There’s a reason the Chromebook is so cheap. Check the date of the WUA


Find out the AUE date of your Chromebook.

Screenshot by Josh Goldman / CNET

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, you’re probably going to continue to see good deals on Chromebooks. But before you can take advantage of this big discount, there is one important date you need to check first: a Chromebook’s expiration date, aka its Auto-Update expiration date.

Since Google can only guarantee support for Chrome OS and browser features on non-Google hardware for such a long time, every device currently has a date when it stops receiving updates – its WUA date. . If you are interested in a particular model with an incredibly low price, it is best to know the AUE date before purchasing. (It’s also a good idea to do this if you’re buying a used Chromebook or giving a little used one to a friend or family member.) The good news is that Google makes finding extremely easy. the date of any Chromebook. .

To learn more about Chromebooks, here is how they differ from laptops, why most people should buy a Chromebook, and the best Chromebook deals for students.

How to check a WUA before buying

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Last year’s Lenovo Chromebook Duet has an AUE date of June 2028.

Screenshot by Josh Goldman / CNET

Getting the AUE date for any Chromebook is as easy as finding its name on a list. Google maintains a comprehensive list of WUA dates for all models. Just head to the list, find the brand of your Chromebook or whatever you’re looking to buy or pass on. Click on the brand and the list of models will unfold with its AUE date.

According to the policy page, Google will release a model’s AUE date after its release, so you should still be able to find a specific Chromebook before making a purchasing decision.

Read more: Best Chromebook for 2021: Acer, HP, Asus, Lenovo and more compared

How to check your AUE on your Chromebook

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The About Chrome OS page will take you to your WUA.

Screenshot by Josh Goldman / CNET

Already own a Chromebook and want to know how much time you have for updates? You can search for your model on the Google list I wrote down above or you can find it right on your Chromebook. There are several ways to access information, but essentially you just need to dive into the settings menu to find it.

Open your Chromebook’s settings menu by clicking on the time at the bottom right of your screen, then on the Settings cog icon. At the bottom of the left navigation panel (you may need to click on the three bars at the top left to open the panel), you will see About Chrome OS. Click on it, then on “Additional Details”. This is where you will find your WUA date.

However, now that you know it’s in the About Chrome OS box, you can also just search for your Chromebook and go straight there. Press the Search key, assuming you haven’t changed it to work as a caps lock key, and search for “About Chrome OS.” You can also swipe up from the bottom of your screen to bring up a search bar, or there’s a search icon at the top right of the settings menu that you can use. As I said, there are a number of ways to access information.

What happens when a Chromebook hits its WUA?

Currently, once your AUE date arrives, the Chromebook will no longer receive software updates from Google. These include security updates, bug fixes, and new features. And with these updates, things like Chrome OS and browser apps and extensions may no longer work properly. So while you can still use a Chromebook after its AUE date, its usefulness will deteriorate.

Part of the problem is that Chrome OS and the Chrome browser are deeply connected. Right now, that means not getting an update from Chrome OS also means not getting a browser update. Google, however, appears to be working on separating the two. With the two separated, you might miss out on new operating system features, but the Chrome browser would stay up to date. Google CEO Sundar Pichai may even have alluded to the split in a tweet in March.

Google is also working on extending those dates, and starting in November 2020, it announced that new models will have a longer lifespan, which roughly translates to seven to eight years or more. However, the date varies from device to device and is not necessarily determined by the device’s release date or when you purchased it.

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, for example, came out in March and has a June 2028 WUA. It’s a good time for a new Chromebook, but things are trickier when buying an older or used model.

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