If you have a Chromebook, you probably already know what you can do with it. Enjoying Android apps or Chrome OS features like Google’s new Phone Hub maybe two things you’re already doing.
Your Chromebook, on the other hand, has a lot more capabilities than you might think. Here are seven things you may not be aware of that you can do with your Chromebook.
Use your phone to unlock your Chromebook.
Android and Chromebooks are now inseparable, and one of the ways this happens is through logins. If you’re tired of having to type in your password or a pin every time you want to use your Chromebook, you can now do so with just your phone. Smart Lock is the name of the feature.
On a Chromebook, Smart Lock works in the opposite direction of Windows 10’s Dynamic Lock feature. When your Android phone is in close proximity to your Chromebook, it will unlock it without the need for passwords.
To use Smart Lock, make sure you’re signed in with the same Google Account on both your phone and your Chromebook. You’ll also need to make sure that both devices have Bluetooth turned on. Finally, make sure that your Android phone’s Screen Lock is set up with a password, PIN, or pattern.
You can easily log in to your Chromebook with your phone once those requirements are met. Select the time in the Chromebook’s system settings. Then select Settings. Choose your Android phone under Connected Devices, then select Smart Lock > Unlock the Device and sign in to your Google Account. It’s possible that you’ll have to enter your password.
When your Android phone is nearby and unlocked, your Device will unlock, and you will be signed in. Passwords don’t have to be typed anymore!
As a calculator, use the Chromebook launcher.
Do you have to do some quick math? Normally, you’d use the calculator app on your Chromebook, but did you know that you can do some quick calculations using just the launcher? To use the launcher, press the everything button on your keyboard (the one that looks like a circle and is located where Caps Lock would be), then type your math problem followed by the enter key. In the Chrome browser, you should see a response. It’s a great way to get quick Google answers without having to download or use an app.
Use the Chrome Remote Desktop App to run Windows.
Do you want to install Windows 10 on your Chromebook? Perhaps you want to use an Android app or a website that isn’t available on your Chromebook. The Chrome Remote Desktop App is a useful tool for getting Windows on your Chromebook via the internet. It’s free and great because it doesn’t require a subscription or paid software.
We do, however, have a note. The Chrome Remote Desktop app allows you to stream a Windows 10 PC to a Chromebook over the internet. It’s important to note that you’re not running Windows 10 natively in this manner. You’re simply using the internet to stream an existing Windows 10 installation to a Chromebook. For this to work properly and with less lag, you’ll need a strong internet connection (preferably a 5 GHz connection for low latency).
To get started with Chrome Remote Desktop, open Chrome on your Windows 10 PC and go to the Remote Desktop app. On the screen, click the Remote Access > Set up remote access link. Chrome will start downloading an app, which you must accept and install. Make sure you click Yes on the Open download prompt, and then wait while Windows installs the necessary files for the experience (you may need to click Yes on the Windows 10 User Account Control prompt).
Then you can give your computer a name and follow the on-screen instructions. Make sure you have a memorable PIN before pressing the Start button. This will make your Windows 10 PC accessible via the internet.
Return to your Chromebook now. Please return to the Chrome Remote Desktop site on your Chromebook, then click Access My Computer and select the Device from the list, as shown above. Allow your Chromebook to connect after entering the PIN. On your Chromebook, you’ll now have full-screen access to your Windows 10 PC.
Guest Mode allows visitors to use your Chromebook as their own.
Do you want to share your Chromebook with a family member? Perhaps a friend would like to use your Chromebook? You don’t have to share your password or personal information to give them access to your Device. Log out of your own account, then select Browse as a Guest from the lock screen. This will create a guest space that can be used by anyone. They won’t be able to access your files or apps, and any traces they leave will be erased, as well as any files downloaded. At any time, you can exit the Guest mode by clicking the time and then selecting Exit guest.
Get your Caps Lock key back.
Your Chromebook’s Caps Lock key is missing? The Caps Lock key is removed in favor of the “everything button” (the key with a circle on it), which summons the Chromebook Launcher, which is one of the major differences between a Chromebook and a Windows laptop. In any case, if you have a newer Chromebook with a built-in Assistant Key, you can remap it to Caps Lock in the system settings. Just keep in mind that if you do this, you’ll lose the Assistant feature.
Go to the settings menu and select Device. Select Keyboard from the drop-down menu. Select Caps Lock from the Assistant menu, then Settings. You should now have access to a Caps Lock key!
If this doesn’t work for you, or if your Chromebook doesn’t have the Assistant button, you can manually toggle Caps Lock on and off by pressing the Alt key and then the everything key.
Convert websites to Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).
If you frequently visit a website on your Chromebook, or if you use a service that doesn’t have an Android app, you can convert the website into a Progressive Web App (PWA.) Progressive Web Apps resemble a standalone system application rather than a website with traditional window and menu controls at the top.
To convert any website into a Progressive Web App, go to the website, then click the three downward-facing arrows next to your profile icon at the top of your screen. Then look for the [Website Name] button to install. This should open the website in its own window as an app, separate from the rest of Chrome.
If these controls aren’t available for your preferred website, go to Chrome Settings > More Tools > Create Shortcut. Before clicking Create, please give it a name and make sure the Open as Window box is checked. The website will then appear in your Chromebook’s launcher or on your Home Screen, free of the clutter that comes with a regular Chrome Window.
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Chrome allows you to keep track of your system’s resources:
Is your Chromebook running slowly? Perhaps you’d like to double-check some system data? Normally, you’d use a third-party Chrome App like Cog System Information, but you can also manually check all system information from within Chrome. To do so, open Chrome on your Chromebook and go to chrome:/sys-internals/. This will display the amount of memory in use, a graph of your system’s internals, the number of cores, and the CPU utilization on your Chromebook.
It’s similar to Windows 10’s Task Manager, so give it a shot. It’s also great when used in conjunction with Chrome’s built-in task manager. To see all of your Chromebook’s activities and how the system is handling them, click the three downward-facing dots next to your profile icon, select More tools, and then Task Manager.