Google Chromebooks setup guide

Guidance on how to enrol Google Chromebooks on your domain, how to install Cisco Umbrella content filtering, and set up instructions for local authorities, trusts, schools and further education institutions.


The person who placed a Chromebook order will receive an email from including important information regarding device setup. We suggest this email is forwarded to the technical contact responsible for preparing Chromebooks.

This guidance is written with reference to Chromebooks provided through the Get help with technology programme. It also applies to any new or refurbished devices a school or college has received through donations. Further information on erasing data from donated devices is available from the National Cyber Security Centre.

How to enrol Chromebooks

You need to enrol your Chromebooks so you can manage them remotely.

We’re providing Cisco Umbrella content filtering for you to roll out to your Chromebooks via your Google Admin console if you wish to.

Find out how to enrol Chromebooks and add Cisco Umbrella:

Getting a Google domain

When you ordered your Google Chromebooks you entered your Google domain, which we used to link to your licenses for the Google Admin console.

If you didn’t enter a Google domain and don’t have one, you can set one up. Schools can set up a Google Domain and get access to Google for Education by applying for government-funded support.

For Chromebooks for children linked to schools, local authorities should use the school’s domain so that children can access their remote education as well as social care. If the Chromebook is for a young person who is not linked to a school, local authorities can set up a Google domain for care leavers and families with children that have a social worker.

Securing your Chromebooks

You should ensure that enrolled devices have appropriate security settings in place to keep users safe online. A web-filtering solution called Cisco Umbrella is included free of charge until 30 September 2021, if you wish to use it. Instructions on how to install Cisco Umbrella are included in our guidance on how to enrol your Chromebooks.

Cisco Umbrella blocks a range of illegal and inappropriate content and limits searching to the ‘Safe Search’ provided by popular search engines.

The web-filtering settings are designed to make the devices safe to use and suitable for a wide range of users, from pre-school children up to care leavers.

We will not actively monitor users' activity on the devices. Websites users visit on their devices will not be logged by Cisco Umbrella. Those logs would not be available to the local authority or trust but could help ensure that ongoing filtering is effective, for example by letting us test whether it's working after we adjust filtering rules.

If you decide not to use Cisco Umbrella, or you continue using the Chromebooks once Cisco Umbrella has expired, DfE will no longer support these devices. It’s your responsibility to avoid risks to the online safety of the children and young people you are providing devices to.

You can report access to any inappropriate content that should not be allowed by Cisco Umbrella by contacting us.


Chromebooks come with Chrome OS. This manages:

  • encryption
  • anti-malware
  • anti-virus

Chromebooks have the H1 Secure Microcontroller, which is Google’s version of TPM (Microsoft’s encrypted processor). This allows patching and OS updates to be installed more quickly, so it’s easier to keep devices up to date.

Children and young people can also use:

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides

User guidance for young people and their carers

You can share this user guide on setting up Chromebooks with young people and their parents, guardians and carers.

You may want to add contact information to this guidance for the person or team offering IT support to device users.