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The Most Useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Chromebook

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Are you a Chromebook user? Here is a set of keyboard shortcuts that you can use every day on your Chromebook. If you are new to Chrome OS, these shortcuts will help you master your new device.

Pixelbook Go Keyboard
Pixelbook Go Keyboard

Commonly Used Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts

First up, a handful of keyboard shortcuts that every Chrome OS user must know.

ActionShortcut
Take a screenshot of the entire screenCTRL + Window Switcher ([]]]) (F5)
Take a screenshot of a part of the screenCTRL + SHIFT + Window Switcher (([]]]))
Take a screenshot of an app or windowCTRL + ALT + Window Switcher (([]]]))
Toggle CapslockALT + SEARCH (aka Launcher key)
Lock the screenCTRL + SHIFT + L
Open the Task ManagerSEARCH + ESC
Open Chrome’s Setting menuALT + E
Launch apps from the launcherALT + 1-9 (1 opens the first app and so on)
Dock a window to the left of your screenALT + [
Dock a window to the right of your screenAlt + ]

Caps Lock

The caps lock key is one of the first things that users look for when they start using a Chromebook. On the Keyboard on Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices, the Search key replaces Capslock. However, for those who need Capslock, there is a keyboard shortcut.

You can enable Caps Lock with the keyboard shortcut: ALT + SEARCH

Home and End

Just like the dedicated Caps Lock key, there are no Home, End, or Delete keys on Chromebook keyboards. But there are alternatives. Here is a handy list.

  • For Home key, press  CTRL + ALT + Up Arrow
  • For End key, press CTRL + ALT + Down Arrow

Delete Key

See a pattern here? There is no delete key either on your Chromebook. At least not a dedicated key. But there is a keyboard shortcut for it, something that you will use a lot from now onwards:

  • For the Delete key, press ALT + Backspace.

You can use the same keyboard shortcut for deleting files from the file manager and Google Drive.

Lock Screen

You can hold the power button for a second or two to lock the Chromebook’s screen. However, if you are a keyboard shortcut lover, or missing one of your most-used Windows keyboard shortcuts, press SEARCH +L. 

Logout

Okay, you now know how to lock the screen. But what is the keyboard shortcut to log out of your Chromebook? Ctrl + Shift + Q it is!

There is no PrtScn key on a Chromebook. You can easily take screenshots using a keyboard combination.

Open the File Manager

One of the most used keyboard shortcuts for me, second only to the Screenshot one (I take a lot of screenshots for my blog) Press ALT + Shift + M to open the file manager of your Chromebook.

Create New Folder in File Manager

While you are in the Files app or the File Manager, Ctrl + E creates a new folder. Since Google Drive has integrated with the Files app, this keyboard shortcut can be used to create new folders in the Google Drive section of the app.

The Help App

The Chrome OS team has added a good-looking help app that works offline. To access this, press Ctrl +?

Control Display Settings

ActionKeyboard Shortcut
Increase scale (make things bigger)CTRL + SHIFT + + (plus)
Decrease the screen scale (make things smaller)CTRL + SHIFT + – (minus)
Reset screen scale (resolution) to default settingsCTRL + SHIFT + )
Rotate the screen 90 degreesCTRL + SHIFT + Reload

View all Keyboard Shortcuts for Chrome OS (App)

Chromebooks used to have a useful keyboard overlay to help us learn keyboard shortcuts. This has been replaced with a keyboard shortcut app.

It doesn’t work exactly like the old keyboard overlay, but it is well-designed and organized. To open this app, use the keyboard shortcut:

CTRL + ALT + /

Once you have it open, you can right-click the app icon from the shelf and pin it.

Change Keyboard Shortcuts on a Chromebook

How do I modify keyboard shortcuts in Chromebook? Well, there is a way to do that!

You can change the following two keyboard shortcuts:

  • Alt, Ctrl, Search, and Assistant
  • Chrome OS-specific keys in the top row (function keys)

Now let us take a look at these in detail.

Alt, Ctrl, Search, and Assistant

As I explained in the Keyboard section of the Chrome OS Settings guide, you can remap Alt, Ctrl, Search, and even the Assistant key.

To remap keys:

  1. Open the Chromebook Settings app and go to Device > Keyboard.
  2. By default, the keys are assigned to their namesake. For example, the CTRL key on the keyboard will do what CTRL does.
  3. From the drop-down menu against each key, select the new action that you want to assign.
  4. For example, select Caps lock from the drop-down against Ctrl to make CTRL key work as Caps lock.

For each key, you have the following options:

  • Launcher
  • Ctrl
  • Alt
  • Caps Lock
  • Escape
  • Backspace
  • Disable

Make the “Top Row” Work as Function Keys

Chromebooks (famously) come with a set of Chrome OS-specific keys in the first row of the keyboard, instead of the traditional function keys (F1, F2 F3, etc).

If you would rather keep them as traditional function keys, there is a way to do that. Open the Chromebook Settings app and go to Device > Keyboard. Enable “Treat top-row keys as function keys

That is to make the top row work as function keys, always. What if you want those keys to work as function keys only temporarily?

Simply press and hold down the Search aka Launcher key and tap any of those top row keys to use them as function keys.

For example, hold down the Search key and press the reload key to use it as F2.

Note: You can find the complete list of Chrome (browser) keyboard shortcuts here in the official help center article.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Chrome – The Most Useful 10

These keyboard shortcuts work on your Chromebook. However, these are not limited to Chrome OS. You can use these keyboard shortcuts on Windows 10, macOS, and Linux as well.

If you are a Google Chrome user, here are the most useful Chrome (browser) keyboard shortcuts.

Note: On macOS, replace CTRL with CMD.

  1. CTRL + T =  Opens a new tab
  2. CTRL+ W  = Closes the current tab.
  3. CTRL + SHIFT + T = Reopens the last tab you’ve closed. Google Chrome remembers the last 10 tabs you’ve closed.
  4. CTRL + SHIFT + N = Opens a new window in incognito mode, for private browsing
  5. CTRL + H = Opens your browsing history (CMD + Y on macOS)
  6. CTRL + SHIFT  + DEL = Takes you directly to the page to clear the browsing history, cache, and cookies.
  7. CTRL + J = Opens the downloads page
  8. CTRL + D = Saves your current webpage as a bookmark.
  9. CTRL + SHIFT +V =  Paste content from the clipboard without formatting (ie, pastes plain text)
  10. CTRL + SHIFT + J = Opens Developer Tools.


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