8 Tips to Chromebook Mastery

Chromebooks can initially pose a challenge to new users that are moving from Windows or Mac. Below are a list of tips compiled to help new users overcome some of the small challenges when first using and familiarising with a Chromebook.

1. Keyboard Shortcuts

Chromebooks have their own variety of shortcuts that sometimes differ from other operating systems. However, Google have accounted for this. Just press and hold Ctrl+Alt+? and a list of keyboard shortcuts will pop up!

a2. Take a Screenshot

You may notice that the screen capture (PrtSc) button is missing.

However, there is a neat shortcut that also confirms that the screenshot has been taken. If you hold the ‘ctrl’ key and press the key - it's that button above '6' with a drawing of a tiny rectangle with two vertical lines on its right side. This will save a screenshot to the clipboard, allowing you to copy it elsewhere (email, document) etc.

3. Access Google Drive When Offline

Some users harbour a belief that once they have a Chromebook they must always be connected to the internet for it to have any use whatsoever. However, this is certainly not the case. There is a feature in which you can enable which keeps a cached version of your Google Drive downloaded onto the device to allow offline access.

To enable this, please do the following:

  1. Open ‘Google Drive’

  2. Go to ‘My Drive’

  3. Under the gear icon, click ‘Settings’

  4. ‘Offline’ > ‘Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer”.

This allows you to edit documents offline which will then sync once you access an internet connection again.

4. Easy Login And Authentication

If you don't like being required to type in your password every single time you log in to your Chromebook, take out your smartphone for this one and enable Bluetooth. Now follow the simple instructions below: Go to Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Smart Lock

Now, set up Smart Lock by pairing your smartphone with the Chromebook via Bluetooth. After this, every time your phone is within range — assuming you keep Bluetooth on — it will unlock your Chromebook for you.

5. Control User Access

If a user has a Google Account, they can work on your Chromebook by signing in. However, you can further control which users are allows access to your Chromebook.

  1. Go to ‘Settings’

  2. Scroll down to ‘People’

  3. Click ‘Manage other users’

You can choose to what extent you can restrict other users from there and you can even restrict usage to specific users like a personal blacklist.

6. Make Google Drive Your Default Save Location

This one is a good way to ensure that you always have access to your files by saving it in the cloud instead of a local directory. All you have to do is go to "Settings" then click "Show Advanced Settings." Look for the "Downloads" header and click change. From there, choose "Google Drive" and click "Open."

But wait, there's more!

To make the process automatic, go back to the "Settings" page and uncheck "Ask where to save each file before downloading." Now you're good to go.

7. Easy Wipe With Powerwash

A powerwash is a way to wipe the Chromebook clean, which is like settting it back to how it was when you first purchased it. This would be recommended if you had a lot of problems with the device or if you wanted to sell/give the device to someone else.

In order to carry out a Powerwash, you will need to do the following:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’

  2. Scroll down and click on ‘Powerwash’

This will remove your profile, custom settings, etc. from the system.

8. Task Manager

Like in windows, Chromebooks also have a task manager. Task manager can be used to force quit apps. To open task manager in chrome simply press and hold search+esc, a new windows will open with a list of apps and processes running on the system. From here you can view the hardware resources being used by each process and app as well as force quitting them.