It’s no secret that we love Chromebooks and truly believe in the future of cloud computing. Chromebooks are awesome for many reasons and they make great daily computers because they boot up in seconds, you don’t have to spend half your day updating the operating system, and are simple to use. You constantly hear about “the cloud” and, to some degree, we are all connected – all the time. Chromebooks take full advantage of this cloud computing future and that’s why so many people have decided to make the switch from other operating systems. But if you aren’t careful, your Chromebook might start to feel bogged down. So I want to go over 5 quick tips to optimize your Chromebook and keep it running fast.
First of all, we have covered some of these tips in our segment Chromebook Tip Tuesday, so you can check out those videos here.
1. Clean up your extension – Extensions are basically small packages of software that can run in the Chrome browser and you can use them to more easily get things done. I use Grammarly, Bitly, and Pocket basically every day and they have become part of my workflow. Occasionally though, some of your extensions can become outdated and can start to cause all kinds of issues. We always recommend cleaning up extensions when people are having issues with their Chromebook because normally an unsupported and outdated extension is normally the root of the problem. You can clean up your extensions by selecting ‘Extensions’ in your browser setting or browsing to chrome://extensions. From there, remove any extensions you aren’t using and then, if you are still having issues, go through and turn off all your extensions. Then turn them on individually to see if you can find the culprit to your issues.
2. Clean up your hard drive – Chromebooks are built for “the cloud” and so you will notice that most Chrome OS devices don’t have the same internal hard drive storage that you are accustomed to with Windows or Mac. That’s because most of your files should be in the cloud. Creating folders and utilizing Google Drive for all your files will help to keep your Chromebook speedy.
3. Use Google Drive for your downloads – You can take full advantage of Google Drive with this hack that many people aren’t aware of and it will technically work on a Chromebook or any other device using the Chrome browser. Changing your downloads to a Google Drive folder will automatically upload all your downloads to the cloud so they are always accessible from other devices and will never be lost when you Powerwash or use another Chromebook.
4. Review and uninstall Apps – The new app manager in the Chrome OS settings is a useful place to see all your apps and review which ones you are using and which ones can be deleted. Although non-running apps don’t use system resources when they aren’t actively open, they are still using up your local storage, so in general, it’s a good idea to check out the app manager every now and then and delete any apps that you don’t have any need for any more or haven’t used lately.
5. Powerwash – If all else fails a Powerwash in Chrome OS will restore the Chromebook back to factory settings. This is something that we do all the time around the office as we are testing and reviewing different devices but it can also be useful when you are having issues. Like any other operating system, you might just run into a system glitch every now and then so a Powerwash from the lock screen can be a very useful hack.
Important point to consider: when you Powerwash, if you haven’t cleaned up problematic extensions and/or apps, they will be reinstalled upon signing in with the same account and thus, the same issues will persist. If after a Powerwash you end up seeing the same issues, make sure you are doing everything on the list above, too.
I know that Chrome OS is simple and you normally don’t need to put much thought into its performance, but I hope you have learned something from these 5 quick tips. These simple hacks are great to troubleshoot a problem the next time you are having issues with your Chromebook or they can be used if you just want to speed up your Chromebook.