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21 important tips for first-time Chromebook users

So you’ve considered the top and bottom of your Chromebook, and now you have a shiny new Chromebook. Great choice – it’s a versatile laptop with a great range of customization options.

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However, a Chromebook has a learning curve and feels different from a MacBook or Surface Laptop, for example. You may also be wondering what you can do with your Chromebook or how to set it up.

Here are some top tips for new Chromebook owners.

1. Create multiple user profiles

Chromebooks make the most of Chrome user Profiles feature that allows you to split your machine into separate profile logins. Each profile maintains its own applications, settings, and controls. Are you the only user of your device? You should still use multiple profiles

6 custom Google Chrome profiles you should start using
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But Chromebook user profiles are important if you have kids. Google deleted supervised profiles and replaced them with Google Family Link, which is very similar. Follow Christian’s curriculum Install Google Family Link for Android

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create secure accounts for your children. The process is the same for a Chromebook.

2. Use Guest mode for guests

Even if you do not use the Profiles feature above, you should be aware of it guest mode. Guest mode lets you share your device with another person, and you’re sure they’ll never be able to see your information (e.g., browsing history, downloads, bookmarks, etc.) or access your apps.

And when the guest is done, all traces of their activities will be erased from your device – no manual cleaning is required. While this may sound like Chrome’s incognito mode, notice it Guest mode and incognito mode are not the same

Guest vs. Incognito in Chrome: What’s the difference?
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3. Open Applications in a separate Windows

Your Chromebook will open a new window for the app

Because all Chromebook apps are, in fact, disguised web apps, first users are usually postponed because apps always open in Chrome. Fortunately, it is possible to force all installed applications opens in a separate window.

Find the application you want in the application launcher or taskbar, right-click it, and select Open the window. It’s that simple! Now your device feels like a real laptop, not just a respected Chrome browser.

4. Organize applications into folders

Chromebook to create an app folder

As you use your device more and more, you will soon gather too many installed applications to wrap your head. While the app launcher makes it easy to launch any app with Quick Search, you might tap or click. In that case, you should take advantage application Folders.

Open the app launcher and click All applications, then drag any other application icon over any application icon to group them into a folder. Drag as many icons as needed. To name a folder, click on it and change the one you want at the top to “Unnamed Folder”.

5. Turn websites into applications

Your Chromebook set the website to launch as an app

Keep in mind that Chromebook apps are basically just websites disguised as apps. While there are a few downsides to this, it has one really great advantage: you can turn any website into an application and run it in its own separate window.

Open Chrome, go to the website you want to use as an app, and click three-point button in the upper right corner. Go down More tools, then select Create a shortcut. Give the app a name, be sure to check Open the windowThen click Add.

6. Preview the files before opening

Chromebook file information space

One the coolest things about the Finder on macOS

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is that you can highlight most files and press the space bar to get a preview of the file without launching it in the associated application itself. Did you know that Chrome OS has a similar preview feature?

Open the The files , select any file without opening it and press A space. You’ll see an overlap with some file information (e.g., size, type, last modified time, etc.) and some information related to the file type (e.g., ID3 tags for MP3 files). Some types, such as images and sound, also have a preview.

7. Click Windows left and right

If you have a Chromebook that supports a resolution of 1920 × 1080 or higher, you probably don’t want to maximize your apps. For better productivity, you can make better use of your screen by keeping two windows open side by side.

An easy way to do this is drag windows to the left or right, and Chrome OS automatically clicks them on the page and fills half the screen. Or you can select a window and press Alt +[[[[ left click or Alt +] right click.

8. Force quit frozen applications

Chromebook chrome os foreman

You’re unlikely to run into frozen apps as often on Chrome as on Windows or even Mac. But if you do, all you have to do is open the Task Manager using Search button + Escape shortcut key.

Once it’s open, just find the frozen process, select it, and click End the process. Task Manager is one of the most important features of Chrome OS, so make sure you’re sure start using this important system feature

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9. Force a restart to a frozen system

In the rare event that something goes wrong at the system level, you may find that Task Manager does not open or is unable to freeze your device. If this happens, you can always use the last option: Hard reboot.

Each Chromebook has a special set of media keys above the row of number keys. One of them is the Refresh button (reminiscent of a round arrow); the other is the power key (looks like a circle with a vertical line). Press Power + Refresh Start now.

Note that this is happening loses all unsaved data in open applications. Also note that this is not the same thing as Powerwash, which is discussed in more detail below.

10. Manage the built-in search key

One of the unique things about Chromebook keyboards is the lack of a Windows key or Command key. Instead, Google decided to replace the Caps Lock key with the a key Search key, which opens the application launcher when pressed.

This key is useful in three key ways:

  1. Type the name of the application quickly to launch it. In this sense, it is very similar to the Windows 10 Start menu and Mac Spotlight.
  2. Quickly launch any website URL or search engine.
  3. Click the microphone button to activate voice search.

It may seem strange to use the Caps Lock key this way, but it’s one of those things where going back is impossible when you have a career.

11. Press the special keys

Advanced Chromebook key settings

Chrome OS treats five keys as special, allowing you to restore them if you wish: Search, Ctrl, Alt, Backspace, and Escape. You can pin them to any of five more, plus Caps Lock, Google Assistant, and Disabled. Do you hate the search key? Return it to Caps Lock here. Or turn it off completely.

Click the profile icon in the lower right corner, and then click Gear icon to open Settings. Head Device> Keyboard. Just change the key bindings in the drop-down menus. You can also change the media keys in the top row to function keys by selecting the check box.

12. Learn system shortcuts


In addition to having a different keyboard layout, your Chromebook also has different keyboard shortcuts for system-level actions. Fortunately, Google made it very easy to learn these new shortcuts by using another shortcut in the process. Hit CTRL + ALT +? (yes, the question mark key), and you open the Chromebook’s speed dial dictionary.

Type the letter you want to write the shortcut you want. You can search the glossary by the letter or key you want to use to find the shortcut, or which Chromebook shortcuts use a specific combination. It lists all possible Chromebook shortcuts, starting with the most popular options.

Nevertheless, you can start the jump page with our overview top Chromebook shortcuts

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13. Right-click and center-click the touch pad

I hate the first three days on my Chromebook because there are no mouse buttons on the touchpad. This made web browsing a nightmare because I didn’t have the right to right-click or center-click. As it turns out, both of these steps are simpler than I thought.

so with the right button, all you have to do is tap the touchpad with two fingers at the same time. so middle-click, all you have to do is tap the touchpad with three fingers at the same time. This tip alone will make your Chromebook experience millions of times better.

14. Swipe gestures on the touch pad

The three-finger gesture on the Chromebook shows all screens

All modern Chromebooks have a touchpad that uses gestures, and those gestures change your life. While many gestures are supported, there are four in particular that every beginner to a Chromebook should know:

  1. Swipe horizontally with two fingers move forward and backward in Chrome.
  2. Swipe vertically with two fingers scroll up and down.
  3. Swipe horizontally with three fingers to switch between open tabs in Chrome. This is even faster than use Ctrl + tabs.
  4. Swipe down with three fingers to open the Task Switcher, which distributes all open applications from a bird’s eye view.

15. Quickly free up disk space

Chromebook storage options

All Chromebooks have some sort of SSD file for storing data. While this is great news about speed and performance, there is one downside: many Chromebooks have very small SSDs. On the other hand, this is great because it keeps the cost of the new Chromebook low. On the other hand, storage space runs out quickly.

That’s why disk space management is so important. Click the profile icon in the lower right corner, and then click Gear icon to open Settings. In the Device section, click Inventory management. Here you can see what is taking up space on your system, and remove with a click if necessary.

On some Chromebooks, you can replace the SSD with a larger one. Turning off the SSD may void the warranty, so check before performing hardware upgrades. If you do not want to consider hardware, check the cheapest cloud storage providers

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16. Disable Hibernation

Chromebook idle options

For a long time, Chrome OS didn’t provide users with an effective way to control screen idle time and power management. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.

Head Settings> Power, and you can choose what your Chromebook should do when idle. For reference, your Chromebook will start to idle in about 10 minutes. You can select sleep mode, turn off the display, or keep the display on.

The latter option is what many users demand, and it’s frustrating to go back to a sleeping Chromebook. You can also switch off the device Sleep when the lid is closed, by stopping the unit from sleeping each time you close the cover.

Some users may find their access to such settings disabled due to administrative settings in schools or businesses. If that sounds to you, check this out Chrome extension that disables hibernation

How to disable hibernation on your Chromebook
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. Not only that, the Keep Awake plug-in also lets you choose between modes between screen-only sleep mode and display and system sleep modes.

17. Take Easy Screenshots

If your Chromebook doesn’t have a Print Screen button, how do you take a picture of your screen? Just press Ctrl + Toggle window key. (The Replace window is a special key in the top row that looks like a rectangle with two vertical lines next to it.)

The saved screenshots appear in the Downloads folder, where you can access the Files app. Note that you can also use Ctrl + Shift + Toggle window restrict the screenshot to a specific area of ​​the screen.

18. Enable optional features with tickets

Chromebook ticket options

Open Chrome and type chrome: // flags In the URL bar to access a number of optional Chrome OS features.

Note that these optional features may not be completely stable. At best, they may not work as intended. In the worst case, they can be sufficiently faulty, causing data loss. Most of them are close to stable and extreme errors are rare, but this risk always occurs with these optional features.

If you’re not new to Chromebooks and Chrome OS, you need to research what these options do before you indulge.

19. Experimental properties of beta and development channels

Chromebook Switch Development Channel

If you feel like an adventure but don’t want to confuse the optional tickets above, consider switching Beta-channel or development Channel.

The beta channel offers low-risk eavesdropping on future features, about a month before the stable channel. The Dev channel provides a high-risk, error-prone mouse review of the experimental properties well before the stable channel. To switch to Beta or Dev channels:

  1. Click the profile icon in the lower right corner.
  2. Click to Gear icon to open Settings.
  3. Click at the bottom of the left panel About Chrome OS.
  4. click on Additional Information.
  5. Click to Change the channel button.
  6. Select either Beta or Dev channel.

If you want to minimize system crashes and potential data loss, stay next to a stable channel. Switching from an experimental channel to a stable channel will remove everything from your Chromebook, including accounts!

20. Restore factory settings using Powerwash

If you want to start over with a blank strip, plan to sell your Chromebook, or if you ever run into a catastrophic error that causes your system to crash all the time, you may need to Powerwash your device.

Powerwash is Google’s term for “factory reset.” It will erase all data on your Chromebook and return to factory mode. Despite losing local data, it will not be affected by your Google Account and profile, and no data will be synced to the Google Cloud.

Check for more information we’re reporting that your Chromebook is initializing

There are two ways to redesign your Chromebook: Powerwash and a full recovery
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21. Turn on Google Assistant

Chromebook google assistant

You can use Google Assistant on your Chromebook to display notifications, use the “OK Google” feature, and other useful information. Google Assistant can help new Chromebook users navigate around the new device. It shows handy tooltips related to your current activity and other information.

To enable Google Assistant, click the profile icon in the lower right corner and then Gear icon to open Settings. Head Search and Assistant> Google Assistant.

Other Chromebook tips you might like

Like all computers, Chromebooks slow down over time due to wear and tear and debris buildup. Fortunately, there are steps you can take Speed ​​up your Chromebook and restore performance

5 ways to prevent your Chromebook from slowing down
Is your Chromebook indexed to stop? Need to load pages slowly on your Chromebook? Does your Chromebook slow down in general? Time will speed up Chrome again.
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. To change the look of your Chromebook, check it out the best Chromebooks for all types of users

Top 5 Chromebooks for all types of users
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One last thing: while I sing their praise and think they’re the best device for casual home use, Chromebooks aren’t perfect. If you want to try something different, here is the following how to install Linux on your Chromebook

How to install Linux on a Chromebook
Here’s how to install Linux on your Chromebook so you can start using other apps like Skype, VLC Media Player, and more!
Read more


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