Tips to Maximum Chromebook Productivity

November 15, 2018

Tips to Navigate 

  1. The Chrome OS Launcher: the app-drawer-like interface that appears when you tap the Search key or hit the circle icon in the lower-left corner of the screen is a powerful search tool. Just start typing and you can find apps and open them or find documents that is on the PC. Power Tip: U
  2. Quickly open any item on your shelf by pressing Alt and then the number key that corresponds with its position: Alt+1 for the first app in the list, Alt+2 for the second and so on.
  3. If you have a Chromebook with a stylus you can take notes right from the lock screen with the Google Keep Android app. Look in the “Stylus” section of your device’s settings to make sure the option for lock-screen not-taking is enabled. Once it’s active, you’ll see an icon in the upper-right corner of your lock-screen that’ll let you scribble away. 

Managing Apps

  1. You can manage your opened apps and windows by pressing the button that looks like a box with two lines on your keyboard. You can also swipe downward with three fingers on your trackpad to open it anytime (and then swipe back upward with three fingers to close it and return to your most recently active app or window).
  2. Prefer a faster Alt+Tab like method of switching between processes? Just press Alt+Tab once to toggle back and forth between your two most recently used apps or windows, or press and hold Alt+Tab to pull up a quick switching utility that’ll let you tab between all of your actively open items.
  3. Snap any app or window to either side of your screen by hitting either Alt+[ to snap it to the left side or Alt+] for the right side. 
  4. Minimize an app or window by pressing Alt+-. 
  5. Maximize an app or window by pressing Alt++.
  6. Organize your apps by creating folders within the Chrome OS launcher. Click or tap on any app and then drag it on top of another app’s icon. 

Getting Around the Web

  1. In a browser window, swipe left on your trackpad with two fingers to go back a page or swipe right to go forward.
  2. If you have multiple tabs, swipe left or right on your trackpad with three fingers to move among the tabs.
  3. If you click a link with three fingers on your trackpad. It’ll open into a new tab in the background. 
  4. Close a tab quickly by hovering over its title bar and then clicking your Chromebook trackpad with three fingers.
  5. Open a new Chrome Browser window quickly by hitting Ctrl+N from anywhere.

Secure Your Chromebook 

  1. You can use your Android phone to serve to unlock your Chromebook using a feature called Smart Lock. Open the “Screen Lock” section of your Chromebook’s settings to enable the feature and configure its options. 
  2. Let someone else use your Chromebook without gaining access to all of your information with the help of Chrome OS’s Guest Mode. Look for the “Browse as Guest” option on the lock screen. It’ll open up an incognito-like environment where no personal or account-related data is available and nothing that happens is saved beyond the session
  3. You can also restrict who can login to the Chromebook by opening the “Manage other People” section in your Chromebook’s settings. Activate the toggle next to the line labeled “Restrict sign-in to the following Users” and then make sure only your account and any others you want on the device are included in the list.
  4. Secure the Chromebook when you step away by hitting the Search Key and then the L Key.

System Tools

  1. If your Chromebook is running slow or an app is acting up, hold the Search Key and then his the ESC key to open Chrome OS’s Task Manager. There, you can see memory and CPU use for every active process and manually end any item as needed. 


  1. Using Chrome Remote Desktop is a simple and effective way to access another computer from your Chromebook without any costly or complicated software. 
  2. If your Chromebook is a newer Chromebook you should be able to use the Google Play Store to download Android Applications. You can also install common favorites like Firefox and Opera web browser if you don’t like Chrome. 

I hope you are able to use your Chromebook more effectively and enjoy your experience as much as I have. 

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