Media CenterStudents in library

Our Media Center is a space for students to enjoy.  It is a 21st Century Library. We believe in the importance of the written word and availability of technology. There are books available for checkout covering all genres, and we are adding to the library every month.

Chromebook Tips and Tweaks

Tips for Chromebooks behaving badly, or Tricks for making Chromebooks behave the way you want.

Find out how to update your Chromebook Operating System

Your Chromebook automatically checks for and downloads software updates by itself. This happens when your Chromebook is turned on and connected to Wi-Fi.

Finish an Update

When your Chromebook downloads a software update, you’ll see an arrow near the time (in the lower right corner).

To finish the update, click Update Restart to update. Your Chromebook will restart.

Check for Updates Yourself

  1. At the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select Menu > About Chrome OS.
  4. Under "Google Chrome OS," select "Check for Updates".
  5. If your Chromebook finds a software update, it will start to download automatically.

Delete Your Browsing Data (Cookies and Caches)

  1. On your Chromebook, open the browser (Chrome).
  2. At the top right, click More.
  3. Click "More Tools" and then "Clear Browsing Data."
  4. OR, Open the History page: Control + h
  5. In the box that appears at the top, choose a time, like the past hour or the past day. To delete everything, select the beginning of time.
  6. Select the types of information you want to remove.
  7. Click "Clear Browsing Data."

Uninstall Apps or Extensions

To remove an app or extension from your Chromebook, follow the steps below.

Uninstall an App

  1. On your desktop, click the Launcher (in lower left corner, unless you’ve moved the shelf Up arrow).
  2. Right-click the app you want to remove.
  3. Click "Uninstall."
  4. Click "Remove."

Uninstall an Extension

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More > More Tools > Extensions.
  3. Next to the extension you want to remove, click "Remove."
  4. To confirm, click "Remove."

Tip: To remove an extension that's a button on the browser toolbar, right-click the button and select "Remove from Chrome."

Disable an Extension (to Temporarily Stop Using an Extension)

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More  > More Tools >  Extensions.
  3. Next to the extension you want to disable, uncheck the box next to Enabled.

Learn how to rearrange or hide the extension buttons on the toolbar, as explained by "How-to Geek."

Reset Chrome Settings to Default

You can restore your browser settings in Chrome at any time. You might need to do this if apps or extensions you installed changed your settings without your knowledge. Your saved bookmarks and passwords won't be cleared or changed.

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click "More Settings."
  3. At the bottom, click "Advanced."
  4. Under the section "Reset," click "Reset."
  5. Confirm by clicking "Reset." ​

These steps won't provide a full reset. For example, some settings such as fonts or accessibility won't be deleted. The following settings will change back to the default:

Only the settings for the Chrome profile you're signed in to will be reset. Your new settings will apply across all computers or devices where you’re signed into your active profile.

Turn Chromebook Accessibility Features On or Off

You can make your Chromebook easier to use by turning on accessibility features that work best for your needs. OR, you may have accidentally turned on an accessibility feature by hitting the right combination of keys. You can follow the same steps to turn the accessibility features OFF.

  1. Click your account photo (lower right corner).
  2. Click "Settings."
  3. At the bottom, click "Advanced."
  4. In the "Accessibility" section, click "Manage Accessibility Features.
  5. Choose the accessibility features you'd like to use:
    • Text-to-Speech: Turn on the screen reader or select-to-speak
    • Display: High contrast mode, screen magnifier, screen resolution, text size
    • Keyboard: Sticky keys, on-screen keyboard, highlighting, keyboard repeat rate, word prediction
    • Mouse and touchpad: Automatic clicking, tap dragging, large cursor (and change its size), cursor highlighting
    • Audio: Play all sounds together through all speakers

Hard Reset Your Chromebook

This is for when you open the Chromebook and the screen is black, even though it has full power.  

For most Chromebooks, follow the steps below:

  1. Turn off your Chromebook.
  2. Press Refresh + Power.

Learn other ways to hard reset your Chromebook

Zoom In or Out (Magnify or Reduce) on Your Chromebook Screen

To make everything on your screen bigger or smaller (including your desktop icons and cursor), change your Chromebook screen resolution:

  • Make things bigger (decrease resolution): Press Ctrl + Shift and +.
  • Make things smaller (increase resolution): Press Ctrl + Shift and -.
  • Reset resolution: Press Ctrl + Shift + 0.

To make the page you're looking at bigger or smaller, but to keep other parts of your screen the same size:

  • Zoom in (make things bigger): Press Ctrl and +.
  • Zoom out (make things smaller): Press Ctrl and -.
  • Reset zoom: Press Ctrl + 0.

See other ways to magnify or reduce your screen

Connect your Chromebook to a Projector, Monitor or TV Screen

First, plug the HDMI cable from the projector, monitor or TV screen into the HDMI on your Chromebook. (Note: HDMI transmits both video and audio, so there is no need to plug the audio cable into the Chromebook.)

Adjust, rotate, align or mirror your screen:

  1. Click your account photo.
  2. Click "Settings."
  3. In the "Device" section, click "Displays."

From here, you can:

  • Change resolution: In the "Resolution" section, choose the screen resolution you prefer.
  • Rotate the image: In the "Orientation" section, choose an option.
  • Center your screen: In the "TV alignment" section, click Adjust, then press the Shift and arrow keys until your screen is aligned.
  • Mirror your screen: Press Ctrl + Full screen.

Find out how to change audio settings on a Chromebook, as explained by “How-to Geek.”

Customize Your Desktop

At the bottom or side of your screen, you'll see a row of apps, called the shelf, and your account picture. You can change which apps are included and bookmark webpages.

Next to your account picture (lower-right corner), you can see notifications, check your Chromebook’s battery life, raise or lower the volume, and change other settings. Find out how to turn notifications on or off.

Add an App to Your Desktop (Shelf)

  1. Click the Launcher Up arrow.
  2. Find the app you want to add.
  3. Right-click the app icon.
  4. Click "Pin to Shelf."

When you pin an app to your shelf, the app will stay there until you move or remove it.

Change the Order of the Apps on Your Desktop (Shelf)

  1. Click and hold the app you want to move.
  2. Drag it to a new position.
  3. Release to put the app in a new spot.

Remove an App From Your Desktop (Shelf)

  1. Right-click the app you want to remove.
  2. Click "Unpin."

Pin a Webpage to Your Desktop (Shelf)

  1. Open the webpage in Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click "More" and then  "More Tools."
  3. Click "Add to Shelf" and then "Add."

Move or Hide the Shelf (Row of Apps)

  1. Right-click the shelf.
  2. Point to Shelf position.
  3. Choose where you’d like the shelf to go: on the bottom of the screen (default), or on the left or right side.

To hide the shelf and status area, right-click the shelf and select "Autohide Shelf."

When they're hidden, move the pointer to that side of the screen to see your apps, bookmarks, and account picture.

To stop hiding the shelf, right-click the shelf and uncheck "Autohide Shelf."

Change Background Wallpaper

Use Wallpaper from Chromebook

  1. Right-click your desktop and select "Set Wallpaper."
  2. Click one of the images to set your wallpaper. You can also get a randomly selected image by checking the box next to "Surprise Me."

Use Your Own Photo or Image as Custom Wallpaper

  1. If you haven't yet, download an image (.png or .jpg) from the web that you’d like as your wallpaper.
  2. Click the Launcher Up arrow.
  3. Select Files (Downloads).
  4. In the left column, click "Downloads."
  5. Right-click the image you want as your wallpaper, then click "Set Wallpaper."

Open, Save, or Delete Files & Downloads

Important: When your Chromebook runs low on space, it sometimes deletes files in your Files (Downloads) folder to free up space. To keep your files from being deleted, save your files to Google Drive, a hard storage device, or other cloud file system.

Find and Open a File

  1. On your desktop, click the Launcher Up arrow, and then "Files" (Downloads).
  2. On the left, choose the place where your file is saved.
  3. Find your file and double-click it to open.
  4. If you're opening a file from an external storage device, remove the device safely when you're done by clicking "Eject."

Save a File

To save the page, image, or document you're viewing:

  1. Press Ctrl + s.
  2. At the bottom, type a name for your file.
  3. In the left column, choose where you'd like to save your file:
  • Files (Downloads) (a temporary folder on that Chromebook only)
  • Google Drive (a permanent folder in the Cloud)
  • An external storage device like a flash drive (if it is inserted in the USB port)

If you're opening a file on an external storage device, remove the device safely when you're done by clicking "Eject."

  1. Click Save.

See more file opening, saving and zipping tips

Find Chromebook Serial Number

To view Chrome device information:

  1. Before logging in to the device, press Alt + v.  The information will be in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen.

How to find more information about your Chromebook device

Other Helpful Links

Learn Chromebook keyboard shortcuts

See the list of Google spreadsheet functions

Read the Guardian's Guide to Chromebooks in Schools