How to Open Exe Files on Chromebook – Best Solutions

How to Open Exe Files on Chromebook

Google’s Chromebook has changed the world of laptops and OS forever. With its minimalistic approach in the OS, the competition between the devices is at an all-time high. Despite a poor start, Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular. It is important to remember that Chromebooks are not compatible with the OS of Windows and Apple. Due to this reason, things can become a little complicated.

Special apps are required to run the apps of different OS on a Chromebook. Moreover, to ensure the safety of a Chromebook and that no viruses attack the system, exes are inaccessible on it. This is why many people wonder how to open exe files on Chromebook. If you are amongst such people, you have landed on the right page and here is how you can do it.

How Do I Run an .exe File on the Chromebook?

 Before we discuss the process of how to open an exe file on a Chromebook let us take a quick look at what it is and how it works.  

What is an .EXE File?

It literally stands for an executable file. This means that any file on an OS that can be run on the system is the .exe file. It executes the whole program that is present in the file.

Steps to Run an .EXE File in Chromebook

People never stop wondering that can a Chromebook run .exe file or not. The answer is yes it can and here is how to do it:

  1. The first thing you need is to install the Linux OS in the Chromebook.  
  2. Before starting the procedure, make sure Linux is the active OS.
  3.  If you do not know how to do that, follow these instructions:
    1. Open Go to Settings.
    2. Select the Advanced option.
    3. Choose the Developers button.
    4. Next, click on the Linux Development Environment.
    5. Pick the option to turn it on.  
  4. Next download an app that will help you run the .exe file in the Chromebook. There are many options available. One of the most viable ones is called CrossOver.
  5. Move your .exe file that you want to run on the Chromebook to the Linux Files Folder.
  6. After the installation of the chosen crossover app, there will be an icon on the main desktop of the Chromebook. Double click on it to run the app.
  7. In the crossover app, you will find the option to “Install Windows Software”. Choose this option to start the download.
  8. Once the installation is complete, search for the desired .exe file in the search bar.
  9. Click on the icon of said .exe file to start its execution.

Also Read: Android Cast Screen to TV Without Chromecast: Explained

How to Run a Windows Program on Chromebook?

Even though it may seem like an impossible task, follow these steps in order to run a Windows program on a Chromebook:

  1. Activate the Google Play Store on your Chromebook by following method:
    1. Open the Profile Picture.
    2. Click on the Settings menu.
    3.  Select the option of Google Play Store and get it running.  
  2. Download the CrossOver app for Chromebook OS.
  3. Once the CrossOver is installed, many of the Microsoft apps will automatically begin to install and download. For specific ones, you have to install and incorporate their .EXES in the CrossOver app as described above.

How to Open EXE files on Chromebook with Wine (software)?

Wine is another software that is used to open exe files on Chromebooks. Here is how you can do it too:

  1. Activate Linux (beta) on your Chromebook. Make sure you have 3GB space in it.  
  2. Type the following instruction: apt-get Install Wine in the Linux command box.
  3. This command will install Wine software.
  4. Once that is done, ensure that you have installed 32-bit support as well so that all files are executed properly.
  5. Install any exe you want.
  6. Now you can run .exe on the Chromebook easily.


The question of how to open exe files on chromebook is very common. Despite their being a few extra steps involved in accomplishing the task, it is actually very easy to do. Many people that utilize Chromebooks for various purposes use the aforementioned tools and techniques to run different exe files and even the Microsoft OS.


Here are the answers to some of the most frequent questions asked in relevancy to Chromebooks.

Q1. What Files Can Chromebooks Run?

Following is a list of extensions that can run on the Chromebooks:
1.  pdf, .txt (these are programs that are similar to Microsoft Word)
2.  avi, .mp4, .m4v, .mp3, .mkv, .oga, .ogg, .wav are some of the exes of media that are easily run on Chromebooks.
3.  docs, .ppt, .xlsx, are the extensions of Microsoft Office that are functional in     Chromebooks.
4.  png, .webp, .jpeg, jpg, gif are the types of image files that are compatible with Chromebooks.
5.  zip, .rar are the file extensions that run Chromebooks when it comes to zipped folders.

Q2. Can I install Windows on Chromebook?

Strictly speaking, there is no way to install the Windows OS on a Chromebook. The two just are not compatible and Chromebook does not support it. However, if you are genuinely interested in doing that, there are some options to install Windows on a Chromebook. For example, software like VMWare can be used to accomplish the task.

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