APKs can be installed on a Chromebook with a single click in Developer Mode, but we don’t recommend this option. Turning on Developer Mode is much like rooting an Android or jailbreaking an iPhone — namely, it may void your Chromebook’s warranty (via Chromium). The process also erases everything on your Chromebook (unless it’s backed up to the cloud.) Google even warns you about potential security, software, and hardware risks every time you boot up the machine in Developer Mode.
The method used for entering Developer Mode can vary slightly between Chrome OS machines. Some Chromebooks have a dedicated physical switch to enable Developer Mode, while others only require keyboard shortcuts. You can head over to The Chromium Projects and search Developer Mode, followed by the model of your Chromebook for detailed instructions. With that said, the following method should work for most Chromebooks.
- Back up any files you need to the cloud before proceeding. Also, remove any external devices attached to your Chromebook.
- Enter recovery mode by holding down the Esc + Refresh keys and pressing the Power button once. Let go of Esc and Refresh when the recovery message pops up on the screen.
- Now press Ctrl + D to enter Developer Mode. When prompted, hit Enter.
- Your Chromebook will restart in Developer Mode.
- Developer Mode signs you out of your Google account, so you’ll have to sign in again and wait for the preferences to re-sync.
- Now you can download your APKs and install them from the context menu with a single click.