A Chromebook is an excellent and (often) inexpensive alternative to most laptops on Windows or macOS. However, given the limited storage and use of the cloud with Chrome OS, important software that is normally found on traditional operating systems is often unavailable. The good news is that things are slowly changing, especially with the option to access Android apps on Chrome OS.
There is no official full version of Photoshop on Chromebook yet, but there are a few ways to edit images using Adobe’s powerful apps. With some effort and technical know-how, you may even find a way to use the desktop app. We show you how to install Photoshop on Chromebook.
How to install and run Photoshop on Chromebook?
Download Photoshop to Chromebook via the Play Store
Thanks to the support of Android apps via the Google Play Store, Chromebooks have access to millions of apps previously reserved for smartphones and tablets. This means that Chromebooks also have access to all the Adobe Photoshop apps available on the Play Store.
How to use Photoshop on Chromebook
- Click the circle at the bottom left of the desktop navigation area or press the magnifying glass button on the keyboard.
- Search and open the Google Play Store.
- In the app and game search bar, search for Photoshop.
- Results should include Photoshop Express, Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Fix, and Photoshop Sketch.
Other Adobe apps include Lightroom, Illustrator Draw, Comp, Capture, and Creative Cloud. This is the easiest method if you want Photoshop on Chromebook.
Streaming on your Chromebook
If you are not satisfied with using Android apps, another option is to run Photoshop on a PC and stream it to your Chromebook. Before you get started, make sure you have Photoshop and Google Chrome installed on your PC. Also, make sure you have a stable internet connection on both your PC and Chromebook.
How to stream Photoshop to your Chromebook:
- In Chrome on your PC, visit the Chrome Remote Desktop website.
- Click the Set up remote access option.
- Install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on your PC.
- Go back to the original card on your PC and give a name to your computer.
- Click Next and create a PIN with at least six digits.
- If required, enter the PIN you created on your PC.
This isn’t the most ideal way to use Photoshop on a Chromebook, but it works in an instant. In addition, all Chrome Remote Desktop sessions are encrypted for protection.
You can also use a cloud service for PC like Shadow. This company offers Windows machines that can be accessed remotely via any compatible device. Supported operating systems include Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, Android, and iOS.
You don’t see Chrome OS in the list, but remember that Chromebooks can run Android apps! Once set up, you can install Photoshop on your remote Windows computer and stream it. Remember that Shadow isn’t exactly cheap! At the moment it costs more or less € 30 per month.
Use the web version of Lightroom
If you are not a fan of Android apps or do not want to stream Photoshop, why not try the web version of Photoshop Lightroom.
It’s not full Photoshop, but Photoshop Lightroom lets you crop, rotate, straighten and organize images, tag and classify process raw files, convert black and white images, retouch photos, and create panoramas. It is not possible to combine images, isolate objects, or remove objects, but many do not need so much complexity from their editing software. Indeed, many professionals can get away with using Lightroom and abandoning Photoshop!
How to use Photoshop Lightroom on the web:
- Go to the Photoshop Lightroom website.
- Log in to your Adobe account.
Make sure you’re connected to the Internet if you want to use the web version. In addition, the app is not available for free. You must pay. Monthly and annual plans include 1 TB of cloud storage space, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark.
Find alternative apps
The lack of a proper Photoshop app on Chromebooks is bad luck, but there are some great alternatives available that you can try. One of our favorites is
Pixlr Editor, a web app with many Photoshop features available for free. You can also upload.psd files if you don’t want to completely leave Photoshop behind, but in this case, you will have to use the software on a PC.
Other alternatives include Fotor, GIMP Online, and Polarr Photo Editor. Hopefully, these ways to get Photoshop on Chromebook have helped! If you have used one of these methods, please let us know your experience in the comments section below.