In brief: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are less than a week away at this point. Odds are, you’ve already scored some early deals but hopefully, one of them wasn’t a Chromebook… or rather, one that is about to expire. Allow me to explain.

Chromebooks, as you may or may not know, essentially have an expiration date – or as Google calls it, the Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date. Chrome devices receive automatic updates that introduce new features and keep them secure but once they reach their AUE date, the automatic software updates will stop being supplied.

Google earlier this year extended the expiration date to a total of 6.5 years. That’s great if you’re buying a brand new release but if you purchase a model that has been on the market for a few years, you’re going to lose some quality time with the device off the top. As such, you’ll want to check the AUE date before buying.

To do this, simply cross reference the system’s make and model against Google’s list of approved Chrome devices. You can also find the AUE date in the Google Admin console if you have access to the system prior to purchase by executing the following steps:

  • From the Admin console Home page, go to Devices > Chrome management. If you don't see Devices on the Home page, click More controls at the bottom.
  • Click Devices.
  • View the column for “Auto-update expiration.”

In the event you already have a Chromebook that is nearing its end of life, it’s not a total loss. You could install Linux or switch to a Chrome OS alternative.

Masthead credit: Chromebook by Konstantin Savusia