How to Download Torrents on a Chromebook

Get free music, movies, and software torrents on Chrome OS

Illustration of human face with cloud above it dropping files on it

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Although the official BitTorrent software doesn't support Chrome OS, it's still possible to download torrents on a Chromebook. The Chrome Web Store has several extensions that help you find free movies, music, books, and other media online.

Instructions in this article apply to all laptops running Chrome OS.

How to Download Torrents on a Chromebook

The best BitTorrent client for Chromebook is JSTorrent. Coded in JavaScript and designed with the Chromebook hardware in mind, it's as close to a full-featured torrent app as you're going to get on Chrome OS. JSTorrent is not free, but there is a trial version available called JSTorrent Lite, which allows 20 downloads before it expires.

To start downloading torrents on your Chromebook:

  1. Download JSTorrent or JSTorrent Lite from the Chrome Web Store by selecting Add to Chrome (or Buy for $2.99 for the premium version).

    Download JSTorrent Lite from the Chrome Web Store by selecting Add to Chrome.
  2. Select Add app.

    Select Add app to install the JSTorrent extension for Chrome.
  3. Select Launch app to open JSTorrent.

    Select Launch app to launch JSTorrent.
  4. Select Settings in the JSTorrent app interface.

    Select Settings in the JSTorrent app interface.
  5. Select Choose next to File Download Location.

    Select Choose next to File Download Location in the JSTorrent settings.
  6. Select Downloads, then select Open.

    This step designates your Downloads folder as the default destination for files you download with JSTorrent.

    Select Downloads, then select Open.
  7. Close the Settings window, then type or paste the torrent URL or magnet URI in the text field at the top of the main window. Select Add to begin your download.

Select Add while the text field is blank to choose a .torrent file that you have already downloaded on your local hard drive or Google Drive.

Type or paste the torrent URL or magnet URI in the text field at the top of the JSTorrent main window and select Add to begin your download.

Your download should start immediately, assuming that the torrent you selected is valid and that it is being seeded by at least one available user on the P2P network. You can monitor the progress of each file in the Status, Down Speed, Complete, and Downloaded columns. You can also start or stop a download at any time by highlighting it and selecting the appropriate button. Once a download is complete, it will appear in your Chromebook's Downloads folder.

There are many other configurable settings available in JSTorrent, including the option to raise or lower the number of active downloads and tweak how many connections each torrent download utilizes. Modifying these settings is only recommended for advanced users who are comfortable with BitTorrent client software.

The JSTorrent Helper extension places a Add to JSTorrent option on the Chrome browser's context menu, which allows you to initiate a download directly from any torrent or magnet link on the web.

Where to Find Torrents for Chromebooks

The are a few ways to download torrents on a Chromebook. In addition to the tons of torrent sites on the web, there are also several torrent search apps and extensions available within the Chrome Web Store.

The legality of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing differs by country, but there are plenty of public domain torrents that are free and legal to download.

Cloud-Based Torrenting on Chromebook

BitTorrent client apps aren't the only way to download torrents with a Chromebook. Cloud-based services make torrenting possible without installing any software on your device. As opposed to you directly downloading files locally, cloud torrent sites facilitate torrent downloads on their servers.

These server-side torrent services will typically allow you to input a torrent URL on their website to initiate a download, similar to what you can do within the JSTorrent interface. Once the transfer is completed, you are usually given the option to play the media directly from the server or download the desired files to your hard drive.

The majority of these sites offer different levels of accounts, each providing additional storage space and increased download speeds for a higher price. Some services feature Chrome-based software designed to enhance your torrenting experience. For example, Seedr has a browser extension that designates the cloud-based service as your default torrent client. Similar cloud-based torrent sites include Bitport.io, Filestream.me, Put.io and ZbigZ.