There are millions of Chromebook users all over the world who prefer these machines due to their simplicity. However, despite being simple, not every Chromebook feature is easily accessible and usable by everyone. There are a lot of Chromebook power features that are just waiting to be used by users to their full potential. However, you can only be fully aware if you know about Chromebook tips and tricks.
In this article, we will share the most insightful Chromebook tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Chromebook and get more value.
1. Use the Overview Mode
Chromebooks come with a built-in overview mode that allows you to view everything open on the screen at one glance. It’s just like the Expose feature on Mac that is equally as useful. To access the Overview mode, simply press the [ ] || key from the top row of your keyboard. You can find it above the ‘6’ button. You can also swipe down on your touchscreen or trackpad from the top using three fingers to enter the Overview mod. Once you are in the Overview mode, click on any of the thumbnails to open that window. If you click on a blank space, it will revert you to the last Window you were using. This feature is a great time-saver if you have a lot of apps open simultaneously.
Moreover, when you are in the Overview mode, type anything to filter out the windows. For instance, if you type “Google” in the Overview mode, your Chromebook will only show the Google windows that are open.
2. Use a Third-Party DNS
When you are using the web on your Chromebook, you should use a third-party DNS (Domain Name Server). There are many reasons why you should do this. Firstly, a third-party DNS is much faster. Secondly, it is more secure. And if you use a third-party DNS, you will be able to bypass the unnecessary content blocks that are enabled on the servers of your internet providers.
It is quite easy to use a third-party DNS on your Chromebook. Just go to Settings and select the name of the network that you desire to change. In the resulting window, go to the Network tab. At the bottom of this window, select the name servers that you want to use. You can either enter the server names manually for your specific needs or choose from Automatic or Google options.
3. View All of the Keyboard Shortcuts
Chromebook is popular for having a lot of keyboard shortcuts for various functions, such as reloading a page or opening the homepage on a browser. There are so many keyboard shortcuts in a Chromebook that it is almost impossible to learn them all. But if you are a power user, you should check out what these shortcuts do and learn the ones that will come in handy for your use.
To view the list of all keyboard shortcuts in a Chromebook, press Ctrl + Alt + ? whenever you want to view all the shortcuts. You will soon learn all of them and become a pro.
4. Refresh Your Chromebook’s Local Drive Cache
For extra storage, Chromebooks often use Google Drive which works the same way as the local storage. But if you are aware of a change in the Google Drive files that are saved but you cannot view that change, you can refresh the local drive cache of your Chromebook manually.
Go to the Omnibar and enter chrome://drive-internals/. Now click on the “Clear local cache” option. You will automatically be synced again the next time you access the file manager.
5. Use an SD Card
Many Chromebooks come with an SD card slot to add extra storage. There is either a standard SD card slot or a microSD card slot. While most people use the SD card slot to transfer files from their cameras to their computers or to move files between two devices, you can also use this slot for temporary external storage.
Most Chromebooks have a maximum internal storage of 32GB, which is often not enough, and people find themselves needing more storage. Just insert a 64GB SD card into the SD card slot on your Chromebook and use it as Google or local drive storage. The SD card folder will appear in the Files app where every other folder is.
6. Make the Most of the Chromebook Extras
Some of the value that Chromebooks offer comes in the form of Chromebook extras. If you have a machine that operates on Chrome OS, it is more than just a computer. It comes with some freebies as well. When you buy a Chromebook and get yourself logged in, the first thing you should do is to go to the Chromebook Perks Page to get some amazing offers.
These offers will expire after 60 days of you linking a Google account with your Chromebook. So make sure you use these offers before it is too late. These offers are always changing and updating. But there’s always something for everyone, such as free apps, free games, hardware savings, extended subscription trials, and more. So make sure you grab them before they expire!
7. Unicode Characters
Chromebooks come with full keyboards, just like any other computer. However, there are times when you need to type a special character that does not have a dedicated key, such as the character æ. To type such characters, you will need to enter a Unicode character. You won’t need to memorize the Unicode characters as you can always look them up in the cheat sheet. But if you do know the Unicode number, it is pretty easy to type them. Simply press Ctrl + U + the number and you will see your desired character typed on the screen.
8. View Hidden Files and Folders
In the file manager, you can usually see hidden folder and file names starting with a dot. You cannot normally see these files. These files and folders are something that you do not want to edit unless you know what they are. To open hidden files and folders on your Chromebook, go to File Manager and press Ctrl + (period). All of the hidden files and folders will be visible, along with the other files on your computer.
9. Take a Screenshot
There are often times when you need to take a screenshot on your computer. Just like on any other computer, taking a screenshot on Chromebook is quite easy. Whether you want to show your friend something on your computer or simply save some information, it’s very easy to take a screenshot. Just hold the control key and press the task switching key ]] to take a screenshot. Once the screenshot is taken, you will see a desktop notification to view the screenshot. You can also check it later in the Files app.
10. Use App Shortcuts
Right-click on any app on the shelf to open a context menu. Other than some system settings, you can click on the shortcuts if the app has contextual options. Many Android apps come with these options which prove to be really useful, especially if you are using an app like a messenger.
Now that you know about the most practical Chromebook tips and tricks, make sure you use them the next time you open your Chromebook, to make the most of this handy machine. Chromebooks come with a lot of power features just waiting to be used. These tips will help you use them. For more information related to Chromebooks and Chrome OS, check out this space
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