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9 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Chromebook

Chromebooks are quickly picking up speed as a low-cost alternative to Macbooks and Windows laptops, especially for schools and other businesses that are interested in purchasing them in bulk or choosing a budget option without sacrificing quality. Google’s sleek, basic laptops have their own way of handling many of the functions of other computers, but they can come with a learning curve when it comes to adjusting to their differences from other laptops. That being said, Chromebooks are also filled with bonus features that can make them more convenient than Mac and Windows devices. Here are nine of our favorite tips for getting the most out of your Chromebook!

Use the Chrome OS Launcher’s Search Feature

There is no need to waste time opening Chrome and waiting for it to load or navigating to a new tab to access a search bar if the only reason you are on your Chromebook is to search for something. Your Chromebook’s Chrome OS Launcher includes its own easy-to-use search feature that makes finding what you are looking for faster than ever. To take advantage of this feature, you will simply need to click on the Everything key or the circle icon in the bottom left corner of your screen to immediately search for a website, answer to a question, or other information.

Open Two Apps at Once

Your Chromebook’s split-screen feature makes it easier than ever to work on projects that utilize more than one app. Although you have always had the option to manually create two open windows for certain features that fill half the screen, such as your browser and Google Docs, this option tended not to work as well for other apps, and not all Google devices allowed you to open two apps at once at all. By switching your Chromebook to tablet mode, you can open and use two apps side by side by selecting each app from the Overview interface and dropping it onto the left or right side of the screen when the open space lights up.

Adjust Size of Split-Screen Mode

Although this feature often works best when viewing apps as two equal halves of your screen, sometimes you may prefer to focus more on one of the apps than the other. For example, if you are primarily typing in Google Docs while occasionally referencing material from Chrome, you may prefer to have the Google Docs app take up a larger percentage of your screen. You can do this by pressing, holding, and dragging the black bar in the center of the screen to adjust the size of both sides of the split-screen.

Create Folders Within Chrome OS Launcher

Much like creating folders to group categories of similar apps together on your phone or organize your documents, photos, and files makes them easier to keep track of, Chromebook users can create folders within Chrome OS Launcher by clicking a particular app icon and dragging it on top of another app icon. This feature makes it easier for users to create some type of order to a long list of app icons that might otherwise take more time than you would like to scroll through to find what you are looking for.

Turn Handwriting Into Typing

If you prefer to write over type but are still interested in shifting to digital note-taking or would simply prefer to handwrite other types of documents, your Chromebook’s tablet mode gives you the option to use a stylus to write on your touchscreen device. Your Chromebook can then automatically convert your handwritten text to typed text if you choose to do so. You can access this feature by clicking or touching the squiggle icon, which is the second option on the top row of Chrome OS keyboard options.

Caps Lock Still Exists

In an effort to make room for extra keys that support specific functions that are only found on Chromebooks, Google has eliminated the Caps Lock key and a handful of other less-used keys from its keyboard. However, there are certain situations in which this function can still come in handy, and the feature still exists through a keyboard shortcut if you would still like to use it. Caps Lock can be turned on and off by pressing the Everything key and the Alt key at the same time.

Easily Add Emojis

Although emojis are quickly becoming mainstream among smartphone users, they can still be tricky to easily use on many computers. Although you can copy and paste them from elsewhere on the internet on most laptops and even desktop computers, Chromebooks take this ease a step further by providing a handy shortcut for accessing its built-in emoji library. Chromebook users can access emojis by pressing the Everything key, space bar, and Shift key at the same time.

Link Your Chromebook to Your Phone for Added Security

Your Chromebook’s Smart Lock feature gives you the option to use your Android phone as a password. Rather than having to enter a password to unlock your Chromebook, you can simply connect your phone to your Chromebook, which then allows your Chromebook to unlock if your phone is within range and unlocked. This makes using your Chromebook more convenient for you while preventing it from being unlocked by anyone who does not also have your phone.

Your Chromebook’s Guest Mode Lets You Securely Share Your Device

If your roommate needs to finish his homework, your sister wants to watch Netflix, or an employee needs to use a particular computer that has confidential business information on it when they do not have access to their own devices, your Chromebook now allows you to let someone else use certain aspects of your device without leaving your sensitive information vulnerable. Your Chromebook’s lock screen allows you to open an incognito window without signing in that makes it possible for someone else to use the internet without having access to any of your personal files, account details, or other private information.

At Acom Networks, we prioritize helping our clients get the most out of their Chromebooks. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of switching to a Chromebook or to get started!