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Tip: The New Way to Clear All Notifications on ChromeOS

Prior to ChromeOS version 70, the notification and settings panels were split into two distinct panels. With version 70, Google changed this by merging them together. When the company made this change it also changed how clearing all notifications at once works. Before version 70, you would clear all notifications by tapping or clicking the notification stack icon in the notification panel. Android users are most familiar with this as it is the same icon on Android smartphones and tablets. Now, in version 70 of ChromeOS, you clear all notifications by using the “Clear all” at the very bottom of accumulated notifications. If you have a lot of notifications stacked, the “Clear all” button can seem to disappear. You just need to scroll all the way down to the bottom of...

Tip: Creating Full and Partial Screenshots on ChromeOS

Creating screenshots is quick and easy on a Chromebook if you know how to do it. Creating screenshots involves the “Show Windows” key at the top of a standard Chromebook keyboard. If you’re using a non-standard Chromebook keyboard, possibly an external keyboard, this is the same as the F5 key. To take a single full-screen screenshot, use the following keyboard key combination: Ctrl + Show Windows To capture a portion of the screen, use: Ctrl + Shift + Show Windows When this key combination is used, the mouse cursor turns into a crosshair and you can drag to capture the portion of the screen you choose. When the Chromebook is in tablet mode, you can use the following hardware key combination to take a screenshot: Power button + Volume down button For even more granular and...

Tip: Switch Between the New Shelf Design and the Old Shelf Design on ChromeOS

With ChromeOS 70.x, Google has altered how the icons on the Shelf display. In the latest versions, the icons are larger and centered on the Shelf – much like how icons are shown on a Mac computer. If you don’t like this new design and would like to go back to the old version, use the following command to locate the setting: chrome://flags/#shelf-new-ui This command displays the options of the ChromeOS shelf. With 70.x and better, the Default is the new design. To go back to the old design, choose the Disabled option. NOTE: Keep in mind that this flag option is only available for the ChromeOS 70 range. This option has been removed in 71 and better, and Google no longer allows you to use the old Shelf configuration.  

Tip: Exiting Full-screen in the Web Browser When in Tablet Mode on ChromeOS

Beginning with ChromeOS 70.x, Google has enhanced the tablet mode abilities of the operating system. It’s not coincidental that this renewed focus comes as part of the announcement of the company’s first ChromeOS-based tablet. We noted recently how similar ChromeOS tablet functionality is now to what Windows 8 was when it first released. One thing that does work differently is how to exit out of full-screen mode in the Chrome web browser. If you’re streaming video or reading content, exiting full-screen is actually a pretty simple procedure where most have begun just closing the browser altogether. Most video streaming sites offer their own controls for minimizing the full-screen video, but the ChromeOS function makes it even easier and works for any site. [1] To exit ful...

Malwarebytes Labs Launches Malware Protection for Chromebooks

The Chromebook march continues. As better hardware is delivered for Google’s lean operating system and Microsoft’s continuing Windows 10 issues continue to irk users, ChromeOS has become a very viable alternative – particularly with the cost of ChromeOS hardware sometimes weighing in a third of the cost. As ChromeOS becomes more popular, vendors have begun porting long-standing Windows and Mac applications to the rising star. One of those, Malwarebytes, is now available. ChromeOS uses a sandboxing mechanism to protect users against security problems, but Malwarebytes seems to indicate it’s not enough: Even though Chromebooks come with some built-in defense mechanisms like sandboxing and verified boot and recovery mode, they can still get infected. Malwarebytes for C...

Tip: Make Alexa Work on Any ChromeOS Device

Google is working to bring its digital assistant to all ChromeOS devices in the near future. However, there are many people that are invested in hardware, software, smart devices, and skills for Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem that would love the ability to choose Alexa instead. While this tip is a just workaround and not a qualified solution, it does work wonderfully for bringing much of Alexa’s capability to ChromeOS devices. [1] To use Alexa with a ChromeOS device, you first need to download and install the Android version of the Amazon Music app from the Google Play store. Based on this, it goes without saying that you need a ChromeOS device that supports running Android apps. Download the app here: Amazon Music for Android [2] When you open the Amazon Music app the first time, it...

Tip: Working with Multiple Apps in Split-screen Mode on a ChromeOS Tablet

Those that used Windows 8 when originally released realize that Microsoft had actually gotten “tablet mode” right. Amid all the public hatred toward the revamped and reimagined Windows through the new tiles interface, the company moved on and created what many described as an apology version of Windows when Windows 10 arrived. When the company moved forward with Windows 10 it moved away from tablet mode. There’s no argument that Windows 10 today provides a horrible tablet experience, despite Microsoft’s “tablet” Surface series experiencing strong revenue growth. The lack of focus on providing a solid tablet mode for Windows 10 has left the door open for other vendors, and this is one area where Google is moving forward with ChromeOS. In fact, the split-s...

Tip: Closing an Open Window or App When in Tablet Mode on ChromeOS

Prior to Stable Build 70.x, to close an open app or window, you would pull down from the top of the screen when in tablet mode and an option to minimize, maximize, and close would appear. With Stable Build 70.x or later installed, there’s a new way to gain access to the window close action. To close a window or app… Pull down from the top of the screen while in tablet mode, and drag the window to the middle of the screen. Once you let go of the window it sticks to the middle of the screen and contains the ‘X’ for closing the window.    

Tip: Shortcut to Creating a New Doc, Slide, or Sheet on ChromeOS

Normally, to generate a new document on ChromeOS you’d click the associated icon in the app desktop or maybe even navigate to the website. But, with the latest Stable Builds of ChromeOS, you can generate a new document, slide, or sheet even quicker than before. In the Google Chrome browser address line, use one of the following…   These shortcut commands will open the website into a brand new document. Additionally, there’s also… Which opens Google’s free Site Builder.    

Tip: Best Notepad App for ChromeOS

ChromeOS has a simple, integrated Notepad-type text file viewer, but it’s not great. However, there exists one of the better Text file editing and reading applications for ChromeOS. Called simply, Text, the app provides speedy performance along with fast, syntax highlighting for scripters and coders. It also allows you to open and edit multiple files at once. Get it here: Text  

Tip: Changing the ChromeOS Background Daily with Bing Images

Microsoft’s web search tool, Bing, produces some of the best daily images around. By default, ChromeOS includes some really significantly excellent images for updating the desktop background and these are updated pretty regularly. But, what if you see an amazing Bing image that you wish you could update your background with? A ChromeOS app called Wallpaper from Bing for Chromebook will update the background each day as Bing’s own images are updated. Additionally, when the background is updated, a ChromeOS notification is delivered with the image’s description.    

Tip: Getting Google Assistant Capability for a ChromeOS Device on the Stable Channel

Google is working on delivering always-on, always-listening Google Assistant capability for all Chromebooks someday soon. The option to turn on the feature exists in Canary and Developer builds right now. If you are running on one of these builds, see: Tip: Enabling Google Assistant on any ChromeOS Device For now, though…those that are running their devices on the Stable Channel can still enable this capability if just a bit limited. The only thing you don’t gain is the always-listening capability. To do so, for those devices that support installing Android apps from the Google Play Store install the Google app on the ChromeOS device. You can get it here: Google When the Google app installs, it also includes a separate Voice Search app. To gain quick access to the Voice Search ...