How to Create Swap on a Chromebook

If you have a Chromebook, you might notice that it doesn’t have a lot of memory. This really isn’t that big of a deal (for the most part). Why? Well, ChromeOS is a really light-weight operating system. If all you will ever do on your Chromebook is log into Facebook, you’re fine.

Most people won’t need swap. Some will. Though the operating system doesn’t need a lot of memory to run, it’s not exactly ideal for moderate to heavy use. For example: using a Chromebook with only 2GB of RAM may result in some lag. Luckily, there’s a pretty quick way to solve the memory issue. It’s called swap. If you’re a Linux user, chances are you’ve heard of swap. Google’s ChromeOS is based on Linux, so adding extra memory is very possible and extremely handy.

Note: This process works on all ChromeOS devices.

Enabling swap is pretty easy. It’s done with one single command. Open the ChromeOS terminal by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + T”. Once open, enter the command into the Crosh terminal.


swap enable 2000

This creates a swap 2GB in size. It’ll be active once you reboot your machine. Google recommends that if you enable swap you do not go any larger than 2GB.

Note: Once you enable swap, it will stay active until you disable it again.

Swap can be disabled. Once again, this is done in the ChromeOS terminal window. Open it by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + T” on the keyboard.

swap disable


Try clearing the cache for the Chrome browser. Yes, it’s that simple. Sometimes, when you don’t regularly clear out the image and web cache, things build up. Since most (if not all) Chromebooks are on tiny SSDs, it’s very possible to run out of space quickly.

To solve this problem quickly, check out the OneClick Cleaner extension. It clears out just about everything you’d ever want to remove from Chrome with one click. No need to go into Chrome settings. It’s handy if you’re in a rush.

ChromeOS is a great operating system for average everyday use. It isn’t great for really heavy use. If the only Laptop you own runs it, you’ll probably be doing some advanced stuff on it. For example: Google has made it possible to run Android apps in Chrome. Not to mention, with swap enabled, multi-tasking is about to get a whole lot better.

Tweaking is a wonderful thing. A lot of Chromebook owners probably will never have the desire to enable swap. Still, it’s more about the principle. It’s really great that you can crack open the operating system and get it to push out a little more juice.

I think that’s why I really like ChromeOS. On the surface it seems super simplistic; underneath it’s just as advanced as anything else out there. And this is just one specific example. Your mind would blow when you looked under the hood and saw everything. So much stuff is going on. It’s a great system, and with this quick tweak, it has the potential to get even better. Enjoy!