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Best Easy Chromebook Tips and Tricks

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Chromebooks are popular computers these days, but for the optimal user experience, some tweaks can be made. All these ideas can be used by changing a setting or some other simple operation. So now let’s get to the point. Here is a list of Chromebook tips and tricks:

My Best Tip: Open a New Tab with the Keyboard

This is a very simple, but very useful, keyboard shortcut. It opens a new tab in Chrome, which is a common action that is nice to have a keyboard shortcut for. To do it, just hit Ctrl+T and boom! A new tab appears. Bonus tip: To close tabs, use the Ctrl+W keyboard shortcut.


Change your shelf (taskbar) position

Sometimes, having the shelf at the bottom of the screen can be annoying, since you may not need all the space for pinning apps allocated by the bottom of the screen, or you might just prefer your shelf to be on the side of your screen. To change it, right-click on the shelf. Then, hover your mouse pointer over “Shelf position” and click either Right or Left.

Do an entire-window barrel roll

This one, as you might know, came from the “do a barrel roll” Google search trick. It makes your screen spin around. To start a barrel roll, hit Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Reload on your keyboard.

Take a screenshot (entire screen or custom area)

Sometimes, like when you want to save an image or remember something you saw on your Chromebook, you may want to save a screenshot. On Chromebooks, the screenshot function is not obvious, but once you learn the keyboard shortcut it’s simple. The keyboard shortcut for taking a screenshot of your entire screen is Ctrl+Window Switcher (looks something like [ ]||) key. To take a screenshot of a custom area, hit Ctrl+Shift+Window Switcher ([ ]||), and follow the on-screen instructions. There are also several buttons to do different things such as record your screen.

Use the Everything Button

The Everything Button, also known as the Search key, is a great feature on your Chromebook that is often overlooked. Just hit it, and most-used apps, a search bar, and a Google Assistant button comes up in a simple, easy to navigate menu. The search bar is, at least for me, definitely the best part of the Search key menu. with it, you can search for apps (both installed on your Chromebook and available on the Play Store), files, settings, and web results. Just hit search, and start typing!


Sometimes, for various reasons, you might want to type all in caps. In that case, using caps lock is much easier than holding down Shift. To do it, hit Alt+Search, and start typing in caps!

Use Night Light to make your Chromebook easier on your eyes

Night Light is a setting on your Chromebook that adds an orange hue to your screen. When using your Chromebook in the evening, Night Light makes your screen easier to read without much light. You can either turn it on manually, schedule it, or have it turn on when the sun sets. I use that setting, since the time the sun sets can vary by season, so I don’t have to constantly adjust the schedule. To activate it manually, tap the time on the shelf. Then, tap the Night Light icon to turn it on or off. To schedule it, have it turn on with the sunset, or adjust the orange hue, open the Settings app. After that, click or tap Device, then Display, and choose either Never, Custom, or Sunset to Sunrise in the Scheduling menu.

Display settings

Hide the shelf until your mouse pointer touches it

Hiding the shelf can give you extra screen space, look nicer, but not hinder your user experience. When your mouse pointer touches the bottom of the screen, it pops up the shelf.

To do it, first right-click the shelf. Then, click Autohide Shelf, and enjoy your auto-hiding shelf!

Use the Overview interface

Overview, like the Everything Button, is a feature that is often overlooked. It shows all your active windows. You can also close windows from it by clicking the X icon or swiping up on them. To open it, hit the Window Switcher key ([ ]||), swipe up on the touchpad with 3 fingers, or hit the [ ]|| icon on the shelf.

Check your clipboard history

If you copied something really important to your clipboard, but then forgot about it and copied something else to your clipboard, you need to do this! To access your clipboard history, hit Search+V. On the box that pops up, click the item to are looking for and click it to copy it again.

Add emojis in any text

Emojis can help add expression to text and make writing more fun. Chromebooks have a built-in emoji picker. To access it, right click in any text field and click Emoji, or hit Search+Shift+Space 🙂😛🎉.

I suggest that you not try all of these tips and tricks in one day, but try one or two out at a time, starting with the simplest, until you’ve mastered the keyboard shortcuts or changed the setting for the tweaks most helpful to you. If you have a favorite tip, know of one that’s not on the list, or one doesn’t work for you, comment below!

John H (7)


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