How to use the Zoom app on a Chromebook

In this tutorial we look at the best way to use Zoom on a Chromebook to maximize available features. Installing the app is quick and easy.

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If you use video meetings at school or work, there’s a good chance you now use Zoom. Both Windows and macOS have reliable Zoom apps that include all the software’s available features. But if you own a Chromebook, you’ll have to use a Progressive Web App (PWA). This is because the once popular Zoom Chrome app in the Chrome Web Store has officially been discontinued.

This newer PWA brings welcome improvements and helps align Zoom on ChromeOS with the features available on other operating systems. It’s also faster than a standalone app, and takes up almost no storage on your device.

If you’re not familiar with PWAs, these are web apps that act more like traditional apps that you’d install on a Chromebook. You get an independent window, not connected to the Chrome browser, just like with Android apps. But at their core, they’re built completely on web technologies just like any other web app you’d run in Chrome. This means that, overall, the new interface should bring a much-improved Zoom experience to those using Chromebooks.

How to install the Zoom app on ChromeOS

Zoom for Chromebooks is available as a PWA installer on the Google Play Store. You’ll have to be running ChromeOS 91 or newer to install it, and you’ll need to also make sure your Chromebook supports the Play Store. If you need help with using Android apps on Chrome OS, check out our full guide. Here’s how to get started, though.

  1. In Google Chrome on your Chromebook, click the link below to be redirected to the Google Play Store.
  2. Click the green Install button.
  3. Click the green Open button.
  4. If you closed the Google Play Store after installing the Zoom PWA, you can find it under your ChromeOS launcher.
  5. Sign in, or click Join Meeting if you want to join a meeting hosted by someone else.

That’s all there is to installation. You might want to consider pinning the app to your dock if you will use it frequently. This will give you quick access to the app.

What features do you get in Zoom on ChromeOS?

The Zoom app running on ChromeOS

With the new Zoom PWA on ChromeOS, Zoom added most of the features from the Windows and macOS versions of the app. You get things like Zoom Whiteboard, advanced polling, customizable gallery view (on supported machines), self-select breakout rooms, live transcription, and live translation (with assigned interpreters). There’s even the background masking feature for privacy and raised hand and meeting reactions.

Many of these features are very important for those working in education. The Breakout Rooms functionality is a big deal for splitting students into groups. And so are the other features for teachers like recording sessions, sharing the screen, and audio with screen shares, and meeting security like locking meetings. As for students, the important features are there, too, like nonverbal feedback such as Thumbs up, and the option to share a screen and raise hands to ask questions.

Overall, it seems that Zoom did an excellent job developing its new Chrome PWA. Developed in partnership with Google, the UI is slick, and the app runs quite smoothly. If you want to use the PWA on another platform, you can also do this quite easily by visiting in any browser.

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