Skip to main content

This update could extend the life of your Chromebook by years

Google Chrome open with several tabs.
Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends / Digital Trends

Google may be readying a change to ChromeOS that could drastically extend the life of Chromebooks, and it may be coming in just a few weeks.

The update would separate Chrome browser support from ChromeOS, which would allow it to receive its own updates faster and independently from the operating system. In other words, it would function exactly how Chrome works on a Mac or Windows laptop.

As noted by AboutChromebooks, this refashioning of ChromeOS is a project called “Lacros,” and it began development back in 2020.

The benefit is that the Chrome browser can continue to update after Chromebooks are at their end-of-life and can no longer receive system updates. Notably, Chromebooks typically have a lifespan of approximately five to six years, and some have update support of up to eight years. However, the Chrome browser will continue to receive updates, which can ultimately extend the life of a Chromebook even longer.

As per the documents uncovered by AboutChromebooks, LaCrOS seems to be a default feature on ChromeOS 116 release. Additionally, the 116 beta release has had its “Lacros support” flag removed. The beta version of the browser enabled the separation manually.

With the Lacros project being at least two years in development, it seems Google is ready to finally introduce the new Chrome browser support during its next ChromeOS 116 release, which is set to roll out around August 22.

Other feature tweaks in the update will allow the Lacros browser to open with a splash screen on ChromeOS when it is being updated. Then it will have successfully swapped out the old Chrome browser for the new Lacros browser.

Currently, Google has not confirmed any details about the association between Lacros and the 116 release.

Overall, the update likely won’t be a major change for users, but its long-term benefits could be felt years down the line.

Editors' Recommendations

Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
Why I converted my Windows laptop into a Chromebook, and why you should too
Chrome OS Flex on a ASUS laptop.

You've probably not heard of ChromeOS Flex. It's Google's program for turning crusty computers into Chromebooks -- which sounds like a neat idea as a concept. But it's primarily been marketed toward businesses and classrooms.

I wanted to give it a shot, though. I have an older Windows laptop that was dying to be converted into a fresh, snappy Chromebook. As someone who's been primarily using Chromebooks for almost half a decade, I was ready to take on the challenge to see if ChromeOS Flex might be a serviceable way to bring old laptops back to life. Despite some limitations in the end product, it's a pretty intuitive way to breathe some fresh air into an otherwise unused laptop.
Chrome OS Flex is all Chrome, all the time

Read more
Half of Google Chrome extensions may be collecting your personal data
Google Chrome icon in mac dock.

Data risk management company Incogni has found that half of every installed Google Chrome extension has a high to very high risk of collecting personal data, showing a strong correlation to the number of permissions given.

After analyzing 1,237 Chrome extensions found in the Chrome Web Store, a study by Incogni has uncovered some troubling findings. Nearly half (48.7%) of the extensions were found to potentially expose users' personally identifiable information (PII), distribute malware and adware, and record passwords and financial information.

Read more
This Chrome extension lets hackers remotely seize your PC
A depiction of a hacker breaking into a system via the use of code.

Malicious extensions on Google Chrome are being used by hackers remotely in an effort to steal sensitive information.

As reported by Bleeping Computer, a new Chrome browser botnet titled 'Cloud9' is also capable of logging keystrokes, as well as distributing ads and malicious code.

Read more