Install Windows 11 on Chromebook It is something relatively simple thanks to the large number of emulators that currently exist. The most popular of these is QEMU and at least in our case it worked quite well, so in this guide we are going to see how to achieve it.
Something to consider before proceeding is that you need to have powerful hardware to be able to run a virtual machine. For example, if we want to run complex Windows programs or video games, we don’t recommend this method. Instead, it would be ideal to use Wine to run Windows apps on the Chromebook, instead of using a full virtual machine.
Additionally, we can also achieve this the other way around. How? It is possible to install Chrome OS in a virtual machine on any Windows computer.
Prerequisites to install Windows 11 on Chromebook
In order to install Windows 11 on a Chromebook, the first thing we will have to consider is that we are going to need a powerful Chromebook. In this sense, one with a 64-bit Intel or AMD processor is preferable. Additionally, it is important to have at least 128 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM.
If we want to get better performance, our Chromebook has to support KVM (Kernel-Based Virtual Machine). In case our Chromebook comes with an 11th generation or newer Intel processor, KVM support will already be enabled.
Compatibility with Linux, something very important. This is because Windows 11 has a storage requirement of 64 GB, so we will need to allocate approximately 80 GB of space to the Linux partition.
And finally, we are going to need the Windows 11 ISO to be able to configure the virtual environment.
Configure QEMU and Virtual Machine Manager
The first thing we will have to have is Linux enabled on the Chromebook and assign 80 GB or more of storage space to said partition.
If we have this step completed, we are going to have to go to the Linux applications folder in the Applications Launcher and open the Terminal.
After this, we will have to execute the following command to be able to update all the packages and dependencies.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
Next, we are going to have to run this command in order to install QEMU and Virtual Machine Manager.
sudo apt install qemu-kvm libvirt-clients libvirt-daemon-system bridge-utils virtinst libvirt-daemon virt-manager -y
After finishing, we will open the application launcher and start Virtual Machine Manager from the same Linux apps folder.
Here we will have to move the Windows 11 ISO that we downloaded before to the Linux Files section using the Files app.
Install Windows 11 on Chromebook
Once we have done the above, then we are ready to start installing Windows 11 on our Chromebook. For this we will have to follow these steps:
We start in Virtual Machine Manager by clicking on the Create button.
We will have to choose Local installation media and click on Forward. If our Chromebook does not support KVM, we will see a warning at the top. We can install Windows 11 anyway, but without KVM support, the performance is going to be very bad.
On the next page, we will click Browse.
A new window opens here. In this, click on Local Browser.
Next, we will choose the Windows 11 ISO and click on the Open button that appears at the top right.
The program will detect the operating system as if it were Windows 10. It’s not really a problem, we can ignore it and click Next.
Once this new window is up, we are going to have to keep the memory at 4096 (4 GB) and increase the CPU cores to 4. Obviously, if we have a more powerful CPU and more RAM, we would ideally allocate a little more for get better performance.
On the next page we are going to have to allocate even 65 GB of storage space.
After this we will have to change the name of the virtual machine to Windows 11 and click on Finish.
On some occasions it is possible that a pop-up message appears that says The virtual network is not active, we will simply click on Yes to continue.
If all goes well, then Windows 11 will boot on our Chromebook. Now we can continue with the installation and use Windows 11 without problems.
In order to exit the Windows 11 VM cursor to the Chrome OS environment, we will have to press the “overview” button that is located on the top row of the keyboard, usually located above the 5 key.