Chrome OS is Google’s minimalist, cloud-centric operating system. It is not as feature-rich as Windows or macOS but excels in other areas. Take, for example, it is lightning-fast performance and virus resistance.
In terms of functionality, Chrome OS comes with a suite of apps that are useful for people who spend most of their time online or browsing documents on Google Drive. Because the software is essentially built around the Chrome browser and Google Docs, most of its services have a central focus on web integration and minimalism.
Several Chrome OS features make this stripped-down OS incredibly useful. If you are a student or business user that primarily needs a computer to browse the internet and take notes, then Chromebooks may be perfect for you.
Let’s take a look at ten hidden features in Chrome OS that make it worth using;
1. Chromebook Recovery
When most people think of resetting a computer, they envision a tedious process with many different steps. When this is done on a Windows machine, you have to boot into the BIOS, navigate to the reset settings, and then choose the “factory reset.” On macOS, you have to go through the Apple menu and choose “Restore defaults” and click the “Restart” button.
When you are using a Chromebook, you don’t need to do any of that. Pressing the “Esc” key will take you to the Chromebook Recovery screen, where you can select the “Restore” option. You will be given two options for a factory reset – one will delete everything from the device and the other will not delete your data. If you want to go back to the default settings of the Chromebook, choose “Powerwash.”
2. Voice Typing
This is one of the lesser-known features of Chrome OS, but it is incredibly useful. Most Chromebooks come with a built-in microphone, which allows you to speak to type. You can dictate emails, documents, and calendar entries with the tap of a button.
3. Incognito Mode
Incognito Mode might be the most recognizable feature of Chrome OS, but it is important to understand how it works and what it means for your browsing experience. When you turn on Incognito mode, it automatically routes your browsing through a different server that doesn’t store browsing data or history. You can use Incognito Mode to browse adult websites without leaving a trail or to safely browse the internet when you are using a public WiFi connection.
4. Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop is a powerful feature that allows you to take control of another computer from your Chromebook. When you set up remote access on Chrome OS and choose to share your screen, you will be given a PIN code. Enter this code on the computer you want to control, and you will both be connected. You can use this feature to control a Windows or macOS device from your Chromebook, or you can let someone else control your Chromebook from their computer.
5. Chromebook Finder
The Chromebook Finder allows you to easily search through Drive, no matter which device you are on. You can quickly search for specific files, filter by dates, and use the “Create new” feature to start a new document. This makes it easy to switch between devices and quickly access documents on the go.
6. Google Docs integration
If you use Google Drive, you will be happy to know that you can use most Chrome OS apps as a glorified browser tab. This means that you can open Google Docs, Sheets, and other Google software without having to download and install the apps. There is also an extra “Open in another app” feature that allows you to open a file using a third-party app. If you want to open a Word document in Pages, for example, you can click the three dots next to the file name and select “Open in another app.”
7. Voice control with Google Assistant
The Google Assistant is a powerful voice-activated AI that is built into every Chromebook. You can use your voice to send emails, create calendar events, check your shopping list, set reminders, and even call friends and family. There are other new features that you can access if you are using Google Assistant on a Chromebook. You can use this AI to control your smart home devices, set a timer or alarm, get sports scores and stats, set language translations, and more.
8. Auto-syncing and cloud storage
If you frequently switch between devices, you may be familiar with the struggle of transferring data between computers. When you install Google Drive on your Chromebook, you will be given the option to back up your files to the cloud. If you use multiple computers, you can install the Google Drive app on your other devices and set them up to synchronize with your Chromebook. If you want to use Google Drive as a cloud storage service for your other devices, you can do so by installing the app on your phone or tablet.
9. Create Shortcuts for Chrome OS Apps
When you use an app on any operating system, you are essentially clicking through multiple menus and options to get to the file or tool you want. This can be inefficient if you use the same apps often, but there is no easy way to create a shortcut for an app. When you use the Chrome OS shortcut feature, you can create a custom button that will immediately open the app or tool you want. This feature is great if you use Google Docs frequently.
10. Chrome OS Extensions
For many people, computers are more than a place to create and store documents. They are also a place for entertainment and social connectivity. While Chrome OS does have some integrated apps for music and video, you may find that you want more functionality. Luckily, Chrome OS has extensions that allow you to add new features and functionality to your browser. You can find extensions for things like blocking certain websites, visualizing your social media feeds, controlling your music, and more.
If you are looking to get a laptop that is fast and efficient, then you should consider getting a Chromebook. With these hidden features, you will be able to do even more on your device. So why not try out a Chromebook today?