Microsoft Word on Chromebook:
How to Use Word on Chromebook

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Microsoft Word is one of the most popular and innovative word processors today, but it isn't natively available on all platforms. Created and developed by Microsoft Corporation, you would naturally expect it on the Windows platform. But this doesn't mean users on other operating systems can't access and use it. If you're on a Chromebook, you may be wondering if you can have Microsoft Word on your device.

What is a Chromebook?

A Chromebook is essentially a tablet or laptop running the Linux-based Chrome OS as its operating system. Google reworked its Chrome browser to serve as an operating system for Chrome devices. This means that Chromebooks rely on web-based apps to perform tasks because users get apps from the Chrome web browser.

But it's impossible to install and run full-fledged modular apps, such as Microsoft Office, on a Chromebook because it installs only web-based apps. So, what happens if you need to use Microsoft Word on Chrome OS?

How to use Microsoft Word on a Chromebook

Before you can consider using Word on Chrome OS, you should ask the question: can you get Microsoft Word on a Chromebook? Since Microsoft Word is a Windows program, Chromebooks don't natively support it. But it's still possible to use Microsoft Word on a Chromebook, if you know how to go about it.

Does Chromebook have Word? Chromebooks don't have Word, but have Chrome browser-based apps for document processing, such as Google Docs. They allow you to create and edit various documents, including word and spreadsheets, and store them in the cloud.

Here is how to use Word on a Chromebook:

1. Download Microsoft Word on Chromebook

Since Chrome OS provides compatibility for Android-based apps, it's easy to download and install a Microsoft Word app on your Chromebook. Simply go to the Google Play Store from your Chromebook and search for Microsoft Word.

Several word processors will show up, including the ubiquitous WPS. Click on the Office Word app to download and install on your Chromebook. You can use it the same way you would its version on Windows. The only difference is that all your Word documents will be saved online.

Use the launcher to open the Word app on your Chromebook. You will be required to sign in using your Microsoft account, or Microsoft Office Subscription account.

2. Download and install Office Online extension

If you're using older Chromebooks with the Chrome Web Store, you will need to download and install the Office Online extension.

  • Visit the Chrome Web Store on your Chromebook.
  • Open the Extensions tab in the side menu, and use its search feature to locate Microsoft Office Online.
  • Download and install the extension on your Chromebook.
  • You can then create, edit and view Word files from the Chrome browser.
  • Using this extension is similar to its desktop version on Windows.

3. Edit Microsoft Word files using Google Docs

You can also view and edit Microsoft Word documents directly from your Chromebook, courtesy of Google Docs. If your device doesn't have the Google Docs app, you can easily download and install it from Google Play Store. Any Microsoft Word documents you receive or download will open in Google Docs. You need your Google Drive to save these documents.

You should have no problem using Google Docs to handle simple Word documents. But when it comes to documents that need complex formatting, or tools such as tables, you will run into problems.


You can use Microsoft Word on your Chromebook in a few simple steps. You no longer need Chromebook Word alone, since you can download Microsoft Word on Chromebook. The questions: can you use MS Word on a Chromebook, and does Chromebook have Word, will no longer pose any challenge. You can use the full-fledge Microsoft Office Word on your Chromebook through the Parallels Desktop, a virtualization software to help you run Windows on Chrome OS.