+ Thursday October 24th, 2019

Chromebooks are great, they generally keep themselves up-to-date, grabbing updates in the background and only prompting you to restart when absolutely required. But it doesn’t work that way all the time. If you’ve noticed that your Chromebook isn’t updating, there could be a reason why, and it’s likely due to you being tethered to a mobile hotspot.

By default, a Chromebook (or Chromebox) won’t update when it’s connected to a Wifi access point which is using cellular data. ChromeOS is smart enough to detect when a cellular connection is in play and even if you ‘Check for and apply updates’ or ‘Powerwash’ your machine, your version number will stay the same – unless you enable updates over cellular. So how do you do it?

Well, it’s easy.

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a CROSH window in a tab.
  • Enter this command: ‘update_over_cellular enable’ and hit enter.

You should see something like this :
Enable Cellular Data

Once you’ve done this, simply go to ‘Settings’ > ‘About ChromeOS’ and click on the ‘Check for and apply updates’ button and you should be then prompted to update.

Daniel Tyson  


Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.


  1. Avatar

    Most useful, but for me in reverse. I left my Chromebook home last year when I went to Europe because I did not want it updating over an expensive 3G connection and there did not appear to be anyway to stop it. You are saying that it would not have happened. I am not sure what would happen if you use a 3G portable WiFi hotspot, which is what I would have used. Surely the system would see it as just WiFi. However if I used it tethered to my Nexus 7 then updates should not occur. Useful for next time.

    • Avatar

      Not sure why you’re reporting on ChromeOS as that ain’t Android, but anyhoo… Do Android devices also do this? I always worry when I take my tablet out with me and tether it to my mobile phone for internet access that it will download a massive update and all my apps from Google Play will decide to update themselves.

      • Avatar

        Hi Phil, We’ve been reporting on and reviewing ChromeOS and related devices for sometime now. If you turn automatic updates off on your apps in Google Play they won’t update.

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