How to Run EXE Files on Chromebook (Open EXE Files)

While Chromebooks allow users to install Android apps, they can’t run Windows apps by default, so they can’t execute .exe files. That’s the reason why most people wonder how they can open exe files on their Chromebook. If you are also one of those, read on to check out the steps to open or run exe files on Chromebook.

Google’s version of an operating system for PCs and laptops is ChromeOS. The devices that run this OS are called Chromebooks and are available in large numbers from a number of different manufacturers.

As mentioned earlier, ChromeOS is an operating system that allows you to run and install Android apps and services. Well, you can install your favorite apps and games from the Google Play Store. All of these apps and games can be installed using APK files.

However, things aren’t the same when it comes to running exe files on such devices. You see, exe files are used on Windows operating systems. But if you are thinking about installing a particular program with .exe extension on your Chromebook, this is the guide for you.

How to Run EXE Files on Chromebook?

Natively, ChromeOS is not able to run exe files. There are, however, a good number of ways that you can follow to run and install exe files on your Google Chromebook. Let’s get started.

Run EXE Files on Chromebook Using WINE

In order to run EXE files on your Chromebook, you will have to make use of Wine. Wine is a compatibility layer that allows you to install and run exe files for Windows programs. Wine is not a Windows emulator, as it translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls right away.

Run EXE Files on Chromebook Using WINE

Now, let’s take a look at how you can install Wine on a Chromebook in order to run exe files.

Setup Linux on Chromebook

Since Wine is a Linux application, you would first need to enable Linux on your Chromebook. You can follow these steps to enable Linux on your Chromebook to install Wine.

Step 1: Power up your Chromebook and click on the clock present at the bottom right of the screen.

Step 2: Now, click on the Settings icon, followed by Advanced.

Step 3: Under Advanced, choose Developers.

Step 4: You should see an option that says Linux Development Environment.

Step 5: Click on the option to enable or turn the feature on.

Step 6: There will be a few instructions you will have to follow.

Step 7: This whole process can take under 10 minutes.

Step 8: Your Chromebook will now have a Debian 10 (Linux) where you can enter Linux commands.

Install Wine on Chromebook

Now that you have enabled Linux on your Chromebook, you are only a few steps away from running the EXE files on your Chromebook. Here are the steps that you need to follow in order to install Wine on your Chromebook.

Step 1: With the Terminal app opened, it’s time to enter the command to install Wine on your Chromebook.

Step 2: Type in sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 and run the command.

Step 3: Now, type in $ sudo wget -nc -O /usr/share/keyrings/winehq-archive.key and finally hit the enter key.

Step 4: You will now see Wine being installed on your Chromebook.

Step 5: And finally, type in sudo apt update to update the Wine app.

Now that you have Wine installed on your Chromebook, simply copy the exe file that you wish to run or install on your Chromebook. Make sure to name the EXE file in a single word with no spaces (example.exe). Once you have done that, simply double-click on the .EXE file to run and install the program on your Chromebook.

RUN EXE Files on Chromebook Using Remote Access

If you have a Windows computer, you can also open exe files on a Chromebook by using a Windows computer remotely. Here’s what you need to run an exe file on a Chromebook using this method:

Step 1: First of all, download and install Chrome Remote Desktop on your Windows computer.

RUN EXE Files on Chromebook Using Remote Access

Step 2: Next, enter the required information and create a pin, then tap Start.

Step 3: Choose Remote Support from the sidebar, then tap “+ Generate Code.” Keep a note of this code, as you will need it to access your Windows PC.

Step 4: Now, open the Chrome browser on your Chromebook and enter the following URL on the address bar: “”

Step 5: Tap Access and enter the code you generated earlier.

Done, your Chromebook and Windows computer are now connected. You can now use the programs you want, as the remote desktop connection will give you full access to control the Windows PC remotely.

RUN EXE Files on Chromebook Using CrossOver

Now, if you feel like you need someone who wants to deal with typing out Linux commands and doesn’t mind paying a small amount for software that is an alternative to Wine, then CrossOver is the program you need. If you plan on purchasing CrossOver for your Chromebook, it will cost you a one-time fee of $14.99.

Step 1: First, make sure that your Chromebook has Linux enabled. You can follow the steps mentioned above to enable Linux on your Chromebook.

Step 2: Now, head over to the official CrossOver website to purchase the CrossOver application for your ChromeOS device.

Step 3: Once the application has been downloaded, go to the Files app on your Chromebook.

Step 4: Right-click on the downloaded file and choose Install with Linux.

Step 5: The program should now be installed and present on the app launcher of your Chromebook.

Step 6: Simply run the EXE file that you wish to install on your Chromebook. The program will run right away on your Chromebook without you having to type in any type of command.

Install Parallel Desktop for ChromeOS

Parallel Desktop for ChromeOS is a great way to run or emulate Windows 10 or any Windows OS on your Chromebook. The setup for the program is simple and easy. All you need to have is the Windows OS ISO file and the Parallel Desktop program.

Install Parallel Desktop for ChromeOS

Simply run Parallel Desktop and install Windows using the ISO. Once you have Windows installed, you can then easily install and run EXE files on your Chromebook. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Download and install the Parallel Desktop for Chromebook.

Step 2: Download the Windows Disc Image (.iso file).

Step 3: Now, open the Chrome browser and press “Ctrl + Alt + T” to open the Crosh Terminal. Enter the following command:

vmc create -p PvmDefault <filename.iso>.

Here, the filename is the name of your Windows .iso disk image file.

Step 4: Start Parallax Desktop, then tap Install Parallels Tools to add a set of Windows drivers.

Step 5: Next, open any .exe file.

Wrapping Up

So, these are the ways through which you can run EXE files on your Chromebook. Now, you can always choose the free way to run EXE files on your Chromebook by installing Wine.

But, if you have a Windows ISO file ready, you can always choose to go with installing Parallel Desktop on your Chromebook and have Windows available whenever you want to run such EXE files on your Chromebook. Now, you can easily install and use programs on your Chromebook that aren’t available for ChromeOS.

You can also use AppOnFly, a cloud-based remote desktop service, to remotely access your Windows apps. To do so, just sign up for a free trial and then run .exe files online on the remote desktop.

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Harsh Saxena

Hi! I am Harsh and I write about technology on different websites. I frequently write about these topics and cover them. I am available on Twitter at @Harsh4saxena or Email me at to send in your feedback and tips. Worked at GadgetsToUse, BrowserToUse, DailyTechByte, FreshFounder, and with many other websites as an author and researcher.

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