After tracking the new holding space feature for so long, it was finally released as ‘Tote’ on Chrome OS 89. The tool allows you to quickly access screenshots, downloads, and pinned files or folders directly from your shelf. Tote adds a preview bubble for up to three of your latest additions, and while the slick animation of a new item being added provides great visual feedback for those who download something or take a screenshot but have their notifications set to ‘Do not disturb’, it both quickly feels cluttered and is not fun to continue looking at previously utilized items if they are no longer relevant.
While useful, I realized that the Chromebook shelf space was becoming more congested with each added feature. Sure, you can open your Tote and then right-click items to remove them manually, but over time, that becomes annoying to do. In other words, Tote’s previews are less attractive and take more space than its generic icon. For those reasons, I’m going to show you how to hide its previews or disable the feature entirely. This is a quick and easy tip, but I wanted to make sure that it was something anyone could reference or share with those who are interested.
While not really advertised at all, you can simply right click the Tote previews section in order to display a ‘Show previews’ option. This is marked with an eyeball icon (or is it an ‘eyecon’?). If you’re using a touchpad, just hover over the previews and two-finger touch and for you touchscreen users, just press and hold to bring up the menu option. Selecting it will make the previews disappear entirely from your shelf and be replaced by the Tote icon which looks like two squares stacked on one another with a down arrow. You can click it to bring up all of your held items which remain available there, so have no fear!
Following this simple step causes Tote to take up about half of the space it previously did. Yes, I know, it’s not much, but you can also disable dictation, unpin your global media controls and access them through your quick settings and more to reclaim additional shelf space! For some, the option to disable Tote altogether may still be available as a Chrome developer flag, so if you’re just not at all a fan of the feature, you can check there. If you’re out of luck, then disabling these previews should help reduce the eyesore to an otherwise amazing tool! Let me know in the comments if you use Tote or if you prefer to access everything directly through your Files app.