One of the first things you might want to do when signing into a new Chromebook is to change the wallpaper. Fortunately, this requires only a few clicks. You can choose from the various wallpapers included with Chrome OS, or you can use your own custom image.
To change the wallpaper of Chrome OS, first sign in with your Google account. After you have signed in, right-click on an empty spot on the wallpaper and select Set Wallpaper from the menu that appears. This will bring up a window containing a variety of different wallpapers. Left-click on an image to select it as your Chromebook’s wallpaper. Note that your Chromebook must be connected to the Internet in order to download the wallpaper files.
To select your own wallpaper, click on the Custom tab at the top of the wallpaper selection window. Initially, the Custom tab will be empty save for a button marked with a plus sign. Click on the button, and then click on the Choose File button. Navigate to the image file you wish to use for your wallpaper, which must be located either in your Google Drive or stored locally on your Chromebook. Select the image and then click the Open button, and Chrome OS will set it as your desktop wallpaper.
Note that the desktop wallpaper of the last user is visible on the logon screen, so exercise caution when choosing your desktop wallpaper.
Chrome OS includes a useful feature called the “lock screen”. Basically, this means that if your computer sits idle for a predetermined amount of time, Chrome OS will blank the computer’s screen. When you press a key or move the mouse, the screen will reactivated, but it will be locked, and to unlock it, you will need to enter your password. This can come in handy, since Chrome OS will automatically lock your screen if you accidentally leave your computer.
To lock the screen, first click on the Status button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen (it will have the time, network status, and battery information). The button will expand into the larger Status menu. Once it does, click on the Lock button, which will be located at the bottom right-hand corner of the menu, and will look like a small padlock. Chrome OS will then immediately lock the screen.
You can also lock your screen by hitting the CTRL+SHIFT+L keys on the keyboard simultaneously. Chrome OS will then lock until you reenter your password.
By default, there is no way to restart a Chromebook from the graphical user interface. You can, of course, shut down the computer and power it up again. However, this is a roundabout way of doing it. Fortunately, Chrome OS includes a keyboard shortcut that lets you immediately reboot the Chromebook.
To reboot your Chromebook, simultaneously hold down the POWER and the REFRESH keys on the keyboard. The POWER key is located in the upper-right hand corner of the keyboard, while the REFRESH key is above the number keys three and four, and is marked with a curved arrow icon. When you press and hold down these keys simultaneously, your Chromebook will immediately reboot.
Note that this does NOT give you an opportunity to first close any programs or save any open documents! Before restarting the Chromebook in this way, make sure that you have saved any documents or work that you first wish saved.
Chromebooks generally get good battery life and have a reliable safe mode, but to save battery power you might want to shut down the computer entirely. You can shut off your Chromebook while you are logged into it and also while you are logged out of it.
To shut off your Chromebook while you are logged in, first click on the Status button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen (it will have the time, network status, and battery information). The button will expand into the larger Status menu. Once it does, click on the Shut Down button, which will be located at the bottom right of the menu, and will look like a small circle. Your Chromebook will then immediately shut down.
To shut down your Chromebook from the logon screen, click on the Shut Down button in the lower left-hand corner of the logon screen. The Chromebook will immediately shut down.
After your Chromebook is shut down, you can power it on again by closing the lid and then opening it again, or by pressing the POWER button in the upper right-hand corner of the keyboard.
By default, Chrome OS allows any user with a Google account to sign into a Chromebook. For reasons of security, you might wish to restrict the number of users who can log into the computer. Fortunately, Chrome OS provides a quick and easy way to only allow specific users to log into the Chromebook.
To restrict logons, first click on the Status button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen (it will have the time, network status, and battery information). The button will expand into the larger Status menu. When it does, click on the link for Settings. (Alternately, you can go directly to the Settings page by typing the address chrome://settings into the omnibox of the Chrome browser.)
Once the Settings page opens, scroll down until you see the Users category. Under the Users category, click on the Manage Other Users button. This will list all the available options for user management, along with a list of users who have already signed into the Chromebook. To restrict the users who can log in, put a checkmark in the box marked “Restrict sign-in to the following users”. Chrome OS will then only permit the users who are listed to sign into the computer.
To revoke logon permission from users who have already logged into the Chromebook, click on the X icon next to their names. Chrome OS will remove them from the system, and they will no longer have permission to sign into the Chromebook. Note that this does NOT delete or alter their Google account, but merely removes their permission to sign into an individual Chromebook.
Once you have signed into your Chromebook, you might wish to add other users to it. Fortunately, this is quite simple to do – you just need to have your Chromebook connected to the Internet, and any additional users need Google accounts of their own. Anyone who signs into the Chromebook with a Google account will have access to all of their Gmail messages, contacts, Calendar entries, Google Drive Files, and any other Google services. You also needn’t worry about someone accidentally or deliberately accessing your information from the Chromebook – so long as you do not share your account password, a Chromebook user cannot see the data of anyone else who has logged into the Chromebook.
To add another user to your Chromebook, first log out and return to the logon screen. Next, click on the Add User button at the bottom of logon screen. This will bring up a form to enter a Google username and password. Have the additional user enter his logon information, and then click on the Sign In button. Chrome OS will take a minute or two to sync your account preferences from Google’s servers, and then will take you to the desktop.
After the new user has signed in for the first time, a tile with his account picture and name will appear on the logon screen. This tile makes logging in easier and quicker. Simply click on the tile, have the user enter his password and then press the Enter key, and the user will log into the Chromebook.
By default, when you sign into a Chromebook the Chrome OS assigns your user account an account picture. You can select from a list of pre-sorted account pictures, or use your Chromebook’s built-in camera to take a picture of yourself. This is useful on the logon screen, since you can quickly identify your account from the available accounts by using the picture. Additionally, various Google services also use your account picture as an identifier.
To change your account picture after you’ve set it, click on the Status button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen (it will have the time, network status, and battery information). The button will expand into the larger Status menu. When it does, click on the link for Settings. (Alternately, you can go directly to the Settings page by typing the address chrome://settings into the omnibox of the Chrome browser.)
Once the Settings page opens, scroll down until you see the Users category. Your account picture will be visible there. Double-click on the picture, and Chrome OS will open up the Change Picture dialog box. You can select a new picture from the pre-loaded options. You can also access a picture from your Google Drive or local storage by clicking on the folder icon. To take a picture and set it as your account picture using your Chromebook’s camera, click on the Camera icon.
The Chrome browser offers several different ways to close tabs, but the downside to this is that it is very easy to accidentally close a tab. Or you can close a tab intentionally, only to realize that you need it back. Fortunately, Chrome offers several methods for easily recovering lost tabs.
To open the most recently closed tab, right click on any tab and select “Reopen closed tab” from the menu. The most recently closed tab will reappear. If you right-click on a tab and select “Reopen closed tab” from the menu, Chrome will then open the second most recently closed tab, and then the third and the fourth until the browser reopens all the tabs you have closed during your browsing session.
A more granular method of reopening closed tabs can be found in Chrome’s menu. Click on the menu button in the upper right-hand corner of the Chrome window (it looks like three horizontal bars parallel to each other) and then select Recent Tabs. Chrome will list your most recently closed tabs, and you can pick which one you wish to open.
Finally, you can view your entire browsing history by going to the menu and selecting History. This will display your browsing history from all tabs in a separate tab of its own. Any items on the History tab can be launched as their own tabs by right-clicking on them and selecting “Open link in new tab.”
When using the Chrome browser, you will likely soon generate a large number of open tabs. Casual browsing can open a number of tabs, and additionally most Google applications open a new tab for each task – creating a new Google Doc, for instance, generates a new tab in the browser. The Chrome browser can quickly become cluttered with multiple tabs, but fortunately there are a number of easy way to close and rearrange tabs.
You can close a tab by clicking on its black X close button. Every tab in Chrome has a small black X on the right-hand side of the tab. Click on that black X, and the tab will immediately close. You can also close a tab by hitting CTRL+W on the keyboard. That key combination will immediately close the selected tab, but no other tabs. Finally, you can also close a tab by right-clicking on it with the mouse and selecting Close Tab from the menu.
That menu also offers several tools for closing multiple tabs at once. Right-click on a tab and select “Close tabs to the right”, and Chrome will close every tab to the right of the selected tab. For a more powerful version of the same menu option, right-click on a tab and select “Close other tab”. Chrome will then close every single other tab open in the browser, so use this option with care!
If you do not want to close your tabs, merely rearrange them, Chrome offers an easy way to do so. Left-click on the tab you want to move and hold down the left mouse button. You can then drag the tab to a new position on the left or the right. The other tabs will automatically slide over to make room for the dragged tab. Once you release the left mouse button, the tab will drop into its new location.
Finally, if you want a tab to maintain its position, right-click on it and select “Pin tab” from the menu. The tab will then maintain its position regardless of how many other tabs you open.
Like all modern web browsers, the Chrome browser offers a highly useful feature called “tabbed browsing”. In the earlier days of the World Wide Web, older browsers such as Internet Explorer 6 only would view one web page at a time. If you wanted to view multiple websites simultaneously, you had to open up multiple browser windows, which could quickly eat up quite a lot of memory and screen space. With tabbed browsing, you can only have one browser window open, but multiple tabs within the browser. This lets you open as many websites as you like simultaneously while keeping only one browser window on your screen.
The Chrome browsers lets you open up new tabs in one of two ways.
-The first way is to go to the Settings menu by clicking on the Settings button in the upper right-hand corner of the Chrome window. From the Settings menu, click on the New Tab item. Chrome will immediately open a up a new tab.
-The second way is to hit the CTRL+T keys simultaneously, which is the keyboard shortcut for launching a new tab. Chrome will create a new blank tab when you use this option.
After you have multiple tabs open, you can close individual tabs by left-clicking on the X button at the right side of the tabs themselves. You can rearrange the order of the tabs by left-clicking on the name of the tab and then dragging it to the right or the left. The other tabs will automatically reshuffle themselves. Finally, you can convert a tab into a separate Chrome window by dragging it to a blank space on your desktop and releasing it.