Chromebook Tips

Since the Chrome OS and Chromebooks are new to me, this page will be where I collect all the tips I find. Here is the Chromebook Forum.

  • Apps – One thing I noticed is that most of the apps that I use on my Android phone are not available in the Chrome Web store. Note – with newer chromebooks, you can add the Android Store.
  • Audio – Audio Recorder app allows you to record audio – very basic setup, but it works.
  • Beta Channel – I moved to the Beta Channel to fix a low headphone audio problem. While this fixed the problem, it also created two more problems – the computer would not charge and then it would not connect to the internet. I fixed those by doing a hard reset.
  • Bluetooth – it turns off every once in a while and you have to turn it back on and reconnect with your bluetooth mouse.
  • CAPLOCKS – there’s no such key, but you can change the function of the Search button to CAPLOCKS. Another way to do it is Alt + Search.
  • Change Wallpaper
  • Charging – for some reason, the computer decided to stop charging. I had to do a hard reset to fix the problem. Refresh Refresh + Power Power.
  • Copy and Paste – you drag a tab off to one side and it will setup as a new window. From there it’s easy to cut and paste.
  • Default App – to change the default app, click on a file which would be opened. Near the top right click on Open – the you can Change default.  You cannot just right click to do this – you have to follow the above steps.
  • Screenshot 2015-12-05 at 8.20.11 AM
  • Delete Key – No Delete key? You can use Alt + Backspace.
  • Desktop – While you can’t add files etc. to the desktop, you can right click on an item and it will give you the option to open it up as a new window.
  • Downloads – this defaults to your computer, which doesn’t have much space. Under the Advanced Settings you can change the location to your SD card.
  • Screenshot 2015-12-07 at 10.02.41 AM
  • DVD support – not normally supported, but if you have a usb dvd player and VLC installed, you can play videos – YouTube instructions.
  • Ethernet Port – none on this device.
  • External Hard Drive – the normal external Western Digital hard drives don’t work without extra power! This is disappointing.
  • Feedback to Google = Alt+Shift+ i
  • Files app – like Windows Explorer – you can drag this to your bottom Toolbar. It doesn’t have a lot of the features which Explorer has. I’m trying to find the size of a folder and there doesn’t seem to be a way! If you right-click on the app, you can put it in a windows – do it again and you can move files from one area to the next. If you right-click on the Files App, you can open up a New Window. This allows you copy from one folder to another easily.
  • Font SizeCtrl + or other options.
  • Goodies – free for a while. Google will give you 100 GB for two years, and has a few more offers which will save you some money for a while, but they do charge you after a certain time period.
  • Google Drive Access – I notice that many of the apps want access to Google Drive. Right now I’m not allowing any programs access to my Google Drive account.
  • Hard Reset – if you are having problems, try a hard reset. Hold down the Reset button (4th from the left) and also hold down the power button.
  • HDMI – while it’s easy to plug in a hdmi cable into the laptop and then a TV or projector (you will probably need an adapter), what I first saw is just a picture of my desktop and not the power point slide I wanted to show. The trick is to click anywhere on the bottom right toolbar and click on Internal Display. Then choose Mirrored image. This is will then mirror what is on your laptop to what is on the TV or projector. You can also try – pressing Ctrl and .
  • Incognito Mode – Ctrl + Shift + N
  • Insert/Overwrite – Search + .
  • Keyboard Shortcuts – you can also click on Ctrl + Alt + /, Alt [ to move screen to the left.  Ctrl U – shows you the HTML of the page.
  • Lock Computer – Ctrl + Shft + L or hold down the Power button for one second. Also there is a lock icon in the settings – bottom right. There is also a setting so that when you put it to sleep, you need to login again. Settings – People – Require password to wake from sleep.
  • Login – You need your Gmail password which is a bit of a pain for me as I usually use LastPass to login.
  • Microphone – The internal microphone is not very good. I’d recommend something like a usb Blue Yeti to get better audio.
  • Mouse – Bluetooth – I am using a Bluetooth mouse. It works well except the first thing in the morning. To get the mouse to work, I need to open up the screen via a bottom right click. Then under bluetooth, I need to click on the mouse identity and reconnect the bluetooth. The problem of connection continues during the day.
  • Mouse #2 – I have gone back to a standard wireless mouse connected to an adapter. They do make just one wireless USB C mouse, but it sticks out more than I’d like.
  • Notifications – this can be found in the bottom right – BELL icon. Click on this and then the GEAR icon and you can change which Notifications show up on your screen. I mistakenly turned off the SCREENSHOT notification through this process and wondered why the normal popup wasn’t showing.
  • Ownership – the first person to use the computer and signin is designated the owner of the computer. You have to do a Powerwash/Reset to change the owner.
  • Password – you can change a setting so that a password is required after the computer is woken up from a sleep.
  • Paste without formatting – Ctrl-Shift-V
  • PDF – they have a Chrome viewer installed.
  • PDF Password Remove
  • Page Down –  Alt + Down Arrow key
  • Photoshop – this will not work on a chromebook, but I have found a pretty good replacement – SUMO PAINT.
  • Power – to turn it off, you have to hold down the power button for a few seconds.
  • Power Point – my file which I put into Google Drive seem to work fine until just recently. I changed it to a Google Slides format and it now seems ok. Microsoft also has a free version, but after trying both options, I’m going back to my regular Power Point on my other laptop. See the graphic at the end to see the problem I had when I tried to use to create a Power Point slide – FAIL. For some people this may be a reason not to buy a Chromebook. This did work from
  • Printing – Normally, Chrome prefers a Cloud Printer, but you can use your regular printer if it is connected to a Windows PC. I had some problems printing with my regular printers. What I had to do was delete my “Classic” Google Cloud Printer and then add it back in on my main computer. I’ve done this three times now. To print with your older non-cloud printer, it has to be connected to your PC either by Network or USB. I prefer a network attached printer. If you want to share this printer with another person, on your PC, you have to click on SHARE and put in a Gmail email address. That person in turn has to click on an email link they will get and ACCEPT this invitation. Another thing I noticed is that overnight when my PC goes into SLEEP mode, I have to wake up the computer to get the printer back online. Then I can print again.
  • Properties – if you want to find how much space is left on a drive, you can hi-lite it in the Files app and in the upper right, click on the three dots. It will then show you how much space is left.
  • Screenshot 2015-12-05 at 9.31.41 AM
  • Reboot – Power + Refresh button
  • Recover to original factory state – called Powerwash – backup your data as it will be lost. Settings (bottom right) – Advanced Settings – scroll down to Powerwash.
  • Recover from backup media – you can download your setup to a thumb-drive and then restore from it. Google article. IBT – Article
  • Reset Article –
  • Resolutionclick on clock, Settings, search for Display. I changed mine from 1920 x 1080 to 1200 x 675, it’s much easier for me to read.
  • Save – if you are on a page and you want to save it, do Ctrl+S
  • Screenshot – Ctrl + icon or Ctrl F5chromebook-01pages
  • Screenshot – partial – Ctrl + Shift + icon or on standard keyboards it is Ctrl Shift F5
  • Settings – this is found in two different places. Click in bottom right area to find Settings also on the Chrome browser tool bar – the 3 lines icon will also take you to Settings.
  • Shelf – The toolbar on the bottom is called the SHELF. You can add apps to it by right clicking on them and choosing Pin to Shelf. You can remove items, by right clicking and choosing Unpin.
  • Shutdown when nothing else works. Power button + Reload page icon on top row.
  • Snap to Left or Right – Alt + [ or Alt + ]
  • Speed – one thing I really like is that as soon as I open the case, the screen appears and one second later I’m online – WOW! I’ve got a 17″ Dell with i7 which is much more powerful, but takes forever to open.
  • Speed Test – 17 down and 3.5 up – about average for wireless.
  • Stop Task – Shift +Escape – if you have a troublesome app, this allows you to shut it down. This is similar to Task Manager in Windows.
  • Storage – I only have 16 gb on the entire SSD, and the operating system use about 8gb, so I have added a 128 gb SD card. You can change the default Downloads area to the SD card.
  • Task Manager – 3 dots – then – More Tools – then Task Manager.
  • Text Editor – you can create text editor in a Chrome tab with this command data:text/html, <html contenteditable>
  • Text Sort – copy and paste the text into a new Google Sheet. The you can sort the information.
  • Update – chrome://settings/help
  • USB – To eject a USB device go to Files app and right click the device and choose Eject.
  • USB C – you will probably need to buy adapters to connect many of your other devices like a thumb drive.
  • Users – you can add other users at the regular sign-in, but they will need their Gmail account information. If they don’t have an account, they will have to create one. You can also create a Supervised User for kids to limit what they can do. There is a Guest mode which doesn’t need that.
  • Word – there is an app for Microsoft Word although I use Google Docs most of the time.
  • Zip and Unzip – to unzip a file, 1. Create a folder for the new files 2. Open up the zip file so you can see the files. 3. Select the files and then drag them to the new folder. To Zip files, just select them and do a right click and it will give you an option to Zip them up. Here is another explanation from Digital Trends.

Apps I am using

  • Audio Recorder – very basic, but it works
  • Beautiful Audio Editor – is an online audio editor which does the basics – you have to pay to get mp3 to work. It’s not an app that you install, but an online service. It asks for permission to connect to your Google Drive, but works without it.
  • CamelCamelCamel – I use this on Amazon to try and get the lowest price possible.
  • Chrome Remote Desktop – install on both computers and run.
  • Keep Awake – Extension – keeps your Chromebook from going to sleep mode.
  • Screencastify – records your screen and voice to a webm format. You can upload .webm videos to YouTube.
  • SumoPaint – this is a good Photoshop replacement.
  • TeamViewer – allows control of a friends computer if they need help, but they can’t control a Chromebook.
  • Text Editor – takes the place of notepad.
  • Ublock Origin – to block some malvertising.
  • VLC – plays video and audio files.
  • Volume Booster – my new ASUS chromebook has very low volume.


  • You can’t rip CDs or movies. Note you might be able to do this with an external DVD player and VLC.


  • Can’t run Power Point from Live. com. You also can’t install it. I did get this to work from

About Tom Terrific

Interested in MANY things.
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