The Chromebook End of Life Policy Explained

One of the biggest criticisms that people have of the Chromebook is its controversial End of Life policy. This is one of the main reasons why people have opted against even giving Chromebooks a chance, even though they represent some of the best options for many people out there.

There’s also other aspects of a new Chromebook to consider too. This includes the Auto Update policy that they use, which means that Chrome OS devices receive continuous updates only until their Auto Update expiration date. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

Sp, what exactly is the Chromebook End of Life policy, and should it stop you from opting to choose a Chromebook? Let’s look at it in a little closer deal and find out whether it might sway your decision.

Chromebook End of Life Policy

Essentially, the Chromebook End of Life policy is just a time constraint on the final dates that your laptop will keep receiving auto-updates for your device. Whilst the majority of laptops out there will last indefinitely, Google has set a date for the end of your Chromebook’s lifespan.

In general, Google Chromebooks get 6.5 years of auto-updates for their devices, and this is how long they have until the end of their life.

This means that if you were to buy a laptop now in 2021, it would see you all the way through to the year 2027, and almost into 2028. In the past, Google has updated this at times, and extended the lifespan of some of their Chromebooks.

Whilst it does have its critics, Google’s main argument is that most laptops are going to have a lifespan of around 5 or 6 years anyway, and you’re likely going to want to get a new laptop by then as well.

Whilst a 4GB laptop might be acceptable now, it definitely won’t be by 2026. And whilst a 8GB laptop is probably the base average now, it will likely be 16GB by then as well.

The main reason that Google have this End of Life policy in place is that the hardware that they are selling now will likely not be fully compatible with new software released 6 and a half years from now.

They’re trying to make software for the future, and don’t want to get stuck in ensuring the software can work on all models.

It’s often deliberated whether a Chromebook is a good investment or not, and this End of Life policy is pretty controversial. if you are thinking about getting one, check this list of the best Chromebooks. And even with the Auto Update Expiration policy that Google use, they’re still fairly popular.

Auto Update Expiration (AUE) policy

Generally, you get 6.5 years of auto updates with a brand new device. Where the AUS date really becomes a problem is not that it starts from your purchase, but when the hardware was released. So, you may buy it from a retailer this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get 6.5 years of auto updates.

The 6.5 year rule isn’t that strict, and we have seen Google extend it for some devices – but we’ve also seen them stick to their guns too. Updates are important for ensuring that all of your software is up-to-date and completely bug free.

So, if you want updates from Google over a longer term period, make sure that you check the AUE date of the laptop beforehand. This is especially true if you’re considering getting a secondhand Chromebook, as older models could be closer to their expiry than you think, and you may soon stop receiving updates.

Common Questions about the Chromebook End of Life Policy

Can you still use a Chromebook after its end of life?

When your Chromebook reaches the end of its lifespan, many people think that your laptop will stop working. This isn’t the case, this is just the date that Google will stop giving you auto updates for your device. You can still use your laptop past this expiration date, but you’ll keep getting warnings on your laptop to update. One of the best ways to avoid this is by installing CloudReady on your Chromebook.

What is CloudReady?

Essentially, CloudReady is just a fresh installation of Chrome – technically it’s a clone of the Chrome operating system, but it works exactly the same. It was actually made for people who wanted to switch their Macbooks or Windows laptop to the Chrome OS, but it’s become popular as a method used to extend the life of your Chromebook too.

How long will my Chromebook be supported?

The length of time your device will be supported will actually depend on which device you’re using. For the most part, Chromebooks will receive 6.5 years of autoupdates before reaching their expiration date.

Why are Chromebooks bad?

Although there are many things to like about Chromebooks, they’ll always have their critics. One of the main ones is this end of life policy, which many people think is a good reason to avoid getting a Chromebook altogether. Another commonly criticised aspect of Chromebooks is that they’re underpowered, and with only 4 or 8 GB of RAM, they could be outdated far before their 6.5 year lifespan.

What’s the point of a Chromebook?

From another perspective, Chromebooks actually aren’t that bad. They’re designed with one purpose in mind – they’re trying to be the fastest and easiest way for you to get online simply and easily. And in most cases, they do this pretty well – it’s easy to navigate through a Chromebook and get onto the internet via the Chrome browser.

Conclusion

All in all, Chromebooks still play their part in the modern laptop market, and they’re relatively popular. In most cases, a Windows laptop or a Macbook will be the first choice for many, largely because of the capability to download a wider variety of programs and apps for your device.

Though many people like this aspect of a Chromebook, and find they can get everything done within the simplified Chrome Operating System.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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