Chromebook Issues - Try these tricks

  • My Chromebook won't turn on!

    Plug the charger into the Chromebook.
    Plug the other end of the charger into the electrical wall outlet.
    Hold the power button down.
    Continue holding power button down and press the refresh button.

  • Chromebook Shortcuts

    These system-wide shortcuts are good to know because they can be used no matter what website or web app you're in. They can help you lay things out more productively on your screen, help you more quickly find what you're looking for, and help you keep that game you were playing during the lecture from being seen when the teacher's aid walks past.Tab shortcuts: Ctrl + T opens a new tab, Ctrl + Shift + T reopens the last closed tab, and Ctrl + W closes the currently selected tab.

    • Options menu: Alt + E open options menu, the three-dot menu in Google Chrome and Google Files. This shortcut does not work in Android apps.
    • Cursor selection and movement: Shift + arrow keys selects text in the direction you move the cursor, and Ctrl + arrow keys moves the cursor one word to the left or right or to the beginning of the line above or below. Using *Shift + Ctrl + arrow keys** allows you to select larger portions of text quickly.
    • Screenshot: Ctrl + Overview (the button that looks like a stack of windows) takes a screenshot of your current full Chromebook screen, and whether you need this for capturing the result you got on a web quiz, how a homework module is misbehaving, or capturing something funny that someone said in a group chat, it's an essential shortcut to know.
    • Screen zoom: Ctrl + + zooms in and magnifies the current tab of Chrome, while Ctrl + - zooms out and shrinks the current tab of Chrome. If you want to quickly return to 100% default zoom, you can do so with Ctrl + 0.
    • Hide your game/tab: Alt + - will minimize the current window. If you have multiple windows open, then hitting Alt + - again will minimize the next open window. If you only have one window open on your Chromebook, hitting Alt + - again will restore that minimized window once your teacher, little brother, or parent has left and the coast is clear.
    • Split-screening windows: Alt + [ pins the current window to the left side of the screen and Alt + ] pins the current window on the right side of the screen, making it far, far easier to reference your notes while you write your history report or write helpful technology articles. Alt + = will make a window full-width again without making it fullscreen, which hides the address bar, tabs, and toolbars.

    Google Drive/Docs shortcuts

    Google Drive and Google Docs have some pretty expansive keyboard shortcuts available to users on their websites, and while these aren't all Chromebook exclusive, they are certainly shortcuts worth knowing.

    Google Drive shortcuts

    • Document creation: Shift + T creates a new Doc, Shift + S creates a new Sheet, and Shift + F creates a new Folder, and if you're going to be using Google Drive for all your notes, homework, and random daydreaming stories throughout the year, create folders early and often to keep things organized.
    • Rename items: Tapping N pops up the window to rename the currently selected item. Naming screenshots and other randomly named images and downloaded attachments will help keep things better organized and easy to find in your Google Drive.

    Google Docs shortcuts

    • Clear formatting: Ctrl + \ will clear any weird formatting off of a section that copy-pasted in weird or that had its formatting messed up somehow. On that note, remember that Ctrl+ Shift + V is the shortcut for pasting text without formatting.
    • Formatting lists: Ctrl + Shift + 7 will toggle on a numbered list or format highlighted text into a numbered list. Ctrl + Shift + 8 will do the same with a bulleted list.
    • Word count: Ctrl + Shift + C will bring up the word count screen, showing how many pages, words, and characters are in a highlighted section and the full document, so you know how close you are to that absolutely insane 10,000-word count your English teacher assigned.
    • Voice typing: Ctrl + Shift + S will start voice typing, allowing you to add more text to your document without having to type it all out.
    • Go to top or bottom: Ctrl + Search + left arrow will go to the beginning of your document while Ctrl + Search + right arrow will go to the end.
    • Insert links: Ctrl + K will open the insert link window in Google Docs, allowing you to create a new hyperlink for new text or add a hyperlink to the text you had currently highlighted.

    Files app shortcuts

    The files app in a Chromebook is a bit of a hidden gem. It ties into Google Drive seamlessly, and it can also be used with Chrome webstore add-ons to remote into other cloud storage systems like Dropbox and OneDrive. I find that if I need to do a lot of Google Drive cleanup like folder creation, file renaming, and moving large numbers of files from one folder to subfolders, the Files app is going to be far quicker than the Google Drive website or even the Windows Explorer app on a computer I've synced Google Drive to.

    • Folder creation: Ctrl + E creates a new folder.
    • Rename items: Ctrl + Enter to rename the selected item. I find this goes quicker in Files than on the Google Drive site because you don't have to deal with pop-up windows or the window reloading after renaming a file. Ctrl + Enter, type in the new name, tap Enter, the arrow key over to the next item and repeat.
    • Delete items: Alt + Backspace to delete an item from a folder. Items deleted from a Google Drive folder in the Files app still go to the Google Drive trash folder, so they can be recovered within a number of days if you find you deleted something on accident.

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