16 Chromebook Tips For New Users: Unlock ChromeOS’ Full Potential
Got a Chromebook? Wondering how to unlock more of its potential? Check out these 16 Chromebook tips designed for those new to ChromeOS…
Chromebooks are flying off retailers shelves at unprecedented rates. And the reason? The price, mostly – Chromebooks are A LOT cheaper than Macs and Windows 10 machines.
But there’s more to it than this, I think. Chromebooks are also very simple to use, require less spec to function optimally, and they’re not plagued by constant software updates like Windows.
Add in the fact that you get access to one of the best cloud-based productivity suites on the planet, Google Drive, and it is easy to see why more and more people are switching to Chromebooks.
If you’re new to Chromebooks, you probably have questions. You’re probably wondering about what it can do? Or how you do certain things inside ChromeOS? Well, this post is for you. In it, we’ll cover the 16 most-asked questions about how to do things in ChromeOS…
16 EPIC Chromebook Tips For New Users…
1) How Take A Screenshot on Your Chromebook
Because Chromebooks come in different styles, you have touchscreen models and standard laptop-style models, there are a couple of different ways available to you for taking screenshots in ChromeOS.
Here’s the main ones:
- Typical Screenshot – Press Ctrl + Show Windows key.
- Partial Screenshot – Shift + Ctrl + Show Windows and then drag the mouse or curser over the area you want to screenshot.
- On Tablets – Press and hold down the POWER and VOLUME DOWN button
And that’s it – pretty simple, right? You’re now 100% covered for taking screenshots on a Chromebook and a ChromeOS-powered tablet device.
2) How To Copy And Paste Text
- To Copy Text – CTRL + C to copy the highlighted text.
- To Paste Text – CTRL + V
- To Paste Text Without Any Formatting – SHIFT + CTRL + V
3) How To Right Click in ChromeOS
If you’re coming from Mac or Windows, you’ll want to right click on things – this is just the way we’ve been programmed to use computers. In ChromeOS, you can right click on anything. And it is, largely speaking, pretty similar to how right-clicking works on Mac and Windows machines.
Here’s how it is done in ChromeOS – you can either PRESS AND/OR TAP TOUCHPAD WITH TWO FINGERS or PRESS ALT AND CLICK WITH ONE FINGER.
4) How To Quickly Restart Your Chromebook
Chromebooks do not come with a dedicated button or option to restart the system. Annoying, right? Well, thanks to a bit of keyboard magic you can quickly restart your Chromebook any time you run into issues.
To restart your Chromebook, simply press and hold the REFRESH button and then tap the power button. The REFRESH button is situated just about the 3 and 4 keys, in case you were wondering where it was.
This quick key combo will instantly restart your Chromebook and hopefully iron out any issues you might be having. It is also worth noting that simply turning your Chromebook OFF and ON again can also work, so maybe try this first before moving onto a total restart.
5) How To Screen Record on A Chromebook
Recording what’s on your screen on a Chromebook is super-simple, but you will need additional software, as this ability is not supported in ChromeOS.
Me personally, I use VidYard and have done for years. You can get in the Chrome Extensions Store. Once you’ve downloaded it, a small green icon will appear in your browser bar. To record, click it and select which part of the screen you want to record.
You can record certain windows or the full screen, it’s your call. Once the video is done, you’ll be given a link that you can then share wherever you like. Simple, right?
6) How To Do Split Screen on a Chromebook
Having the ability to work with apps set in split screen configuration is great; you can work faster and get more stuff done. Windows 10 has a great split-screen mode. But so too does ChromeOS on your Chromebook.
Here’s how you enable split-screen windows in ChromeOS:
On the first Window, click the minimiser button (the middle one on your browser window’s top right settings). This will make the window smaller. Now, drag it to the left corner of your screen.
Open a new tab, follow the same steps from above and drag it to the right side of your screen. And, boom, you’re working with split-screen windows in ChromeOS.
7) How To Factory Reset Your Chromebook
If something is REALLY wrong with your Chromebook, the easiest way to fix things is to do a complete factory reset. You will, of course, need to ensure that everything is first backed up to your Google account.
Once you’re done this, you can then proceed to performing a factory reset of your Chromebook. Here’s how it is done:
- Sign out of your account
- Press and hold Ctrl + Alt + Shift + r
- Select RESTART
- A box will now appear, select the POWERWASH option, hit CONTINUE
- You’ll now be asked to sign in again, do this and follow the steps
- Your Chromebook will now reset to its factory settings
8) How To Delete Apps
If you’ve got apps you don’t need anymore on your Chromebook, you should remove them. They take up valuable space and put needless strain on the system. Running a tight ship is always advisable, so if you’re not using an app or extension delete it by following these steps:
- Select LAUNCHER (it’s located in the corner of your screen) > then press THE UP ARROW KEY
- RIGHT CLICK on the app or extension you want to remove > Select UNINSTALL or REMOVE FROM CHROME option, then click REMOVE
9) How To Change Wallpapers on a Chromebook
Changing your Chromebook’s wallpaper is super simple. All you have to do is locate your DOWNLOADS folder or the image you want to use, right click on it and then select SET AS WALLPAPER.
To access your Downloads or Files folder, tap the launcher in the bottom left corner, click the UP ARROW KEY to open it fully, select FILES and then DOWNLOADS.
10) How To Connect Your Chromebook To A TV
All Chromebooks come with HDMI ports, so you can quickly attach it to your TV. Simply take a spare HDMI cable and attach it to your Chromebook. Then, place the other end into your TV’s HDMI port. Make a note of which port you use too, as this makes finding it easier.
Switch your TV on and select the HDMI port your Chromebook is connected to. Your Chromebook’s screen should now appear on your TV.
You can also use Chromecast to cast your Chromebook’s screen to your TV, but this method, obviously, requires that you have a Chromecast attached to your TV. If you do, just click the CAST icon in any window on your Chromebook to start casting the screen to your HDTV.
11) How To Connect AirPods To A Chromebook
Chromebooks come with bluetooth, so you can connect all manner of wireless headphones to your computer, including Apple’s AirPods.
To connect AirPods, for instance, simply open Bluetooth settings (located in the Menu bay, lower-right corner next to battery percentage), make sure Bluetooth is switched on, wait for the AirPods to appear, and then select PAIR.
12) How To Install Zoom on Chromebook
If you want to install Zoom on your Chromebook, just follow these simple steps:
- Go to Google Chrome Store
- Search For Zoom, Click Install
- Zoom will download and install on your Chromebook
- Sign in with your credentials to start using it
13) How To Switch To Developer Mode in ChromeOS
Back in the day, all Chromebooks came with a physical key to activate developer mode. Modern Chromebooks no longer have this option sadly, largely because if you don’t know what you’re doing you can break stuff pretty easily.
However, you can still put your Chromebook into developer mode, you just need to know a few keyboard combinations. And this is how you do it:
- Turn off your Chromebook
- Hold ESC KEY + F3 while pressing the POWER button. After a second, release the POWER button
- ChromeOS’ Recovery Screen will now load. Press CTRL + D to switch to Developer Mode. This can take a few minutes, so be patient.
14) How To Access Hidden Features In Chrome
ChromeOS is basically Google’s Chrome browser. This is why it is so fast. But did you know you could access secret, hidden Chrome features that aren’t available to the public? Things like Reader Mode and Grouped Tabs?
All you need to do is go into Chrome’s settings and enable flags – we have a full guide on How To Enable Flags In Chrome, so check that out for more details. It is really useful, though, so do make sure to have a look.
15) How To Play Roblox on a Chromebook
Roblox is available on all major platforms, including Chromebooks. To play Roblox on your Chromebook, simply launch Google Play, search for Roblox, download and install it, and, boom, you’re done. Roblox is now ready to play on your Chromebook.
16) Can You Install Windows on A Chromebook?
You can install Windows on a Chromebook, but I wouldn’t describe it as an easy process. Also, the entire point of ChromeOS is to be lightweight and simple to use – the exact opposite of Windows. For this reason, I wouldn’t advise anyone to run Windows on ChromeOS.
But if you must, here’s a handy video on how to install Windows on a Chromebook. Please note, it is NOT easy and it WILL require a lot of time and plenty of specialist knowledge. Basically, in the grand scheme of things, it is probably not worth it. But if you must, this is how it is done.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.