How to Use a Chromebook

If you’re looking at getting yourself a new laptop, then you might be considering a Chromebook. Or, if you work in education, then you might have been given a Chromebook from your education institution. Either way, Chromebook’s are increasing in popularity and use around the globe.

But, not everyone knows how to use a Chromebook to it’s full potential. There’s no point using a Chromebook over a Windows laptop if you’re not going to use it properly. But how do you use a Chromebook properly? Well, we’re going to look at some of the ways you can make the most out of your device.

How to Use a Chromebook

Here is some of the best advice for those who already own a Chromebook and are looking to make the most of it, or are thinking about investing in one. If you’re thinking about getting one, check out this list of the top Chromebooks available right now.

Get Used to Using Chrome OS

The biggest thing you’ll need to do when you switch to using a Chromebook is getting used to Google’s operating system. If you’ve been using a Mac or Windows device before, then this can take a while to get used to.

People act like the Chrome OS is dramatically different, but the reality is that it’s far more similar to the other popular operating systems than it is different. Getting used to using the Search key is a major part of using a Chromebook, as it allows you to navigate your way through the device much easier. Taking some time to get used to the Chrome OS is key to making the most of your Chromebook.

Oh, and if you want to switch the search key back to being the caps lock key instead like on a Windows laptop, then you can do this by going to Settings > Device > Keyboard. Some people will prefer to have this as the caps lock key, especially if you’ve been using Windows for a long time.

Make sure to use shortcuts

When you’re using a Chromebook for the first time, you want to make sure that you learn the shortcut keys that you can use with this device. You can simply hold down Ctrl and Alt and ? at the same time, which will bring you up a list of the shortcut keys that you can use.

Unlock with phone

One of the easiest ways that you can add some additional security on your device is by setting up your phone to allow you access to the Chromebook. You can do this easily by changing the settings in your Chromebook and going to screen lock, and setting it up with your phone. You’ll only be able to do this with an Android phone.

Use the shelf

Chromebook’s essentially have something called the shelf, which is essentially like the RAM equivalent but on your user interface. It allows you to easily access the apps and programs on your device, so make sure that you take advantage of it.


One of the easiest things to learn on a Chromebook which will undoubtedly help you out is simply learning how to zoom. All you need to do is press Ctrl, Shift and + to zoom in, and Ctrl, Shift and to zoom out. You can also use Ctrl, Shift and 0, which will reset your zoom back to 100%.

Partial Screenshots

The good thing about Chromebooks is that they have their own screenshot key. But, this takes a shot of the entire screen. If you want to screenshot a smaller portion of the screen, then hold down Alt with the screenshot key, and then use your mouse or trackpad to crop a section of the screen to shit. let go, and you’ll take a screenshot of the selected area.

Google Play Store (if possible)

With newer Chromebooks, you’ll have the ability to access the Google Play store and download an array of Chromebook apps. You can find this in your settings, and you’ll need to enable the Google Play store on your device. Doing this will give you access to a much wider selection of apps.

Sync everything

Something that you’ll definitely want to do on your Chromebook is make sure that it’s synced up across the board – this means syncing your passwords, bookmarks and more across all of your devices. Doing this can ensure that you’ve linked your Chromebook up properly with your phone and laptop if possible too.


One of the key features that you can use on your Chromebook is the ability to snap a Window into a certain section of your monitor. When you’re on the Window you want to snap into place, press Alt and [, or Alt and ] to put the Window into either the left or the right side of the screen.


In conclusion, these are just some of the best tips for helping you learn how to use your Chromebook properly. Following this advice isn’t a must, but it can definitely make things a little easier, especially if you’re switching over from another operating system.

Chromebooks are seemingly only going to get more popular, and with that will come more people needing to know how to use their device properly.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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