Control Google Chromebook With Chrome Browser

The Google Chromebook Pixel with an open screen displaying images

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This article is only intended for users running the Google Chrome operating system.

The heart of the Chrome OS is its Google Chrome browser, which serves as one of the central hubs for not only modifying the settings of the browser itself but also tweaking the overall operating system as a whole.

The tutorials below show you how to get the most out of your Chromebook by controlling and managing its dozens of modifiable settings that reside behind the scenes.

Reset a Chromebook to Its Default Settings

One of the most convenient features in Chrome OS is Powerwash, which allows you to reset your Chromebook to its factory state with just a few mouse clicks. There are a multitude of reasons why you may want to do this to your device, ranging from preparing it for resale to just wanting to start fresh in terms of your user accounts, settings, installed apps, files, etc.

Utilize Chrome OS Accessibility Features

For the visually impaired, or for users with limited ability to operate a keyboard or mouse, performing even the simplest of tasks on a computer can prove to be challenging. Thankfully, Google provides several helpful features centered around accessibility in the Chrome operating system.

Modify Chromebook Keyboard Settings

The layout of a Chromebook keyboard is similar to that of a Windows laptop, with some notable exceptions such as a Search key in place of Caps Lock as well as the omission of function keys across the top. The underlying settings behind the Chrome OS keyboard, however, can be tweaked to your liking in a number of different ways — including enabling the aforementioned functions as well as assigning custom behaviors to some of the specialty keys.

Change Wallpaper and Browser Themes on Your Chromebook

Google Chromebooks have become well known for their easy-to-use interface and affordable costs, providing a lightweight experience for those users who do not require resource-intensive applications. While they do not have much of a footprint in terms of hardware, the look and feel of your Chromebook can be customized to your liking using wallpaper and themes.

Manage Autofill Information and Saved Passwords on Your Chromebook

Entering the same information into Web forms time and time again, such as your address or credit card details, can be an exercise in tedium. Remembering all of your various passwords, like those needed to access your email or banking websites, can be quite a challenge. To alleviate the inconveniences associated with both of these situations, Chrome offers the ability to store this data on your Chromebook's hard drive/Google Sync account and automatically populate it when necessary.

Use Web and Prediction Services on Your Chromebook

Some of the handier behind-the-scenes features in Chrome are driven by Web and prediction services, which enhance the browser's capabilities in a number of ways such as using predictive analysis to speed up load times and providing suggested alternatives to a website that may be unavailable at the moment.

Set Up Smart Lock on Your Chromebook

In the spirit of providing a somewhat seamless experience across devices, Google offers the ability to unlock and sign in to your Chromebook with an Android phone — assuming the two devices are near enough to each other, proximity-wise, to take advantage of a Bluetooth pairing.

Modify File Download Settings in Chrome OS

By default, all files downloaded on your Chromebook are stored in the Downloads folder. While a convenient and aptly named location for such a task, many users prefer to save these files elsewhere — such as on their Google Drive or an external device. In this tutorial, we walk you through the process of setting a new default download location.

Manage Chromebook Search Engines and Use Google Voice Search

Although Google holds a lion's share of the market, there are plenty of viable alternatives available when it comes to search engines. And although Chromebooks run on the company's own operating system, they still provide the ability to utilize a different option when it comes to searching the Web.

Modify Display and Mirroring Settings on Your Chromebook

Most Google Chromebooks provide the ability to make changes to the monitor's display settings, including screen resolution parameters and visual orientation. Depending on your configuration, you may also be able to connect to a monitor or TV and mirror your Chromebook's display on one or more of those devices.