You might think that you're limited to using only Google Chrome if you own a Chromebook, but thanks to the ability to run Linux apps, you can also use Microsoft Edge. If you're heavily invested in the Windows ecosystem and often use Edge on your PC, then using the Microsoft browser on a Chromebook could make your life a lot easier.
All your passwords and other synced information will be available for you, and you'll no longer have to depend on the Microsoft Autofill Chrome extension in ChromeOS to fill your passwords saved to your Microsoft Account. Here's how you can get started with Edge on a Chromebook.
Step 1: Enable Linux on Chrome OS
To get started, you'll have to enable Linux on Chrome OS. Not every Chromebook supports this feature, and you'll need to check against this list to make sure your device is compatible. Most modern Chromebooks with newer Intel or AMD processors should work fine with Linux.
Once things check out, go to the Settings menu in your Chromebook. You can do this by clicking the clock in the lower right corner of the screen, then clicking the gear icon. After that, click Advanced and choose Developers. From there, look for the Linux development environment and choose the Turn on option.
Follow the steps on the screen. Your Chromebook will download a Linux environment (virtual machine) You can choose how much space it uses, and assign a username. When the install is finished, a Linux terminal window opens, but you can close it.
Step 2: Download the Linux version of Microsoft Edge
Next up, you'll want to download Microsoft Edge. To do this, visit the Microsoft Edge website. From the list, you'll see that ChromeOS is not supported. Don't worry. Just click the blue down icon next to the box and choose Linux .DEB. This is the file type supported by Linux on ChromeOS. Allow the file to download, and then when finished, navigate to where it's saved.
Step 3: Install Microsoft Edge
In this third step, we're at the easy part. Simply navigate to where you downloaded the Edge .DEB file, and click it to launch it. You'll see a message on your screen about the details of the application. The message explains what Edge can do for you on your Chromebook. When you're done reading, click the blue Install button, and wait for a few minutes.
Your Chromebook will install Edge and the installation window will disappear. You can now launch Edge at any time by searching for it from the Chrome OS launcher. You can even move Edge to your Chromebook's shelf by right-clicking the icon in the Linux Apps folder and choosing Pin to Shelf.
Enjoy Edge on Chromebooks . . . with some caveats
Generally speaking, Edge should perform just as well as Chrome does on Chrome OS. Even when running under emulation in Chome OS' Linux virtual machine, the browser can handle a good amount of tabs without slowing down. There are some important notes, though. Due to limits in the Linux virtual machine, you won't be able to access your Chromebook's camera in Microsoft Edge. Hardware acceleration also isn't supported, so the graphics performance of Edge might not be the same. We've also noticed that the Edge window can't be resized, and some fonts might not render properly. However, as we said at the top of the article if you're deep in Microsoft's ecosystem, Edge on Chrome OS should feel right at home.