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How to Use Apps on a Chromebook

Authored by: Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.

Apps on your Chromebook are entirely handled by the built-in Google Chrome browser. This will guide you through using apps on your Chromebook.


? What would you like to do?

  1. Install an App
  2. Uninstall an App
  3. Pin or Unpin an App
  4. Open an App

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Apps on your Chromebook are entirely handled by the built-in Google Chrome browser. This will guide you through using apps on your Chromebook.


Your Chromebook comes with a number of apps pre-installed, to offer you great productivity for most tasks, right out of the box.

Google Chrome

This is your browser. It allows you to view web pages and actually performs most tasks for you on your Chromebook.

Chrome icon


This app allows you to manage your files on your Chromebook, on your Google Drive account, and any external media you have plugged in.

Files icon

Google Docs

This is a very feature-rich word processing program.

Google Docs icon

Google Drawings

Allows you to draw images, as well as diagrams with simple shapes.

Google Drawings icon

Google Sheets

Full featured spreadsheet program.

Google Sheets icon

Google Slides

Allows you to create presentations for business.

Google Slides icon

Google Forms

Allows you to create questionnaires and get responses.

Google Forms icon

Google Sites

Allows you to create rich web pages.

Google Sites icon

Google My Maps

Allows you to map out virtually any trip, complete with stops, using Google Maps.

Google My Maps icon

Web Store

This gives you access to the Google Web Store, allowing you to browse thousands of apps, themes, and plugins; many free.

Chrome Web Store icon

Play Store

Your Chromebook can now run Android apps! This gives you access to that store, with hundreds of thousands of apps and games, both free and paid-for, covering just about every possible interest.

Google Play Store icon

Every file you create using any built-in app listed here will be saved, automatically, to your Google Drive account.

This allows you to access it from another computer easily, and you don't have to worry about backing your file up.

  1. Open the Web Store, or Google Play Store.
    Chrome web store. Google Play Store.
  2. Browse the store, or search for the app you want in the search box.
    Web store with search bar highlighted.
  3. When you find the app you want, select Add to Chrome, or Buy (if it is a paid-for app), on the right.
    Store result with Add to Chrome highlighted.
  4. Select Add app.
    App addition conformation dialog with Add App highlighted.
  5. Your app will download and install. You'll find it in the full App Drawer in the bottom-left corner.
    App Drawer with new app 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
  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.

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.

There are 3 main ways to open apps on your Chromebook.

In all cases, just click or tap with the mouse cursor over the icon to open the app. If you have a touch screen, you may also touch the app icon with your finger on the screen.

  1. Quick Launch Bar

    The quick launch bar is located just to the left of the Apps menu at the bottom. You'll find your main apps, your browser and the store to start with, here. You'll also find any other apps you have open here. A small white dot below an app lets you know it's running.

    This is always visible at the bottom of your screen.
    quick launch bar

  2. App Drawer Most Used

    As you use apps, your Chromebook keeps track, and lists the top apps here.

    1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
      Apps menu selected.
    2. A small bar will pop up from the bottom, showing your 5 most-used apps.
      App bar with most used apps.

  3. App Drawer

    The App Drawer will show you all the apps you currently have installed on your Chromebook.

    1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner. 
      Apps menu.
    2. Select the up arrow ^ to show all your apps.
      apps drawer with show all icon highlighted
    3. Here, you'll see a list of all the Apps installed on your Chromebook.
      expanded apps drawer