As we glide elegantly into the new year, hoping to never look back on 2020, I wanted to share with you the top five hotkeys on your Chromebook for fun and productivity. To access shortcut management, press
ctrl + alt + / or by opening Explore and navigating to them on the overview page. They can help increase your productivity tenfold if you commit some of them to memory.
There are a number of them available to you, but the ones I have chosen today are shortcuts that I use daily and sometimes moment by moment. The last one is just for fun, but we all need some fun in our time, right? I hope you find them interesting. I̵
Close an app or tab quickly
Ctrl + w
Instead of dragging your mouse or finger up to the top right of any Chrome browser app or website, using this shortcut (along with the next one) will feel so natural after a while that you can become an elitist shortcut user afterwards. If that happens, I’m sorry – it’s just so much faster! You can close several apps and windows in quick succession using ctrl + w.
Open a closed app or tab again
Ctrl + Shift + t
If you close an app that you did not intend, you should normally go to the launcher and reopen it from the News section. If it is a website you closed, you can open the ‘closed tab’ again, but this shortcut is much faster – provided you commit it to memory and practice it. As far as I could tell, it gives you unlimited ‘undo’ to put it that way, so with your fingers on the rows at home, just press ‘Ctrl’ with your pink finger, ‘Shift’ with your ring finger and ‘T’ with your index finger. It will be second nature eventually!
Quickly lock your Chromebook
Launcher + l
If you are at all used to keyboard shortcuts on a Windows computer, you may have heard that you can lock your computer with Ctrl and the Windows key. Well, when I started using Chromebooks, I missed it, so I dug a little. Instead of going to the bottom right of your Chromebook, clicking on the clock and then the padlock icon to lock the device, you can just press the start key and the letter ‘L’. This will send you to the lock screen and require you to enter a password before entering. I use this several times a day, as it’s a quick way to lock my Chromebook in a coffee shop, so I can get up for a second for more fuel.
Visually open your clipboard
Launcher + v
This is relatively new. If you press the start button and the letter ‘V’, you will be presented with the latest items in your clipboard! This goes hand in hand with the new Holding Space feature that we continue to stream around, and allows you to quickly drop both images and text in a document or text field. After all these years with an invisible clipboard, it’s nice to be able to see it without third-party software.
Make a drum roll!
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Rotate
Finally we have the famous Chrome OS Easter egg from Super Nintendo! I included this because even though I do not use it often, I am still happy with it when I remember to try it. By pressing this key combination, everything you have on the screen of your Chromebook (except a blank wallpaper without active windows) will rotate 180 degrees! It can be a little nauseating if you repeat it over and over again, but it’s fun nonetheless.