As we glide gracefully into the new year, hoping never to look back to 2020, I wanted to share with you my top five Chromebook keyboard shortcuts for fun and productivity. You can access your shortcut manager by pressing
ctrl + alt + / or by opening your 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 slew of them available to you, but the ones I’ve chosen today are shortcuts that I use daily and sometimes moment by moment. The last one is just for fun, but we all need a bit of fun in our day, right? I hope that you’ll find them interesting. I would love to hear in the comments section which shortcuts you use on your own Chromebook!
Close an app or tab quickly
Ctrl + w
Instead of dragging your mouse or finger up to the top right side of any app or a website in the Chrome browser, using this shortcut (in conjunction with the next one) will feel so natural after a while that you may become an elitist shortcut user afterward. If that happens, I’m sorry – it’s just so much faster! You can close several apps and windows in rapid succession using ctrl + w.
Reopen a closed app or tab
Ctrl + Shift + t
If you close an app that you didn’t mean to, you’d normally have to go to your launcher and re-open it from the Recents section. If it’s a website you closed out of, you could ‘Reopen closed tab’, but this shortcut is much faster – assuming you commit it to memory and practice it. So far as I could tell, it gives you unlimited ‘undo’s’ so to speak, so with your fingers on the home row keys, just press down ‘Ctrl’ with your pinky finger, ‘Shift’ with your ring finger, and ‘T’ with your pointer finger. It becomes second nature after a while!
Quickly lock your Chromebook
Launcher + l
On a Windows computer, if you’re at all used to keyboard shortcuts, you may have heard that you can lock your machine with Ctrl and the Windows key. Well, when I started to use Chromebooks, I missed that, so I did a bit of digging. Instead of going to the bottom right of your Chromebook, clicking the time clock, and then the padlock icon to lock your device, you can just press down your launcher key and the letter ‘L’. This will send you out to the lock screen and require you to enter a password before entering. I use this several times per day as it’s a quick way to lock my Chromebook in a coffee shop so that I can get up for a second for more fuel.
Open your Clipboard stack visually
Launcher + v
This one is relatively new. If you press down your launcher button and the letter ‘V’, you’ll be presented with the most recent items in your clipboard stack! This goes hand in hand with the new Holding Space feature that we keep gushing about and allows you to quickly drop in images as well as text into a document or text field with ease. After all of these years of having an invisible clipboard, it’s nice to be able to see it without third-party software.
Do a Barrel Roll!
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R
Lastly, we have the famous Chrome OS Easter egg from the Super Nintendo! I included this one because, while I don’t use it often, I’m continually pleased by it when I remember to try it. By pressing this button combination, anything you have on your Chromebook’s screen (except for a blank wallpaper with no active windows) will rotate 360 degrees! It can be a bit nauseating if you repeatedly do it, but it’s fun nonetheless.