pop up and launch automatically as soon as you log in and you can now explore and install whatever Android apps you’ve dreamed of using on your Chromebook.

If you don’t see any Play Store option, check your Chrome settings menu for an option to enable it.

Play around and try out some apps. Report any bugs and feedback to Google and help out the developers.

Or just show off your Chromebook running Minecraft Pocket Edition to your friends.

How to switch back to the Stable Channel from the Canary Channel

Go back to Stable Channel from the Canary Channel.
Done playing around? Switch back to the Stable Channel.

Had enough fun? Enough Android apps for today?

Here’s how to switch back to the Stable Channel:

Step 1: Open a command prompt by pressing “CTRL + ALT + T.”

Step 2: Type “shell” and press “Enter.”

Step 3: Type “sudo su” and press “Enter.”

Step 4: Type “update_engine_client – channel=stable-channel – update” and your laptop will revert back to the default Stable Channel.

Step 5: Your laptop will reboot. Press the spacebar to re-enable Chrome OS verification at the verification screen.

Alternatively, you can just do a Powerwash and it’ll revert back to normal.

Troubleshooting

If you’re having problems getting this to work, try the following:

Check that your device is on the list

If you’re trying to force the update on an unsupported device, it probably won’t work.

Check the list and make sure your specific Chromebook is scheduled to get the update some time in the future.

Powerwash your Chromebook

Your device may have some apps installed on it that could be interfering with the process.

A Powerwash will restore it back to factory settings (but at the cost of deleting all your data). Note that you can always back up your data.

However, if you want to get the update bad enough, it may be worth it. You can see this guide on Powerwashing your Chromebook and this guide on backing up your stuff.

Try this alternate code instead

Do a Powerwash and then do Steps 1-3 again.

When you reach Step 4, try this code instead (type each line exactly as shown (without the quotations) and hit “Enter” after each line):

“shell”
“sudo su”
“cp /etc/chrome_dev.conf /usr/local/”
“mount –bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf”
“echo “–arc-availability=officially-supported ” >> /etc/chrome_dev.conf”
“restart ui”
“exit”

You just tried out the Play Store before it was released

And…there you have it.

So now that you tried it out, what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

Now you can switch between them whenever you want. Just be sure to backup your stuff.

The apps are pretty fun to play with on a big screen and they respond pretty well for the most part. It’s impressive how Google managed to make the transition for thousands of Android apps over to Chromebooks.

Update: Chrome OS and the Play Store are very interconnected platforms. That’s probably why the Andromeda rumors went around tying the two together. It’s just something you’d expect.

Getting to experience your favorite Android apps on a Chromebook means convenience, accessibility, and a whole new way to play around with them.

Although the whole update is still in beta testing, it looks very promising so far. Even though flagship laptops like the Samsung Plus had trouble running them, you can tell that they’ve definitely improved since this article was written. And we’ll continue to see them improve.

I’ll keep you updated when a milestone breaks through. Feel free to subscribe for email updates (if you wish).

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (check the "Contact Us" page).

50 thoughts on “How to Get Android Apps on Chromebook (No More Waiting) – 2022”

  1. I have a hp chromebook ge 4 14 and need roblox on it for my daughter. I hit switch to beta channel but it doesn’t seem to do anything. It was listed in the planned list. Can anyone tell me how to do it???

    Reply
  2. HI SO i downlodec COD mobile on my chromebook os xe500c13 and it can play thru inta app but when i download it doesnt go past the activision logo screen. i have the bluetooth conttroller ps4 connected…idk what to do plz help guys!

    Reply
  3. Step 4 didn’t work for me so i tried the alternate code instead. I entered “mount –bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf” and i got mount: bad usage Try ‘mount –help’ for more information. I am using an HP Chromebook 11 G4. The HP CHromebook 11 G4 is listed on the site as Planned. I am in canary mode and I powerwashed before I used the alternate code.

    Reply
  4. Hi, thanks for this but I’m having a problem with this I have a tobisha chromebook and I followed the steps into developer mode yet when I type the code in I tried it 3 ways yet it didn’t word it says “bash: update_engine_client-channel=canary-channel-update: command not found” can you help tyt answering tho ik you may be busy

    Reply
  5. i did the steps on my chromebook 14 G4…. on the list, it said “planned” but nothing happened when I switched over to canary and did the command stuff

    Reply
    • Hey Thomas,

      Are you able to get into Developer Mode by chance? Going from here may give us more clues as to why you can’t access the Play Store.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  6. For the first method, it all worked correctly until I reset and the settings page wasn’t open. I couldn’t tick the box so it didn’t help.

    Reply
  7. it says that it isnt compatible with my device
    google HP Chromebook 11 G5 / HP Chromebook 11-vxxx
    can you help plz

    Reply
    • Hey RANGA BOI,

      If it’s not compatible, you’ll have to force the update- assuming that your Chromebook is on the list. However, I just checked the list and it appears that HP Chromebook 11 G5 is already in the Stable Channel, which means you should already have the Android Play Store. Have you updated to the latest version of Chrome OS? Are you using a different model?

      Thanks.

      Reply
  8. When I type the command to opt into the canary channel it says this : [0711/180046:ERROR:update_engine_client.cc(306)] Found a positional argument ‘-‘. If you want to pass a value to a flag, pass it as –flag=value. Help please?

    Reply
      • I looked for the canary channel in the changing settings, and I didn’t see it. I also tried the beta channel method, and it didn’t work.

        Reply
        • Hey,

          Did you get an error message while trying the Beta Channel? Are you by chance using a school/work device?

          Thanks.

          Reply
          • No, I did not. I have my personal chromebook, I have an Acer Chromebook 11. When I tried switching to the beta channel, I did not get any errors. The Google Play Store section didn’t appear. Again, I have my personal chromebook. The canary channel did not appear.

          • Hey again,

            Ah, I think I see what’s wrong.

            Is it an Acer Chromebook CB-131? That’s probably why. The Acer Chromebook 11 comes in two flavors – CB-131 and CB132T. The 131 model is a lot more popular but isn’t supported at the moment for Android Apps/Google Play. However, the CB132T is. They both have the same product title prefix, but one has newer hardware over the other. That’s probably why.

            Note that the CB3-131 is planned to have support eventually. This tutorial is supposed to get you access to it before it rolls out, but it’s not guaranteed to work for all models since we’re treading in unknown alpha/beta/glitchy territory that’s constantly being revamped and updated. I just tried on my older Acer and I couldn’t get the Play Store to appear either.

            If you check this list of supported devices, you’ll see that the Acer 11 is on there. But only the CB132T is supported in the Stable channel at the moment.

            Other than that, all we can do is wait for Google to work on it.

            Let me know if you have any other questions.
            Thanks.

    • Hey Ben11223,

      You don’t need any specific keyboard format at this point- your Chromebook’s keyboard should work just fine. If you’re going the to use the command prompt instead of the code-less interface, you’ll have to enable Developer Mode first- if you need a guide, here’s one.

      After it’s enabled, you just need to hit “CTRL + ALT + T” to launch the prompt. Then punch in your code to activate the Google Play Store.

      Let me know if you get stuck.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  9. When I enter “Restart ui” it signs me out and when I sign back in, it dos not show the play store splash screen.

    Reply
    • Hey again,

      You’ve confirmed that your Chromebook is on the list of supported devices, correct? Have you tried it with Dev Mode enabled? Sometimes your Chromebook will revert back out of Dev Mode if you restart it and press the wrong keys. You can check if it’s enabled by launching the command prompt (“CTRL + ALT + T”) and then typing in “shell” and hitting Enter.

      If you get a “UKNOWN COMMAND” error, it means that Developer Mode isn’t enabled properly. Can you confirm this?

      Thanks.

      Reply
      • Yes, I have dev mode enabled. I have the CB3-111, so its planned. When I press ctrl shift q twice and sign back in and I dont see the play store splash screen. Do you know whats wrong with this?

        Reply
        • Hey SIRRydh,

          I’m looking into this. It seems like a new Chrome update recently changed how the process works, and many users are having the same issue. Google has been changing their Play Store/Chrome Web Store a lot as of recent, so it could’ve broken something related to this “hack.” Only a few select Chromebooks can still make it work, but it’s unknown which ones exactly.

          I’ll get back to you when I find a solution.

          Thanks.

          Reply
      • Same as SIRRYdh. When I press Control Shift Q twice, I dont get the play store splash screen. I have the CB3-111 so its planned.

        Reply
    • Hey FIXIT,

      It’s probably because Developer Mode isn’t enabled. If you haven’t enabled it yet, you need to do so first before Chrome OS will allow any commands.

      I wrote a full tutorial you check out.

      If you’re still stuck, let me know.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  10. So I type in the update_engine_client tine and when I press enter it says this:
    [0223/224338:ERROR:object_proxy.cc(582)] Failed to call method: org.chromium.UpdateEngineInterface.SetChannel: object_path= /org/chromium/UpdateEngine: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.Failed: update_engine/org.chromium.UpdateEngine.Error.Failed:Invalid channel name “canary-channel–update”, valid names are: canary-channel, dev-channel, beta-channel, stable-channel
    [0223/224338:ERROR:dbus_method_invoker.h(111)] CallMethodAndBlockWithTimeout(…): Domain=dbus, Code=org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.Failed, Message=update_engine/org.chromium.UpdateEngine.Error.Failed:Invalid channel name “canary-channel–update”, valid names are: canary-channel, dev-channel, beta-channel, stable-channel
    help please?

    Reply
    • Hey there,

      Try taking a look at the guide again with the updated instructions (look for the section titled “Switching to the Beta Channel.”

      I’ve just gone ahead and updated the guide with an easier way that involves no code!

      Let me know if it doesn’t work for you.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  11. so after you put in echo ‘–enable-arc’ > /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf do you press enter to put in mount -o bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf or no?

    Reply
    • Hey there,

      Try using this code instead (one entry per line- press Enter after each line):

      shell
      sudo su
      cp /etc/chrome_dev.conf /usr/local/
      mount –bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf
      echo “–arc-availability=officially-supported ” >> /etc/chrome_dev.conf
      restart ui
      exit

      This should get the Play Store force installed onto your Chromebook.

      Let me know if it doesn’t work.

      Thanks.

      Reply
        • Hey Melissa,

          Did you successfully go through all the steps (including enabling Developer Mode)? Or did you get stuck while trying to and got an error?

          Thanks.

          Reply
          • Sane as Melissa. I cannot get the play store to show up. I’ve tried both codes, beta channel, canary channel in dev mode. enabled some related flags. cant figure it out.

          • Hey wickwick,

            Sorry that you’re having issues getting it to work.

            Have you tried the code-less approach by going to “About Google Chrome” in the menus and then switching the Channels? It’s a lot easier and eliminates the need to use code.

            Let me know if you can’t get it working.

            Thanks.

          • I have the CB3-111, so it is planned. I successfully transitioned to the Canary channel, entered the code to force update the play store, but the problem comes when I log back in when I am supposed to see the play store splash screen, I only see a window that tries loading a website (http://xn--enable-arc-nu6e5bya/).

          • Hey Khan,

            It seems like a few developer updates have changed the code, which is why you’re getting that error. The integration between Chrome OS and the Play Store is still pretty primitive, so updates are constant! The code was deprecated at one point and replaced with another line (which may also be deprecated as well).

            Try running this script in the command prompt (you can simply copy and paste it):

            shell
            sudo su
            cp /etc/chrome_dev.conf /usr/local/
            mount –bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf
            echo “–arc-availability=officially-supported ” >> /etc/chrome_dev.conf
            restart ui
            exit

            It’ll restart your device automatically.

            If that doesn’t work, try this one:

            shell
            sudo su
            cp /etc/chrome_dev.conf /usr/local/
            mount –bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf

            And then restart your device manually.

            Let me know if you still get the same error after logging back in.

            Thanks.

          • I’m getting the same thing. A new tab opens and tries to go to http://xn--enable-arc-nu6e5bya/. I tried the beta channel method and that didn’t work either. I am using an HP Chromebook 11 G4 which is listed as planned on the list of supported devices. I am in dev mode and on the canary channel.

          • Hey Adrian,

            Sorry about that! Could you type in the exact command you entered that triggered the new tab to launch? Which step were you on? Does your Chromebook prompt you with “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” when you boot it up?

            Thanks.

      • I entered mount –bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf. All I got was mount: bad usage
        Try ‘mount –help’ for more information.

        Reply

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