As you know, Chrome OS is a different operating system from your regular Windows, and you can’t install Windows applications on it. So if you want to use Microsoft Office on your Chromebook, you won’t be able to install the Microsoft Office software, but there are ways to get around it.
Here’s how you can run Microsoft Office on a Chromebook for free.
Via Microsoft Office Android Apps
Most, if not all, recent Chromebooks come with Android app support, which means you can run Android apps on Chromebook. This is now the easiest method to get MS Office running on your Chromebook. Simply visit the Google Play Store and download the Office apps available for Chromebooks and Android.
This option should be a stroll in the park if you are conversant with the Play Store. Follow these simple steps to help you if this is your first time. You’ll have to download each Microsoft Office app separately versus an all-in-one suite.
1. Open the Google Play Store.
2. Click in the search bar and type the name of the Office program you need.
3. Select the program.
4. Click install.
5. After the download is complete, open the app in the Chrome launcher.
6. Log in to your existing Microsoft Account. You may decide to log in to your subscription account for Office 365.
Here are a few links to help you save time:
You can refer to this list to see current Chromebook models that either support Android apps now or will soon support Android apps.
Using Microsoft Office Online
If your Chromebook is not Android-enabled, there’s no need to fret. You can still use Microsoft Office with Microsoft Office Online. This online version allows you access to editing and can also share Office files within your browser directly. The only con of this is that you need to have an Internet connection before MS Office can work on your Chromebook.
These are some of the apps you can enjoy working with online with Microsoft Office:
- Excel online
- One Drive
- OneNote online
- PowerPoint online
- Microsoft Sway
- Word online
Using Office Chrome Extension
If your Chromebook uses the Chrome Web Store instead of the Google Play Store, you can still use Microsoft Office for Chromebook. However, you’ll need to use the official Office extension instead.
Technically, this just uses the Web version of the Office apps. Once you add it to your Chromebook, you’ll be able to quickly access Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, OneNote, and OneDrive straight from your browser.
Start by clicking or tapping the Office icon in your browser and logging in to your Microsoft account.
Once logged in, when you click the extension icon, you’ll see available apps and recent documents to quickly pick up where you left off.
Using Microsoft Teams
If you want to have a more collaborative environment, you may also want to use Microsoft Teams alongside Microsoft Office. While it used to only be a premium option, you can now install it for free for personal use.
The easiest method is with the browser version. Simply go to teams.microsoft.com and log in using your Microsoft account.
You can then add a shortcut to your home screen to easily open Teams whenever you want.
Open the Chrome browser menu at the top right, select “More Tools,” and choose “Create a shortcut.”
Add a name and place the shortcut where you want it.
While the Microsoft Teams app doesn’t work quite as well, especially on tablets, you can download it from the Google Play Store if your Chromebook supports Android apps.
Using Microsoft Office for Chromebook is quite straightforward. You can run either the Android apps or the online version. Both will work fine, albeit with some limitations. You can also check out our guide on running other Windows apps on Chromebook. Want to play games during a break? Learn how to install Steam on Chromebook as well.