Chrome OS 89 rolled out a few weeks ago with a treasure trove of new features that focus heavily on productivity. One of those features is designed to give users quick access to downloaded files and screenshots. Once known as “holding space,” “Tote” is a simple but powerful addition to the Chrome OS shelf that is guaranteed to enhance the workflow of Chromebook-ers that do graphic design or are frequently managing files downloaded from the web. When you click on the Tote, (located on the shelf to the left of the Phone Hub icon) you will see recently downloaded files and screenshots. Users can pin files to the top if they need to have quick access and don’t want specific files pushed out of the queue.
As innovative as Tote is, it has a glaring shortcoming. When the feature initially showed up in Chrome OS Canary, I honestly thought that this was just an oversight or perhaps this feature had not been added. I’m talking about the ability to remove files from the holding space… I mean Tote. In the Stable channel, the only way to remove a file from the Tote is to download more files and push the previous ones out of the way. There are no granular controls whatsoever and I don’t like that at all. If you are grabbing numerous files and screenshots, you may need some of them to stick around in the Tote. For that, you can always pin them but you don’t have the ability to remove any files entirely.
Thankfully, the Chrome OS team has recognized this omission and the latest update to the Canary channel brings a small, albeit powerful change to Tote. Now, when you right-click on a file in the Tote, you are presented with the option to remove it and that absolutely made my day. I know. It sounds elementary but this is the behavior that most users would expect from a “holding space” that contains shortcuts to files. This adds the ‘remove‘ functionality to the list of tools that already included the ability to copy an image, show the parent folder, and pin files to the top of the Tote. This just popped up in Chrome OS Canary 91 so I don’t know how quickly it will roll up to Stable. That said, it is a minor tweak. It is plausible that the Chrome OS team could push it up the ladder in an incremental update as soon as they are confident that it is stable and ready.