How to Modify Keyboard Settings on Google Chromebooks

Customize your Chrome OS keyboard

It's possible to adjust your Chromebook's keyboard settings to your liking. For example, you can assign custom behaviors to specific keys and even change the language settings.

Instructions in this article apply to laptops running Chrome OS.

Chromebook Keyboard Difference

The layout of a Chromebook keyboard is similar to that of a Windows laptop, with a few exceptions. For example, there's a Search key where the Caps Lock key would normally be. On many keyboards, the top row of keys is reserved for the function keys (F1, F2, etc.). On a Chromebook, these keys serve as shortcuts for actions such as controlling the volume and refreshing the active web page. If you prefer a more traditional layout, you can customize the Chromebook keyboard so that it more closely resembles what you're used to.

It is possible to use a USB keyboard with your Chromebook, but the keys that aren't on the Chromebook keyboard will not work.

How to Change Chromebook Keyboard Settings

To customize your Chromebook's keyboard:

  1. Select the taskbar in the bottom-right corner of the desktop, and then select the Settings gear to open your Chromebook's settings in the Chrome browser.

    Bottom-right taskbar in Chromebook
  2. Select Device in the left pane, then select Keyboard.

    Device settings in Chromebook
  3. From here, you can change the function of certain keys. For example, select the drop-down menu beside Ctrl and choose one of the options listed.

    All changes take effect immediately, so if you reassign a key, it will remain reassigned until you change it back.

    Drop-down menu beside Ctrl to reassign the key's function in Chromebook
  4. Select Treat top-row keys as function keys if you want to enable function keys.

    You can toggle between shortcut and function behavior by holding down the Search key.

    'Treat top-row keys as function keys' option in Chromebook Keyboard settings
  5. Select Enable auto-repeat to toggle the auto-repeat function, which repeats the key that is held down multiple times until you let go. Use the sliders below to specify how long the delay should be before repeating each keypress, as well as the repeat rate.

    'Enable auto-repeat to toggle' option in Chromebook Keyboard settings
  6. Select View keyboard shortcuts to see a list of all Chromebook shortcuts. You cannot modify shortcuts, but they are useful to know.

    Keyboard shortcuts in Chromebook Keyboard settings
  7. Select Change language and input settings.

    Select Change language and input settings in Chromebook Keyboard settings
  8. On this screen, you can set the default language and change the keyboard layout by selecting Input method. There are also advanced spell check options.

    Chromebook keyboard language and input settings