ChromeOS is one of the most effective operating systems right out of the box. Part of that is because the OS is easy to use. Another reason is that ChromeOS was made to be as easy to use as possible from the start. To do this, the developers added a lot of features that make it easier than you might think to use the UI.
I want to give you five simple tips that will make using ChromeOS much faster and easier.
All of these tips use features that come with the system, so there’s nothing to install and only a little bit of setting up to do.
You just have to know how this kind of magic works. And I’ll show you how.
5 ChromeOS tips to help you move around faster and get more done
For this, all you need is a Chromebook with the latest version of ChromeOS. I’ll show you how it works with ChromeOS version 106.0.5249.12, but these features should work just as well with older OS versions. Still, you should make sure ChromeOS is always up-to-date (for both security and new features).
So, let’s move on to the advice.
1. Allow tap-to-click.
Tap-to-click might not be set up on the touchpad right out of the box. This may seem like a small thing, but having to press down on the touchpad wastes time and energy. Tap-to-click is easy to turn on, which is good. Here’s how: open the Settings app (either from the desktop menu or from the gear icon in the system tray) and go to Device > Touchpad. Tap the on/off slider for “Enable tap-to-click” in that window, and you’re all set. Close the Settings window and try out this faster way to tap.
2. Use touchpad gestures
There are a few very useful ways to use the touchpad. These things are:
- Swipe up with three fingers to see all open windows.
- Swipe down with three fingers to close the overview (showing all open windows).
- Swipe left or right with two fingers to go back or forward a page (or screen).
- To switch between tabs, move your mouse pointer to the tab bar and swipe with three fingers.
- Put the mouse pointer on the shelf and drag up.
- Move between workspaces by swiping left or right with four fingers.
With these three keyboard shortcuts, it’s easy to change the screen’s resolution and make things bigger or smaller:
- When you press CTRL-Shift-Plus [+], everything on your desktop gets bigger.
- When you press CTRL-Shift-Minus [-], everything on your desktop gets smaller.
- When you press CTRL-Shift-0, the resolution goes back to what it was before.
4. See what’s been copied recently
I use my OS clipboard all the time. Even more so, I need to be able to use content that I have already copied to the clipboard. If you can believe it, this feature is already built into ChromeOS. Click and hold the Search (or Everything) button on your keyboard, then press V. A new pop-up window should appear with the contents of your clipboard. If you click on any of these entries, you can then use the usual CTRL-V keyboard shortcut to copy and paste the contents.
5. Apps can be put on the shelf
Why not pin apps or web apps that you use often to the shelf so that you don’t have to open the desktop launcher to find them? To pin an app to the shelf, find the app in the desktop launcher, right-click its icon, and choose Pin to shelf. Now, you can launch apps faster by going straight to the app launcher from the shelf.