How to install and Use Microsoft Office on a Chromebook

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Last updated on October 19th, 2022 at 07:12 pm

There are two ways Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) subscribers can access Microsoft Office apps on a Chromebook. First, you can use Office Online apps to create and edit Office files in the Chrome OS browser. Second, you may be able to install and use Microsoft Office apps for Android on a Chromebook.

Not every Microsoft Office app works in a browser, and not every Chromebook and Google account lets you install Android apps.

Use an active Microsoft 365 subscription to sign in to your account for full access to the features available in the Office Android apps as well as Office Online. You can purchase a Microsoft 365 subscription for your use on the Microsoft 365 website. Students and businesses can explore links to purchase Microsoft 365 editions on that website as well.

Microsoft Office on a Chromebook

Install the Android Microsoft Office apps

Most newer Chromebooks allow you to install and run Android apps by accessing the Google Play Store. You can search for your Chromebook brand and model on the Chrome OS that support Android apps page. Devices listed as stable channel support can run Android apps. 

If you’re using a school- or work-provided Chromebook, an administrator might control access to the Google Play Store. If you have questions, consult your organization’s technical support team.

If you have access to the Google Play Store on your Chromebook, here’s how to install Microsoft Office Android apps.

  • Go to the Launcher (usually in the bottom left corner)
Launcher 1
  • select Play Store .
select Play Store
  • Search for the name of a Microsoft Office application (for example, Microsoft Word).
  • On the application page, select Install .
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Install

As of May 2019, the following are 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, then select the app to run it. If prompted, sign in to the app with your personal Microsoft Office account or your Microsoft 365 account.

Access Office Online applications

You can also work with Microsoft 365 apps on the web from a Chromebook. On your Chromebook, follow the link to install Office Online from the Chrome Web Store. This extension gives you quick access to open existing Office files stored locally or on OneDrive. It also allows you to create new Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from the Chrome browser.

Or go to Office.com and sign in with your Microsoft 365 account. From your browser, you can access Office Online apps. Microsoft also offers these apps, except for Microsoft Sway, in the Chrome Web Store:

  • Excel online
  • OneDrive
  • OneNote Online
  • Outlook.com
  • PowerPoint Online
  • Microsoft Sway
  • Word Online

Attention: app / browser only

Not every app appears in both the Android apps list and the Office Online apps list. Skype, for example, only runs as an Android app on a Chromebook. It doesn’t work in the Chromebook browser. Instead, Sway is just an Office Online app in the Chromebook browser. There is no Sway Android app available.

Additionally, not all Office apps can be accessed online or on a Chromebook. Microsoft Access, a database system, and Microsoft Publisher, a desktop editing application, are available with a Microsoft 365 subscription, but only for installation on Windows systems. Visio, a diagramming application, and Microsoft Project, a team project management tool, offer online and installable versions. Each of these applications requires an additional subscription.

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Edit Office files in Google Docs

Even if you don’t have a Microsoft 365 account, you may be able to open and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on a Chromebook using the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides editing apps.

You can open and convert a Word file into a Google Doc, an Excel file into a Google Sheet, and a PowerPoint file into a Google Slides presentation. Once converted, you can edit and collaborate with people in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. When you’re done working on a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide, select File > Download As to save your work as a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file.

Alternatively, you can use the Google Office Editing Chrome extension for Docs, Sheets, and Slides to open and make basic changes to Office files while preserving the file format. This means that a .doc or .docx file remains in that format, without conversion to a Google Doc, while you edit. The same applies to Excel (.xls and .xlsx) and PowerPoint (.ppt and .pptx) formats. You should not install the extension on your Chromebook as it should be installed by default.

Starting in May 2019, Google added the native ability in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to open, edit, comment, and collaborate on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. You may need to uninstall the Office compatibility app from Chrome for this to work. (To uninstall this extension, go to the three-dot drop-down menu in Chrome, select More tools > Extensions , locate the Office Editing for Documents, Spreadsheets, and Slides extension, then select Remove .) For many people, the easiest way to working with an Office file on a Chromebook can be opening and editing it using one of Google’s core apps.

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