The Chromebook and Chromebox are browser based computers, which are as lightweight and easy to use as a netbook. With updates done automatically and your data backed up online, you are securely protected from viruses and malware.

These devices come equipped with the Google operating system, so things can look quite different if you are used to using Windows or a Mac. Read on to find out more about Google OS and the basics on how to get going.

Chromebook and Chromebox

The Knowhow

When you setup the Chromebook and sign in with your Google ID, one of the first things you will be greeted with is the Tips & Tricks Application. Here, you can find out more on how to use your Chromebook and how to personalise it - like how to sync your devices, how to set up a printer or how to change the wallpaper.

Chromebook Tips & Tricks Application

If you ever want to go back to this information, just simply click on the Tips & Tricks icon on the desktop:

Chromebook Tips & Tricks application on the Chrome OS desktop

Getting to know Chrome OS

Essentially, everything you do in the Chrome operating system is done through a web browser or is connected through a web application or extension. Most of the apps and extensions will need the internet to run but there are certain apps which won't, such as Offline Gmail and Offline Google Docs.

Unlike other operating systems, with Chrome OS there is no installing software from DVD - everything you can use can be downloaded from the Google Web Store. If you are downloading files from another website, you will need to check they are a supported file type, for example .exe files are not compatible with the Chromebook.

Since no executable files can be installed, it means your Chromebook/Chromebox is unlikely to suffer from viruses or malware. Chrome OS has a built in anti-virus protection which is constantly checking your system for any corrupt files. At the same time, the OS also uses a system called "Sandboxing" which means whatever happens in one window or tab will not affect anything else on the system.

Below is a screenshot of the Chromebook desktop. This is where you can find your downloaded apps and extensions.

  1. The launcher bar at the bottom of the desktop is similar to Windows 7 - you can pin favourite applications to it and it also shows what apps are currently open. To pin applications, right-click on your chosen desktop application and select Pin to Launcher.

  2. The section in the bottom right-hand corner displays the time, network status, battery life and the user profile. When clicked, a pop-up appears letting you change various system settings. This is also where you can shutdown, sign out and lock your Chromebook.

    Chrome OS desktop with Web applications

Knowhow Chromebook Support Page

Updated On:

May 22, 2014

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