How to connect a Pixel 3 to a Chromebook—and why you should

Connecting the Pixel 3 and Chromebook is one of the simplest, most convenient phone/laptop connections you'll ever use.

How to connect a Pixel 3 to a Chromebook

You purchased a Pixel 3 (or Pixel 3 XL), and you want to connect it to your Chromebook. Why bother with this? There are actually a few good reasons.

The most obvious (especially for those on the go) is instant tethering, a feature not found with all Android/Chromebook combinations. With instant tethering, you can forgo the usual steps of tethering your Chromebook to your Android device, as it automatically happens when your devices are within communicating distance of each another. The second reason is that your phone serves as a means to auto unlock your Chromebook.

Finally, you can send and receive SMS messages to your phone from your Chromebook. Best of all, it's incredibly simple to set up. In fact, when you first set up your Pixel 3 (with the same Google account as your Chromebook), it automatically prompts you to configure the devices. However, should you miss this opportunity, I'll show you how to set it up.

SEE: BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy template download (Tech Pro Research)

What you need

The only things you need are a Chromebook, a Pixel 3 (or Pixel 3 XL), and a Google account. I'll assume you already have those three things in-hand and that you have your Pixel 3 and Chromebook associated with your Google account.

Set up

Log into your Chromebook and open the Settings app. From there, click on Connected devices (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The Connected devices section of the chromebook settings app.

Click the Set up button and then, when prompted, click Accept & continue (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

Here you can read the benefits of connecting your devices.

In the next screen, type your Google account password to continue. Once you've authenticated, you'll see the devices are immediately paired (Figure C). Believe it or not, that's how easy it is to connect your Pixel 3 to your Chromebook. You are ready for these two devices to start interacting.

Figure C

Figure C

You're all set to work!

In the final screen (Figure D), you can configure the available options for the connection. The Smart Lock feature offers the option to Unlock device or unlock device and sign into Google account. Click on the Smart Lock entry to configure this option.

Figure D

Figure D

Configuring your paired devices.


If you want to be able to send SMS messages through your Chromebook, you'll need to do one final step. Click the set-up button on the last screen. In the resulting screen (Figure E), you'll see a QR code.

Figure E

Figure E

The QR code presented by your chromebook.

Open the Messages app on your Pixel 3 and tap the menu button. From the menu button, tap Message for Web. In the resulting window (Figure F), tap the QR code scanner button and then scan the presented code from your Chromebook.

Figure F

Figure F

Connecting your Pixel 3 to your chromebook for SMS messages.

This will create a web app for Android messages. You can pin that app to the Chromebook taskbar for easy access. Take note: Use this feature with caution, as anyone who has access to your Chromebook has access to your phone's SMS messages. In other words, if you send sensitive company information via SMS message, think twice about enabling this or always make sure your Chromebook is locked when you're not using it.

Simple connections

With this connection between the Pixel 3 and Chromebook, your busy life will become more efficient. This particular pairing is one of the simplest, most convenient phone/laptop connections you'll ever use. For anyone constantly on the go, give this paring serious consideration.

Also see

Image: Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....