If you own a Chromebook, you probably already know there is a lot you can do with it. Enjoying Android apps or features like Google's new Phone Hub in Chome OS might just be two things you already do.
However, there is a lot more to your Chromebook than you might know. Here are seven things you can do with your Chromebook that you may not have known about.
Unlock your Chromebook with your phone
Arif Bacchus / Digital Trends
Android and Chromebooks now go hand in hand, and one of the ways this is done has to do with signups. If you're tired of entering your password or PIN every time you unlock your Chromebook, the only way to actually unlock your Chromebook is by using your phone. The function is called Smart Lock.
Smart Lock on a Chromebook works the opposite of the Dynamic Lock feature on Windows 10. When your Android phone is near your Chromebook, it will unlock automatically without the need for passwords.
To get started with Smart Lock, you need to make sure that you are signed in with the same Google Account on your phone as you are on your Chromebook. You also need to make sure that bluetooth is enabled on both devices. Finally, you need to make sure that the screen lock on your Android phone is set up with a password, PIN, or pattern.
Once these criteria are met, you can simply sign into your Chromebook using your phone. Simply visit the Chromebook's system settings by selecting the time. Then select Settings. Under Connected Devices, select your Android phone, then choose Smart Lock> Unlock Device and sign in to your Google account. You may need to enter your password.
Your device will now be unlocked and you will be signed in if your Android phone is nearby and unlocked. No need to enter passwords anymore!
Use the Chromebook Launcher as a calculator
Do you have to calculate quickly? Usually, you'll open your Chromebook's calculator app. However, did you know that you can only do some quick calculations using your Chromebook's launcher? Just tap the “Everything” button on your keyboard (it's the circle that Caps Lock is in) to bring up the launcher, then type in your math problem followed by the Enter key. You should see a response in the Chrome browser. This is a quick way to get responses through Google without having to download or use an app.
Run Windows using the Chrome Remote Desktop app
Do you need to run Windows 10 on your Chromebook? Maybe you want to use a program that isn't on your Chromebook as an Android app or website? There's a neat solution to getting Windows onto your Chromebook over the internet: the Chrome Remote Desktop app. With no subscription or paid software, it's free and great!
But we have a note. The Chrome Remote Desktop app works over the internet to stream a Windows 10 PC to a Chromebook. Note that you are NOT running Windows 10 natively this way. All you have to do is stream an existing Windows 10 to a Chromebook over the internet. You need a solid internet connection (preferably a 5 GHz low latency connection) for this to work properly with less lag.
To set up Chrome Remote Desktop, first go to the Remote Desktop app in Chrome on your Windows 10 PC. You want to click Remote Access> Set Up Remote Access Link on the screen. Chrome will download an app and you'll need to click "Accept and Install". Make sure you select Yes at the download download prompt, then wait while Windows installs the files for the experience (you may need to click Yes at the Windows 10 User Account Control prompt).
You can then name your PC and follow the on-screen steps. Make sure you choose a PIN that you can remember and hit the Start button. This will make your Windows 10 PC available for online access.
Now go back to your Chromebook. On your Chromebook, visit the Chrome Remote Desktop page again, click Access My Computer, and select the device from the list as shown above. Enter the PIN and let your Chromebook connect. You now have full screen access to your Windows 10 PC right on your Chromebook.
Let guests use your Chromebook as their Chromebook in guest mode
Do you share your Chromebook with your family member? Or does a friend want access to your Chromebook? You can give them access to your device without giving out your password or personal information. Just sign out of your own account and then select the Browse as Guest option on the lock screen. This creates a guest room that everyone can use. You will not have access to your files or apps, any traces left behind will be deleted and downloaded files will not be saved. You can exit guest mode at any time by clicking the time and then selecting Exit Guest.
Get your caps lock key back
Are you missing Caps Lock on your Chromebook? This is one of the main differences between a Chromebook and a Windows laptop, as it removes the Caps Lock key in favor of the Everything button (the button with a circle on it) that opens the Chromebook launcher. If you have a newer Chromebook with a built-in Assistant Key, you can remap that key to Caps Lock through System Preferences. Please note, however, that in this case you will lose the assistant function.
Visit Settings, then click Device. From there, select Keyboard. Under the wizard, select Caps Lock, then select Settings. You should now have a caps lock key back!
If this doesn't work for you, or if you don't have the Assistant button on your Chromebook, just tap the Alt key, then tap the Everything key to toggle Caps Lock on and off manually.
Turn websites into progressive web apps
If you visit a specific website on your Chromebook or use a service that doesn't have a dedicated Android app, you can turn the website into something called a Progressive Web App (PWA). Progressive Web Apps look very similar to a dedicated system app instead of a website with traditional window and menu controls on top.
To turn a website into a progressive web app, visit the website of your choice, then click the three downward arrows at the top of the screen next to your profile icon. Then look for the Install button (website name). This should start the website in its own window as an app without regular Chrome controls.
If these controls don't exist for the website of your choice, go to the Chrome Settings menu and click More Tools> Create Shortcut. Name it and make sure the Open as Window button is checked before clicking Create. You can then find the website in your Chromebook's launcher or on your home screen, without the clutter of a regular Chrome window.
Monitor your system resources with chrome: // sys-internals /
Chromebook feels slow? Maybe you want to check some system information? You can usually download a third-party Chrome app like Cog System Information, but you can also manually check all of the system information right in Chrome itself. To do this, visit the following URL in Chrome on a Chromebook. chrome: // sys-internals /. This shows you the memory used, a graph with your system internals, as well as the number of cores and the load on your Chromebook's CPU.
It's very similar to Task Manager in Windows 10. Try it. It's also great when paired with Chrome's built-in task manager. Just click the three downward dots next to your profile icon and select More Tools and then Task Manager to see all the activity on your Chromebook and see how the system is handling it.