Chromebooks may not be as feature-packed as a Windows laptop or MacBook, but they’re still incredibly useful devices. There are probably some features that you are not aware of that can extend the functionality of your Chrome OS device. Let’s dive in!
GET A CAPS LOCK KEY
Chromebooks have their own unique keyboard layout with no Caps Lock key. Instead, there is a special search key where most computers have the Caps Lock key. You can change that.
You can turn Caps Lock on or off with the Alt+Search hotkey. However, if you use Caps Lock a lot, you can just change the function of the search key altogether. This is easy to do from the Chrome OS settings.
RELATED: How to Get a Caps Lock Key on Your Chromebook
View all open windows at a glance
Task View on Windows 11 and Windows 10 allows you to quickly “zoom out” and see all your open windows at once. Chromebooks have a similar feature called “Overview.”
“Overview” is part of a larger productivity feature called “Virtual Desktops”. There are three different methods for opening the overview view, but they all allow you to see everything organized in a way that makes it easier to switch to another window or app.
RELATED: View all open Windows at once on a Chromebook
Only allow certain people to use your Chromebook
Chromebooks have what some consider to be a pretty glaring flaw. By default, anyone can grab your Chromebook and create a profile on it by signing in with their Google account.
You can fix this by limiting sign-in to specific Google accounts only. That way, people who get your Chromebook won’t be able to use it unless they’re on your whitelist. It’s a nice little security feature that you may want to use.
RELATED: Restrict your Chromebook to certain users
Pin windows side by side
With Windows and macOS, you can quickly “click” both windows to one half of the screen. Chromebooks can do this too and the gesture to do this should be very familiar.
The easiest way to click windows side by side in Chrome OS is to drag the window to the left or right edge of the screen. You can also click and hold the Maximize/Minimize button and then select the left or right arrow.
RELATED: Split screen on a Chromebook
Save your eyes at night
“Nightlight” is a feature that adds a warm tone to your Chromebook’s screen. You may have used a similar feature on Windows, iPhone, Android, or macOS.
The idea of Night Light is very simple, it takes the color temperature of the screen and makes it much warmer at certain times. The orange-ish warm light would be better for your eyes than bright blue light.
RELATED: How do you make a Chromebook easier on your eyes at night?
Hide files and folders
If you have things on your computer that you don’t want anyone to see, you wouldn’t be alone. Chrome OS has a little trick you can use to hide any file or folder just by renaming it.
All you need to do is add a period to the beginning of the file or folder name. After that, you can only see the files or folders if you go the extra step to “Show hidden files”. The files and folders can be hidden in plain sight.
RELATED: How to Hide Files and Folders on a Chromebook
Silent notifications with “Do not disturb”
There are many things that can show notifications on your Chromebook. You can get them from websites, Android apps and your connected Android phone. Like Android, Chrome OS has a “Do Not Disturb” mode that you can use to block these distractions.
The feature should be familiar if you use “Do not disturb” on other devices. You can choose which apps and websites can receive notifications through “Do not disturb” mode. It can be turned on or off from the Quick Settings panel.
RELATED: Using Do Not Disturb on Chromebook to Mute Notifications
Share files between Android and Chrome OS
“Nearby Share” is Google’s answer to Apple’s AirDrop, and it works between Android devices and Chromebooks. After you set it up on your phone, you can wirelessly transfer files to your Chromebook without Wi-Fi.
Sharing is a little easier than sending tabs between devices or emailing files to yourself. You can include other people in your house if you want them to be able to share things on your Chromebook as well.
RELATED: Using close sharing on a Chromebook
Pin files and folders to the taskbar for easy access
The Chrome OS taskbar, also known as “Shelf,” can be a handy place for your most frequently used files and folders. That’s what the “Holding Space” feature is all about.
The Holding Space actually has two purposes. By default, your recently downloaded and created files are displayed. However, you can keep files and folders in the repository by pinning them.
RELATED: Pin a file or folder to your Chromebook’s taskbar
Use Google Photos as a screensaver
Screensavers on PCs may not be as popular as they once were, but Chromebooks have some pretty cool options. You can use Google Photos as a screensaver, similar to how it works on Nest Smart Displays.
By using Google Photos as a screen saver, you can display your personal photos on your Chromebook screen. You can choose which albums to get the photos from and also display the weather on the screen.
RELATED: How to enable a personalized screensaver on your Chromebook
Chromebooks may be popular for their simplicity, but there’s no shortage of cool features to use. Make sure you get the most out of your Chromebook!