Earlier, we noted in our Chromebook vs Laptop comparison that Chrome OS is improving and becoming a desktop operating system. That said, users refrain from switching to a Chromebook for good because it doesn’t support many of their favorite apps, especially Office programs. Of course, there are Android and web versions of MS Office available on Chromebooks, but they are not suitable for business users. So, if you want to run the full version of Microsoft Office, you’ve come to the right place. Here we detail a complete guide on how to install Microsoft Office on a Chromebook. So without further ado, let’s review the guide.

Run Microsoft Office on a Chromebook

Here you can get an overview of how we are going to install MS Office on a Chromebook. I suggest you stick to the guide so that you don’t get any errors during the installation process. On that note, let’s get started.

  1. Download MS Office
  2. Install MS Office
  3. Fix shortcuts

Download Microsoft Office on your Chromebook

First of all, let me tell you that Microsoft Office 2007 works best on Chromebooks. You can try the latest versions, but you might encounter installation errors. So if you have a copy of MS Office 2007 on a CD or on your old PC, transfer it to the Chromebook. In case you haven’t stocked it, you’ll have to get it for cheap on eBay or Amazon. Make sure to buy MS Office from a trusted seller.

Another point to note, if the installation file is in ISO or ZIP format then extract it to a folder and then move the folder to your Chromebook. We showed above what the extracted folder should look like.

Install Microsoft Office on your Chromebook

1. Now that you have a copy of MS Office 2007, let’s install it. You need to activate Linux and configure Wine 5.0 on your Chromebook (just follow the first part). For your information, Wine is a compatibility layer that allows Windows applications to run on a Chromebook through the Linux container.

2. Once done, move the MS Office folder to the Linux Files section of the Files app. Make sure you rename folder to something short. For example, I renamed it to just Desktop.

3. Now open the Linux terminal and run the below command to move to office folder.

office cd

4. You are now in the Office directory. Here run the below command to start the MS Office installation process on your Chromebook.


5. It will be open the installation window. If you are prompted for a serial key dialog, you will need to find it on your CD or in the folder. Once you have entered the serial key, the installation process will begin.

6. Once the installation is complete, all you need to do is press the “Close” button. You have successfully installed Microsoft Office on your Chromebook, but you need to fix the shortcuts.

7. Just to test things out, you can run the command below to check if MS Office is working properly on your Chromebook. Make sure to change yourusername to your real one. You can find your username in the highlighted part of the terminal window.

wine “/home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Office/Office12/WINWORD.EXE”

8. Once you have entered the command, you will receive a prompt to assign a name for your office work. Enter a name and press the “OK” button. You may be prompted with an update window. Just select “Not now” and continue.

9. Finally, Microsoft Word will open on your Chromebook. Now you can test things out and check if everything is working fine.

10. If the the scale is too small then open Terminal and run winecfg. This will open the Wine configuration window. Here, go to the “Graphics” tab and increase the screen resolution to 140 dpi.

Fix shortcuts

1. Now, let’s go ahead and fix the shortcuts so that you can quickly open Office programs from the app drawer with one click. Open the Files app and navigate to the Linux Files section. Here, click on the 3-dot menu and enable “hidden files”.

2. Next, navigate to the following file path: .local -> share -> applications -> wine -> Programs -> Microsoft Office. Here you will find all shortcuts (.desktop files).

3. Right-click on the shortcut you want to fix. For example, I want to fix the shortcut for MS Word, so right click on it and open with Text. In the Text window, replace the address that follows after Exec= with the command below. Be sure to change the username though. After that press Ctrl + S to save changes and close Text.

wine “/home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Office/Office12/WINWORD.EXE”

4. Now, open app drawer and click on the Microsoft Word shortcut in the Linux folder. This time, MS Word will open instantly without any file path errors.

5. You can repeat the above step for other programs too much like Excel, PowerPoint, etc. and fix shortcuts. Here are the commands you need to replace in the text file for various shortcuts.

  • power point

wine “/home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Office/Office12/POWERPNT.EXE”

  • Excel

wine “/home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Office/Office12/EXCEL.EXE”

  • a note

wine “/home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Office/Office12/ONENOTE.EXE”

Enjoy MS Word, Excel and other Office apps on a Chromebook

This is how you can install Microsoft Office on a Chromebook. On my i5-powered Chromebook, the Office experience was flawless, especially when using the 2007 version of MS Office. Just follow the step-by-step instructions and you’ll be able to run all your favorite Office apps on your Chromebook.

In case, MS Office isn’t working for you, take a look at Libre Office in our list of the best Linux apps for Chromebooks. It’s free, installs in one command and compatible with all MS Office documents. Anyway, it all comes from us. If you face any problem, comment below and let us know. We will surely try to help you.