Can Chromebooks Run Microsoft Word?

Chromebooks are becoming an increasingly popular choice for people looking for a reliable, lightweight and affordable laptop. But with the proliferation of cloud-based computing and Google’s own suite of applications, can Chromebooks actually run Microsoft Word? In this article, we’ll explore the capabilities of Chromebooks and what you can expect when it comes to running Microsoft Word on one.

Can Chromebooks Run Microsoft Word?

Chromebooks are gaining more and more popularity as a lightweight and affordable laptop option. But a common question is whether or not Chromebooks can run Microsoft Word. The answer is yes, but with a few caveats.

The main way to run Microsoft Word on a Chromebook is through the Google Play Store, where you can purchase and download the Microsoft Office mobile apps. These apps are designed specifically for mobile devices, and they offer a limited version of Microsoft Word as well as other Office programs like Excel and PowerPoint.

The other way to run Microsoft Word on a Chromebook is to access it through the cloud. Microsoft offers several Office 365 subscriptions, which allow you to access the full version of Microsoft Word online. This is the same version that you would get on a regular laptop or desktop computer.

Using the Microsoft Office Mobile Apps

The Microsoft Office mobile apps are available for free on the Google Play Store, and they offer a limited version of Microsoft Word. This version is designed specifically for mobile devices, and it includes basic editing and formatting tools.

The biggest limitation of the mobile apps is that they don’t include all the features of the full version of Microsoft Word. This means that some features, such as macros and templates, are not available. Additionally, the mobile apps do not support all file formats, so you may not be able to open certain types of files.

The other limitation is that the mobile apps are not as powerful as the full version of Microsoft Word. This means that some features, such as advanced formatting, may be limited or not available at all.

Using Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription service that allows you to access the full version of Microsoft Word online. This version includes all the features of the desktop version, including macros, templates, and advanced formatting tools.

One of the biggest advantages of Office 365 is that you can access your documents from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Additionally, Office 365 includes 1TB of cloud storage, so you don’t have to worry about running out of space for your documents.

The other advantage is that Office 365 is regularly updated with new features and security patches. This ensures that you always have the latest version of Microsoft Word, and it also ensures that your documents are secure.

Limitations of Using Office 365 on a Chromebook

One of the biggest limitations of using Office 365 on a Chromebook is that it only works with the Chrome web browser. This means that you won’t be able to access Office 365 on other browsers, such as Firefox or Safari.

The other limitation is that Office 365 requires a fast and reliable internet connection. If you don’t have access to a reliable internet connection, then you may find that Office 365 is slow or unreliable.

Finally, Office 365 is a subscription service, which means that you will have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to use it. This may not be an issue for some people, but it is something to consider when deciding whether or not to use Office 365 on a Chromebook.


Chromebooks can run Microsoft Word, but it requires either the Microsoft Office mobile apps or an Office 365 subscription. Each of these options has its own advantages and limitations, so it is important to consider which one is best for you.

Few Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Can Chromebooks Run Microsoft Word?

Answer: Yes, Chromebooks can run Microsoft Word with the help of an app called “Office Online”. Office Online is a browser-based version of the Microsoft Office suite that can be accessed through any web browser, including the Chrome browser on Chromebooks. Office Online includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and other applications, and allows users to create, edit, and share documents online.

Question 2: What are the benefits of using Office Online on Chromebooks?

Answer: By using Office Online on Chromebooks, users can access their documents from any device with an internet connection. It also eliminates the need to install the full Office suite on each device, saving space and money. Additionally, Office Online is always up-to-date with the latest features, allowing users to take advantage of the latest features from Microsoft Office.

Question 3: How can I access Microsoft Word on my Chromebook?

Answer: You can access Microsoft Word on your Chromebook by downloading the Office Online app from the Chrome Web Store. Once the app is installed, you can open the app and sign in with your Microsoft account. Once you are signed in, you can open, create, edit, and share Word documents.

Question 4: Is Office Online free to use?

Answer: Yes, Office Online is free to use. However, there is also a subscription-based version of Office Online called Office 365 that includes additional features such as 1 TB of cloud storage and advanced security features.

Question 5: Is Office Online on Chromebooks the same as the Office suite on Windows?

Answer: Office Online on Chromebooks is based on the same code as the Office suite on Windows, but there are some differences. For example, Office Online does not include some of the more advanced features that are available in the full Office suite, such as macros and VBA scripting. Additionally, Office Online does not support some of the older file formats that are supported by the full Office suite.

Question 6: Does Office Online on Chromebooks support the .docx file format?

Answer: Yes, Office Online on Chromebooks supports the .docx file format. Additionally, Office Online also supports other popular file formats such as .xlsx, .pptx, .odt, and .rtf.

A Chromebook is a great device for those who need a lightweight machine with a long battery life. However, it is important to note that, while Chromebooks can run some Microsoft applications, they cannot run Microsoft Word. For those who require the full functionality of Microsoft Word and other products, a laptop or desktop computer with Windows operating system is the best choice.