USB WIFI adapters and Chromebooks


I have several Acer Chromebook R11s for my children for school. Unfortunately, the internal WIFI chips on these things die every few months. I’m beyond sending any of them back for free support, and it is frustrating to think that if I had a Windows laptop, I could add a USB Wifi adapter for $10-$20. I thought if any company knew about whether there’s a way to use a USB Wifi adapter on a Chromebook, it would be Plugable. I’m aware that the ChromeOS won’t let me install drivers, but I would have thought that by now there would be a way for manufacturers to offer a true plug and play WIFI adapter device for Chromebooks. Any help with this issue would be greatly appreciated. Some of these devices are only a few months beyond their 1 year warranty and have had the Wireless chips fail more than once in the past (which Acer diligently fixed during the warranty period).


Hello Jim,

Thank you for your message and for your kind words of faith in our support.

To my knowledge, all Chrome OS devices will have built-in Wi-Fi. I tested the USB-WIFINT on a Chromebook, but there does not appear to be a way to disable the built-in Wi-Fi adapter, and it does not appear to show the USB-WIFINT as a connected device. We also do not claim support for Chrome OS in our documentation.

I do not know if other Wi-Fi adapters may work with Chrome OS, it may be worth checking community forums for further information on adapters that are not using our chipset (RTL8188CUS).

I am sorry if this is not the answer you were hoping for, but I hope this helps.

All the best,

Plugable Support


hit control alt T and then type shell then type sudo nmcli radio wifi off and then to turn on type sudo nmcli radio wifi on works on all chromebooks