How to Use a Chromebook

Introduction

This guide will take you through the basics of using your Chromebook.

Chromebook

? What do you want to learn about?

  1. Personalize your Chromebook
  2. Browsing the Web
  3. Checking E-Mail
  4. Connecting to Wi-Fi
  5. Managing User Accounts
  6. Manage Files
  7. Manage Apps
  8. Update Chromebook Software
  9. Manage Google Account

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This guide will take you through the basics of using your Chromebook.

Chromebook

Pinning an App

Pinning an app you use a lot to the task bar can make it much easier to open and use that app.

  1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
    App menu.
  2. Select the up arrow ^ to show all your apps.
    App Drawer with All Apps arrow highlighted.
  3. Click and hold the app you want, drag it to the task bar, then release the mouse button. The app will pin, or remain on the task bar.
    Dragging app to taskbar to pin it.

Unpinning an App

  1. Using your right mouse button, right click on the app you want to unpin.
  2. From the menu that opens, select Unpin.
    ight click on pinned app with unpin highlighted.
  1. Select your profile picture in the lower-right corner.
    User Menu.
  2. Select Settings.
    User Menu with Settings highlighted.
  3. Scroll down, and select Wallpaper.
    Settings with Wallpaper highlighted.
  4. You may select an image displayed here.
    Wallpaper Select dialog.
  5. To add your own image, select the square with the + symbol.
    Add new Wallpaper plus sign.
  6. Select the location you'd like to browse on the left. Then, select the image you want, then select Open.
    File Browser with wallpaper selected.
  7. Select how you'd like the image scaled. Center Cropped will make it fill the screen.
    Dimensions dialog with Position highlighted.

Built-in help for your Chromebook is never more than 2 clicks away.

  1. Select your profile picture in the lower-right corner.
    Screenshot showing the location of the Chromebook user menu
  2. Select the question mark ? icon.
    Screenshot showing the location of the help question mark inside the Chromebook user menu

The primary function and feature of your Chromebook is to get you online, and provide you with a modern, easy-to-use web browser, for all your needs. The Chromebook does this using the Google Chrome browser.

  1. Your Chromebook comes with the Google Chrome browser. The icon is on the bottom, near the left.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Type a web page, or a search term in the bar at the top to go to that page, or search the web.
    Chrome's Address bar.
  1. Open the Chrome Browser.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Select Gmail in the top-right.
    Gmail link highlighted
  3. Select Compose on the left to write a new E-Mail message. Select a message in the main part of the window to read it. Further information on all the features of Gmail are available at the Learn how to use Gmail link at the bottom.
    Gmail window with compose, mail message and learn links highlighted
  1. Select the User menu by clicking your profile picture in the bottom-right corner.
    screenshot of chromebook user menu
  2. Select the triangle > next to the network option.
    screenshot of user menu with Wi-Fi settings triangle highlighted
  3. Make sure Wi-Fi is turned on at the top of the menu. Then, select your Wi-Fi network, it will usually be at or near the top.
    screenshot of Wi-Fi settings with the on off switch and a network highlighted
  4. Enter your Wi-Fi password. You may also want to place a check mark next to Share this network with other users, so other people who use this Chromebook can connect to this Wi-Fi network as well. Then, select Connect.
    screenshot of the Join Wi-Fi network prompt with password entry and share network checkbox highlighted
  5. When you are connected, the Wi-Fi icon will show as filled in in the bottom right-hand corner.
    screenshot of the chromebook user menu with the Wi-Fi icon highlighted
  1. Select your profile picture in the lower-right corner.
    User menu
  2. Select Settings.
    user menu with settings highlighted
  3. Select your profile to change your icon.
    Settings with profile highlighted
    change picture menu
  4. Select Manage other people to remote other people's sign-ins from your Chromebook.
    settings with manage other people highlighted
    manage others menu
  1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
    Apps Menu.
  2. Select the up arrow ^ to show all your apps.
    Show all apps.
  3. Select Files.
    All apps with Files highlighted.
  4. From here, you'll be able to manage your files.
    • Downloads

      These are all the files stored on your Chromebook itself.
      Files app with Downloads highlighted.

    • Google Drive

      These files are stored online for you by Google. If anything happens to your Chromebook, these files are safe. You can access them from any computer using your Google account at https://drive.google.com/.
      Files app My drive highlighted.

    • SD Cards

      These are files stored on external USB drives, or storage cards connected to your Chromebook.
      Files app SD Card highlighted.

  5. To delete a file, select the file you want to delete, then select Delete at the top.
    Trash highlighted.
  6. To copy a file from your Chromebook to your Google Drive to keep it safe, click and hold the file, drag it to My Drive, and release the mouse button.
    File highlighted with arrow showing dragging file to new folder.

Your Chromebook does not save files locally in most cases. The only exception to this is any files you've downloaded that you may wish to save. This step will guide you through checking your Downloads, and saving them to Google's servers to keep them safe.

  1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
    screenshot of the apps menu

  2. Select All Apps > Files.
    screenshot from the apps menu with the files app highlighted

  3. Select Downloads on the left. These are the only files stored on your Chromebook.
    screenshot of the files manager with downloads highlighted

    • You can open a file by double-clicking on it.
    • You can copy files to your Google Drive by dragging them to My Drive on the left. Copying a file to Google Drive places them on Google's servers, so they won't be lost if your Chromebook is restored.
  1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
    Apps Menu.
  2. Select the up arrow ^ to show all your apps.
    Show all apps.
  3. To delete an app, using your right mouse button, right click on the app. A menu will open. Select Remove from Chrome, or Remove from Chromium.
    App menu with Remove from Chrome highlighted.
  4. Select Remove.
    Remove dialog with Remove button highlighted.

Your Chromebook automatically checks for updates on startup. This step will walk you through checking manually.

  1. Select the User menu by clicking your profile picture in the bottom-right corner.
    User menu.
  2. Select Settings.
    User menu with settings highlighted.
  3. Select the Menu in the top-left.
    Top left corner of the settings screen with the menu icon highlighted.
  4. Select About Chrome OS or About Chromium OS on the bottom left of the menu.
    Settings submenu with the about option highlighted at the bottom.
  5. Select Check For Updates.
    About screen with check for updates highlighted.
  6. If your device is up-to-date, it will show that here.
    About screen with the up to date message highlighted.
  7. If there is an update pending, you will be asked to reboot. Choose to reboot, and your device will reboot and update on its own.
  1. Select the Chrome Browser. The icon is on the bottom, near the left.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Select the profile button in the top-right corner.
    Profile button.
  3. Select My Account.
    Profile menu with My Account button highlighted.
  4. From here, you'll be able to make changes to your entire Google account.
    Google Account page.
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