- 1 Chromebook Tips and Tricks
- 2 1. SHIFT + SEARCH Opens the Launcher
- 3 2. How long will you get software updates?
- 4 3. Increase or decrease screen resolution using keyboard shortcut
- 5 4. SHIFT + ALT + M opens the file manager
- 6 5. Press ‘E’ while viewing pictures to open it in the image editor
- 7 6. Rename files and folders with CTRL + ENTER
- 8 7. View remaining storage
- 9 8. Change camera resolution
- 10 9. CTRL + SHIFT + E ejects a removable device
- 11 10. Find IP and MAC address of Chromebook
- 12 11. Use Google DNS
- 13 12. Switch to Beta or Dev Channel
- 14 13. Mute Notifications
- 15 More Chromebook Tips and Tricks
Chromebook Tips and Tricks
This is our ever-growing list of Chromebook tips and tricks. This collection of 68 Chromebook hacks will help you make the most out of your Chromebook. This guide will be handy for students and regular Chromebook users alike.
1. SHIFT + SEARCH Opens the Launcher
What is the quickest way to launch the apps menu on your Chromebook? Our favorite is this keyboard shortcut.
SHIFT + SEARCH
This keyboard combination opens the Chrome OS launcher in full screen. You can browse through the apps, search for them. You can even use Google Assistant from the search bar.
2. How long will you get software updates?
How long will your Chromebook receive software updates? This is a crucial question.
And there is an easy way to find the answer.
Open the Settings app. Click About Chrome OS and then Additional details. You will see your Chromebook’s update schedule here. In addition, you will see the month and year when you will stop receiving software updates and security updates.
3. Increase or decrease screen resolution using keyboard shortcut
Yes, you can go to Settings > Device > Display to change your Chromebook’s screen resolution.
That’s not quick.
Here is a quicker way to manage your Chromebook’s screen resolution. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT , and then + (plus) to increase or – (minus) to decrease screen resolution.
Quick or not?
4. SHIFT + ALT + M opens the file manager
Now that we are on the subject of keyboard shortcuts, here is one more quick one. Use the keyboard shortcut SHIFT + ALT + M to open your file manager.
The Files app is the file manager on your Chromebook. It has a built-in media player and even an image editor.
5. Press ‘E’ while viewing pictures to open it in the image editor
No, we are not done with keyboard shortcuts. There are plenty more coming.
Here is one worth mentioning while talking about the Files app if you are viewing an image, press E to open it in the built-in image editor.
You can do basic image editing and cropping using the built-in editor.
6. Rename files and folders with CTRL + ENTER
Now that you are browsing files and folders using the Files app, here is one more quick tip for you. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + ENTER to rename files.
This keyboard shortcut works for folders too. First, select the folder and press CTRL + ENTER. Now enter the new name and press ENTER one more time.
7. View remaining storage
Do you want to know how much free space is left on your Chromebook? Here is the quickest way to find it.
Open the Files app and click the three-dots icon on the top-right corner. The available storage will be the last item on the screen that opens.
There are a couple of other methods to view the remaining storage. Learn them all here.
Prefer a video? We’ve got that too:
8. Change camera resolution
Do you take photos using your Chromebook? You can change the resolution of pictures from the Camera app.
Click the Settings (gear) icon and look for screen resolution.
We have written more detailed steps here.
9. CTRL + SHIFT + E ejects a removable device
The Files app displays your storage media as separate drives. You can use memory cards, USB drives, and external hard drives, and even Android phones.
What’s the one thing that you remember doing while removing such external media from your computer?
Safely ejecting before removing them.
Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + E to eject a removable device on the Files app.
10. Find IP and MAC address of Chromebook
To quickly get the IP address and MAC ID of your Google Chromebook, click the Tray (the right end of your taskbar where time and your profile icon) and click the WiFi icon, and then the “i” icon.
11. Use Google DNS
Do you prefer Google’s DNS servers on your Chromebook? You can change that from your Settings. Here is a video explaining how to do this:
12. Switch to Beta or Dev Channel
The next Chromebook tip will help you test some Chrome OS features early.
Changing your Chromebook’s release channel (software version) is a good idea if you want to experiment or check out new features waiting for a general release.
What are your options?
- Stable channel: This has the latest stable version of Chrome OS. This is what you should be using on your Chromebook.
- Beta channel: If you are feeling a little adventurous, you can beta test upcoming Chrome OS features here.
- Dev channel: Created for developers, this channel receives updates more frequently. Not recommended for daily use.
Open the Settings app and click About Chrome OS > Additional Details > Change Channel to change the channel.
13. Mute Notifications
This is my favorite Chromebook tip.
To mute app notifications, open the notification area, click Notifications, and uncheck the app you want to mute.
More Chromebook Tips and Tricks
We are not done yet. So here is another list of short and quick Chromebook tips.
- On the file manager, while you are dragging and dropping files, hovering over a folder will open it. To open the folder immediately without waiting for it, press the spacebar.
- Chromebooks have no “Airplane mode.” Here is a workaround.
- You can clear cache and data for Android apps installed on Chromebooks too. Find out how here.
- Google Drive is available as an extension of the Files app on your Chromebook. It works more like an additional drive. The Google Drive section can hold cached copies of your files. How do you refresh this cache? To update Google Drive cache, go to chrome://drive-internals/ and click “Clear local data” to clear the cache.
- Here is our guide to using the Google Assistant on Chromebook.
- Want to disable Google Assistant on your Chromebook? We’ve got you covered here.
- Install the Android Messages app on your Chromebook.
- To factory reset your Chromebook, use the “Powerwash” option. Read our complete guide to when and how to reset your Chromebook.
- How To Download Torrents on Your Google Chromebook
- To insert Unicode characters, press CTRL + U + The number for the Unicode character.
- Once you are in the command prompt (CTRL + ALT + T ), you can do SSH using the following format: ssh username computernameORipaddress. To view available SSH options, type ssh hit enter and then hit enter one more time.
- On an ARM Chromebook, Hold ESC + Refresh buttons then push the power button to enter developer mode.
- To view hardware information of your Chromebook while it is booting, press Ctrl + i or Tab + i.
- To enable accessibility options on your Google Chromebook, visit chrome://settings/search#accessibility. You can enable the Accessibility menu, spoken feedback, and other accessibility options.
- To view the total amount of RAM, open chrome://system, find meminfo, and click expand.
- To know the bandwidth used by your Chromebook/Chromebox, open chrome://net-internals/#bandwidth
- How to change MAC address of your Chromebook.
- To change the launcher/taskbar position, right-click the taskbar and go to the Shelf position menu.
- Inside the Settings app, search for “Use High Contrast Mode” and enable it to view Google Chrome OS in high resolution.
- If you try to open a .swf file (flash) from the Files app, you will get an error saying it is unsupported. Drag the file to a Chrome tab, and it will work fine.
- Keep pressing Alt + – (Alt Key and minus (-) to minimize each open window, till you see the desktop. On HTML5 videos, this keyboard shortcut works as toggle between full-screen mode.
- To quickly get the IP address and MAC ID of your Google Chromebook, click the Ash Tray (the right end of your taskbar where time and your profile icon) and click the wifi icon, and then the “i” icon.
- How To Stop Chromebook From Grouping Windows Per Application.
- In Chrome OS, a hidden folder is a folder that starts with a dot. “.hidden_folder” for instance. By pressing <Ctrl> + “.” in the Files App, you can quickly toggle hidden folders’ visibility. It also works with files.
- To remove wallpaper images that you added through the “Custom” section, right-click the image and select Delete.
- On the Chrome OS wallpaper picker screen, you can check “Surprise me” to see a random wallpaper each time you log in.
- You can rotate Chrome OS screen using this keyboard shortcut. <Ctrl> + <Shift> + <Refresh> . Try portrait mode now.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Q , twice (second time for confirmation) to exit
- <SHIFT> + [ ] (F4 or the full screen key) to make a packaged (native) app full screen.
- If you are on Developer Mode (not developer channel), you can force an update to Chrome OS by typing the following command in Chrome OS shell update_engine_client -update.
- On the Files app (file manager) use the following keyboard shortcuts to navigate: <ctrl> + 1 switches to Google Drive <ctrl> + 2 switches to Downloads <ctrl> + 3 switches to USB Drive
- By clicking the Play button or the video while holding <Ctrl>, the video will play in a looped mode.
- Here’s a cool keyboard shortcut to manually control the keyboard backlight of your Chromebook Pixel:- <Alt> + <Bright Down> decreases key brightness – <Alt> + <Bright Up> increases key brightness
- Pressing the <Ctrl> + <Shift> + 9 keyboard shortcut toggles the Projection Touch HUD. This is useful when you are doing a presentation on an external display, and want to show your interactions with the touchscreen.
- You can create shortcuts (on the left sidebar) in the Files app to specific folders. Right-click and choose Create Shortcut. You can remove the folder by right-clicking and selecting the “Remove folder” option.
- Quickly manage displays connected to your Chromebook with these keyboard shortcuts: + = Swap primary monitor.
<Ctrl> + <FullScreen> = Mirror monitors
- To switch the virtual keyboard layout, tap long on the keyboard icon to trigger the layout switcher overlay and pick the one you want among the hardcoded System QWERTY ¹, QWERTY and Dvorak for now.
- Under keyboard settings, enable “Treat top-row keys as function keys” to get windows like function keys on your Chromebook.
- From settings, check “Enable stick keys” to perform keyboard shortcuts by typing even them sequentially in Chrome OS. In this mode, you can press and release a modifier key such as or and have it remain active until any other key is pressed.
- Open chrome://power to display battery charge percentage over time. This page will be updated soon with more power/battery related information.
- While using Chromecast with a Chromebook (i.e., casting from a Chromebook), you can close the lid without worrying about losing your content. Chrome OS considers Chromecast similar to an external display and continues to cast.
- Press and Hold Power Key For a Second to Lock Chromebook’s Screen
- On the Camera app, type CRAZYPONY (in caps) to make it a video player and take funny screenshots of the video.
- Here is how you switch between multiple accounts on Google Chromebook, <Ctrl> + <Alt> + <Period> and <Ctrl> + <Alt> + <Comma> (keyboard shortcuts.)
- For a split-screen effect, you can dock a window to the left or right. Click and hold the maximize icon; you will see two arrows, one pointing to the left and the other to the right. Use these to dock the window to the right or left. You can also use the shortcut ALT + [ to dock left, or ALT + ] to anchor right.
- Do you have a touchscreen Chromebook? What if you want to turn off the touchscreen occasionally and use just the keyboard and the touchpad? You can do this with a keyboard shortcut. Turn on/off the touch screen using this keyboard shortcut: SEARCH + SHIFT + T.
- Are you a mouse person or a touchpad person? I use a mouse most of the time and can manage without turning the touchpad off. However, in some cases, it is good to have it turned off to avoid accidental clicks and mouse movements. Turn the touchpad on/off using this keyboard shortcut: <SEARCH> + <SHIFT> + P
- While connecting any device using Bluetooth, it is important to be able to identify the device by its name. To change your Chromebook’s Bluetooth device name, open a Chrome OS Shell with [CTRL] + [ALT] + T, type bt_console, and go to Bluetooth Console. Enter “system-alias <deviceName>” where <deviceName> is the new device name.
- On the Chrome OS audio player, use SPACE + K to pause/play music. Use Down/Up or Left/Right to Rewind/Forward min(5s, 10% of the duration) and J/L => Rewind/Forward min(10s, 20% of the duration).
- Instant tethering helps you connect to your phone’s WiFi hotspot with one click.
- Visit chrome://os-settings/app-management to easily manage all your apps. You can manage your Chrome apps and Android apps from here.
- Here is how to Enable Android Developer Options on a Chromebook.
- Import ONC File on a Chromebook
- View and Manage Print Jobs on Chromebook
- Change Language on Chromebook
I hope you learned a Chromebook tip or two. Share your feedback in the comments section.
Do you have a Chromebook tip or trick that I should add to this list? I would love to hear from you.