Chromebooks are great computers for many people because of their relatively low cost and ease of use. Our favorite Chromebooks add other great features to Chromebooks, such as a touchscreen, built-in stylus, or fingerprint sensor. ChromeOS, the operating system for Chromebooks, has many fun and useful features that provide a great user experience. Here are our favorite ChromeOS features that every Chromebook user should know about.
1. Perform touch gestures
There are several ways to use your Chromebook, whether you're using a keyboard, a keyboard, or a touchscreen if you have one. ChromeOS makes your touchpad more comfortable than just using a mouse, including gestures to make it easier to navigate around your device.
- Tap the keyboard with two fingers at the same time to right-click.
- Place two fingers on the keyboard and move your fingers up or down to scroll.
- Place two fingers on the trackpad and swipe left or right to move back and forth in Chrome.
- Swipe up with three fingers to see all open windows. Swipe down with three fingers to return to the last open window.
- Open a link by tapping on it with three fingers.
- Close a Chrome tab by tapping it with three fingers.
- Place three fingers on the trackpad and swipe left and right to navigate between Chrome tabs.
- Switch between desktops by swiping left or right with four fingers.
2. Control your Chromebook with the keyboard
In addition to the gestures available with the touchpad, you can do many things with keyboard shortcuts. You can use the keyboard to do everything from refreshing a page to opening a new tab. To see a list of available keyboard shortcuts, press Ctrl + Alt + ? . Most often used:
- Ctrl + T : Open a new tab.
- Ctrl + Tab : Close the current tab.
- Ctrl + Shift + Tab : Reopens the last closed tab.
- Ctrl + Tab and C trl + Shift + Tab : Navigate between tabs.
- Alt + Tab : Move within the window.
- Search + l : Lock the computer.
3. Enable Caps Lock without special keys
Most people are used to using a Windows or Mac computer that has a dedicated Caps Lock key. Chromebook keyboards are a little different and don't have a dedicated caps lock key. However, there is a way to enable Caps Lock using the keyboard. Press Alt + Search simultaneously and Caps Lock is activated. Press this button combination again to turn it off.
4. Check the screen
ChromeOS aims to be a productive and cool operating system, so Google has added some ridiculously fun features. The best of them is the ability to make barrels. To do this, press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Rotate and watch the screen rotate.
5. Quickly open blocked apps and websites
Like the taskbar on Windows or the Dock on Mac, Chromebooks have a place at the bottom of the screen where you can store frequently used apps and websites. In ChromeOS, this is called the shelf, and there are several ways to access this item. You can click on it with your mouse to open it or use your keyboard to access the top 10 items on your shelf. To do this, press Alt and the number on your keyboard that corresponds to the item you want to open. For example, to open the fifth item on a shelf, press Alt + 5 .
6. Reposition your shelves
Speaking of shelves, if you don't like having them at the bottom of the screen, ChromeOS lets you move them around. To do this, right-click on the home screen, hover over the shelf location, and select Left , Down , or Right .
7. Take advantage of the table
Chromebooks include an interesting feature called desktops that allows you to have different desktops for the different tasks you want to do. For example, if you are at work but want to play, you can create a desktop with your work items and create a separate desktop for gaming. That way you don't have to deal with all those windows.
To access the desktop, swipe up on the three-finger keyboard. At the top of the screen, you'll see your desktop, and you can add a new desktop by clicking New Desktop . If you want to save the currently open application as a desktop for later access, click the Save Desktop for Later button in the upper left corner.
8. Get notifications from your phone on your Chromebook
Chromebooks pair well with Android phones because there is integration between the two devices through a Chromebook feature called Phone Hub. One of the most useful features is the ability to access your phone's notifications on the Chromebook. Connect your phone to the Chromebook, turn on the notification feature, and you're done.
Once you enable this feature, whenever you receive a notification on your phone, it will appear in your Chromebook's notifications. When you see a notification, click the arrow to open and close it, which will also close it on your phone. If it's a message, you can reply from your Chromebook.
This is a very useful feature because you can use your Android phone while on the Chromebook without having to have your Android phone with you.
9. Get the most out of your Chromebook
Chromebooks come with a simple and intuitive interface. They also have their advantages. To access these benefits, press Ctrl + Shift + ? . You can also search or tap the Explore app. With the Overview app open, select Benefits on the left to see a list of available offers. These benefits include free or discounted apps and services, which change from time to time, so check back every two weeks for new offers.
10. Check your Chromebook's performance
Chromebooks may be easier and more convenient to use than Windows or Mac devices, but they're not without their problems. That's why Google has included a Diagnostics app to help you troubleshoot your Chromebook. The Diagnostics application displays information about hardware and network performance. You can run tests on the internals of your device, export the results, and send them to a support agent to help solve your problem.
11. Let others use your Chromebook without signing in.
Sometimes you may need to share your Chromebook with a friend or family member and you don't want the Chromebook to interfere with your account. Chromebooks include a guest mode for such situations. Guest mode allows anyone to use your device without signing in to a Google Account. Everything they do on the device is not linked to any particular account and everything is deleted after they log out.
To enter guest mode, log out of your account and return to the main login screen. Once there, click on the " View as a guest " button in the lower left corner to start the guest mode.
12. Easy access to quick settings
Chromebooks have a lot of settings in the Settings app, but you don't have to access them all the time. Google thought about this and put the most used settings in the "Quick Settings" menu on the shelf. To access it, open the shelf and tap a time to display the list of quick settings.
These settings include device brightness and volume, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings, and Do Not Disturb mode. If these settings are not enough, click the button in the upper right corner of the quick settings to open the Settings app.
13. Easily take screenshots
As people work or study remotely for at least part of the time, taking screenshots is more important than ever. Chromebooks make it easy to take screenshots with a variety of tools that capture what you need. To activate the Screenshot tool, click Screenshot in the Quick Settings menu or press Ctrl + Shift + Browse .
Once you open the tool, you have several options. You can take a screenshot of the whole screen, a part or a single window. You can also record a video of your screen and choose where to save the screenshot.
14. Including Google Assistant
One of the advantages of devices made by Google is that Google Assistant is part of the operating system. To activate the assistant, press Search + A to open the assistant screen. You can enter requests or commands or tap the microphone icon in the upper right corner to talk to your Assistant. Your "assistant" can do everything you can do on your phone or smart speaker, such as answer questions, set up your smart device or set a timer.
15. Start over with Powerwash
If your device gets to the point where it freezes or crashes all the time, it might be time to reset it. Resetting a Chromebook is called a Powerwash, which is very simple. Open the Settings app, tap Advanced on the left and select Reset settings . Once there, click on the Reset button and follow the instructions to restart your device. Make sure to back up all necessary files as they will be deleted during this process.
Chromebooks are all you need
Chromebooks are affordable and useful devices with many features. Make sure you always have the latest and greatest user experience and security features by checking for updates for your Chromebook.