Last year Google unveiled a powerful new feature for Nexus/Pixel users — instant tethering. Between a Google phone and Google tablet, users could easily activate the tethering feature without ever pulling out their smartphone. Now, as Android tablets continue to fall off the map, Google seems to be bringing this feature to Chrome OS.

As first spotted by ChromeStory, the Canary channel of Chrome OS currently houses a flag to enable instant tethering on that device. Like on tablets, this feature interacts with your nearby phone to enable tethering without ever touching the phone.

Instant Tethering Chrome OS

Enables Instant Tethering. Instant Tethering allows your nearby Google phone to share its Internet connection with this device. #enable-tether

If you’re using the Canary channel of Chrome OS, this feature will be able via Chrome’s flags. You can access this by typing chrome://flags into the URL bar. From there, find the “enable-tether” option and toggle it to enabled, then restart the machine.

Once enabled, instant tethering will appear in the quick settings menu under the “network” section. Simply toggle the feature on while you’re away from Wi-Fi and it will turn on tethering from your smartphone. Of course, you’ll need to enable this feature on your phone beforehand and will need to be using a Google Pixel/XL or Nexus device running Android Nougat.

ChromeStory reports that the feature isn’t successfully working just yet, but that could be due to the device or location. Anyone with the required hardware should have the ability to at least test this out, but do keep in mind that the Canary channel of Chrome OS is very unstable so it may be best to wait until the feature graduates to more stable channels.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news and reviews!

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to or encrypted to