Chrome devices receive longer auto update expiration dates

Find out how a Chromebook you use or buy today may receive updates for up to six and a half years.

Photo of Chromebook (left) with green line and arrow to the right marking 2022, additional white line extending to 2026.

Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

In late 2019, Google extended the auto update expiration (AUE) date for many Chromebooks. For example, the Poin2 Chromebook 14 will receive updates through June 2025, instead of March 2022 as originally expected. The change extended the update period for the device by 39 months. Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, and Samsung, among others, also received extended AUE dates.

On the AUE page, find your device's manufacturer name, select it to expand to a list of all Chrome products and their current auto update expiration date (Figure A). If you're a G Suite administrator that manages Chrome devices from the Google Admin console, go to Devices | Chrome Management | then select Devices to display the AUE for your organization's devices.

Figure A

Screenshots: (left) Auto Update policy page, (right) detail that shows Dell device auto update expiration dates.

Google's Auto Update policy page provides details on how to find Auto Update Expiration (AUE) dates for G Suite administrators (left), and displays AUE dates for Chrome devices (right).

A review of the AUE for Google Chrome devices aimed at the enterprise shows that many current generation devices purchased in late 2019 will receive updates for about six and a half years. The Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 and 5400 Chrome Enterprise are scheduled for updates through August 2026. HP Chromebook Enterprise devices, the Lenovo 14e Chromebook, and Google's own Pixelbook Go will all receive updates through June 2026.

The added AUE date not only extends the potential useful life of Chrome OS devices, but could also enhance the potential sales period and resale value of these devices. For example, when an organization or individual seeks to sell a used Chrome device, an extended AUE date ensures that a potential buyer could use the device longer.

People who use Chrome primarily to search and browse the internet, reply to email, write documents, create presentations, or even conduct meetings via video will be able to use a current generation Chromebook longer. Chrome devices that handle these tasks adequately at purchase will likely continue to do so until the AUE date. In some cases, an organization's internet and/or WiFi network performance represents a more significant constraint than the device speed.

SEE: Cheat sheet: Google Home (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

However, in practice, these extended AUE dates might not significantly affect enterprise purchasing schedules. Laptops and tablets that receive daily use in businesses tend to experience standard wear and tear. People spill liquids, drop devices, or set heavy objects on top of screens, while battery capacity declines and hinges weaken with use. As a result, people who buy equipment for organizations tend to replace hardware anywhere from every two to every five years or so—sooner than a six-and-a-half year AUE cycle.

Your thoughts and experience

How often does your organization replace Google Chrome devices that people use daily? Are devices replaced on a regular schedule or only as needed when devices either break or auto update periods expire? If you buy Chrome devices for personal use, what criteria do you use to determine when to get a new device? Do Google's extended auto update expiration dates change how you or your organization evaluate Chrome devices? Let me know what you think, either in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).

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