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Google finally releases Chrome for Windows on ARM

A Windows 11 logo next to a Chrome logo

Quietly and without much fanfare, Google launched a native Chrome version for Windows on ARM. Users noticed that the latest Canary release is now running natively on Windows 10 and 11 computers with Qualcomm chips inside.

Google has yet to make an official announcement or indicate specific timeframes on when it plans to release Chrome for Windows on ARM in the Stable Channel. As of right now, the only way to make Chrome run natively on your Surface Pro 9 5G, Surface Pro X, or another ARM-powered Windows computer is to download Chrome Canary from its official website.

Note that nightly builds are unstable, and they are often packed with bugs or instabilities, so you better wait a bit more before making ARM64-version of Google Chrome your main browser. As a reminder, Firefox and Edge already support Windows on ARM, so there are alternatives for those not wanting to use Chrome.

Google making its browser ARM-friendly on Windows is a big deal, considering the browser's dominant position in the desktop market. Although it can run "as-is" on Windows computers with ARM processors, emulated apps deliver inferior performance and energy efficiency. And with Microsoft, Qualcomm, and other manufacturers planning to push Windows on ARM to more devices, thanks to the recent Snapdragon X Elite announcement, Chrome optimized for ARM on Windows cannot come soon enough.

Here is how you can check whether you are running a native or emulated app on your computer:

  1. Open Task Manager (you can right-click the taskbar in Windows 11).
  2. On the Processes tab, right-click the app you want to check and select Go to details.
  3. Check the Architecture column. Native apps will show up as Arm64.

Windows was the only ARM-supported platform without native Google Chrome. The company optimized Chrome for Apple Silicon Macs a long time ago, and it also has a dedicated ARM version for its Chromebooks.

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