Microsoft 365 subscribers (formerly Office 365) have two options for accessing Microsoft Office apps on a Chromebook. First, subscribers can use Office Online apps to create and edit Office files in the Chrome OS browser. Second, subscribers can install and use Microsoft Office apps for Android on a Chromebook.
However, not all Microsoft Office apps work in a browser, and not all Chromebooks and Google accounts allow Android apps to be installed. Let me show you how to run Microsoft Office on Chromebook.
Google also offers Chromebook users the ability to open, edit, and save files in Microsoft Office formats. In April 2019, the company announced working with Office files natively in Google Docs, Slides, and Slides – without converting Microsoft Office source files to Google formats.
Use an active Microsoft 365 subscription to sign in to your account and get full access to features available in the Office Android apps and Office Online.
You can purchase a Microsoft 365 subscription for your use on the Microsoft 365 site. Students and businesses can also browse links to buy Microsoft 365 editions on this website.
Install Microsoft Office Android apps
Most new Chromebooks let you install and run Microsoft Office and Android apps on Chromebook with access to the Google Play Store. You can find the make and model of your Chromebook on the Chrome OS page, which supports Android apps. Android apps can be run on devices that are supported as a “stable channel.”
If you’re using a Chromebook provided by your school or work, an administrator can control access to the Google Play Store. Contact your company’s technical support if you have any questions.
If you have access to the Google Play Store on your Chromebook, learn how to install Microsoft Office Android apps.
- Go to the launcher (usually in the lower-left corner).
- Choose the Play Store.
- On the app page, choose Install.
As of May 2019, some of the Microsoft Office Android apps you can install on Chrome OS:
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Microsoft OneNote
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Powerpoint
- Microsoft teams
- Skype for Business
To run an installed Android app, select the launcher (usually the circle in the lower-left corner of a Chromebook screen), locate the app, and click (or tap the app if you have a touchscreen) start it. When prompted, sign in to the app with your personal Microsoft Office account or Microsoft 365 account.
Access Office Apps Online
You can also work with Microsoft 365 apps on the web from a Chromebook. Follow the link on your Chromebook to install Office Online from the Chrome Web Store. With this extension, you can quickly access existing Office files that are stored locally or on OneDrive. You can also create new Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files using the Chrome browser.
The Chrome Web Store appears, showing the Office Online app and the “Add to Chrome” button
Or go to https://office.com and sign in with your Microsoft 365 account. You can access the Office Online apps via the browser.
Warning: application/browser only
Check out the apps lists above, and you may find that not all apps appear in both the Android apps list and the Office Online apps list. For example, Skype only works as an Android app on a Chromebook. It doesn’t work in the Chromebook browser. Conversely, Sway only works as an Office Online app in the Chromebook browser. There is no Sway Android app available.
Also, not all Office apps can be accessed online or through a Chromebook. Microsoft Access, a database system, and Microsoft Publisher, a desktop publishing application, are available with a Microsoft 365 subscription and only for installation on Windows systems. Visio, a diagram app, and Microsoft Project, a team project management tool, have online and installable versions. However, an additional subscription is required for each of these apps.
Edit Office files in Google Docs
Even if you don’t have a Microsoft 365 account, you can open and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on a Chromebook using Google Editing, Documents, Sheets, and Slides apps.
For years, you have been able to open and convert a Word file to a Google document, an Excel file to a Google Sheet, and a PowerPoint file to a Google Slides presentation.
Once converted, you can edit and collaborate on people in Google Docs, Slides, or Slides. If you’re working on a document, sheet, or Google slide, you can use the File> Download As to save your work as a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file.
You can also use Google’s Chrome Office Editing for Documents, Sheets, and Slides extension to open Office files and make basic changes while maintaining the file format.
This means that a DOC or DOCX file remains in this format without being converted to a Google document during editing. The same applies to the formats Excel (.xls and .xlsx) and PowerPoint (.ppt and .pptx). You shouldn’t need to install the extension on your Chromebook as it should be installed by default.
As of May 2019, Google added the native feature in Google Docs, Slides, and Slides to open, edit, comment, and collaborate on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.
For this particular thing to work, you would need to delete the Compatibility Office app in Chrome. (To uninstall this extension, go to the vertical three-dot menu in Chrome> More Tools> Extensions, find the Office Editing for Documents, Sheets, and Slides extension and choose Remove.) For many users, this is the case. Working with an Office file on a Chromebook may be easier if you simply open and edit it with one of the most important Google apps.
I hope this article was able to help you run Microsoft Office on Chromebook.