The 15 best Chromebook keyboard shortcuts for faster productivity

samsung chromebook 2 keyboard detail oct 2014

For a $250 machine, the island-style keyboard on the Samsung Chromebook 2 feels surprisingly comfortable, and the keys aren't excessively shrunken, either. 

Credit: Image: Rob Schultz

Chromebook keyboard shortcuts are the fastest way to power through those tasks you perform multiple times per day, like copying and pasting text. A few of Windows’ old reliable tricks work on Chrome with the same set of keys, but for many other commands it’s a different configuration entirely. 

It’s worth the effort, however, to learn the nuances of Chrome OS keyboard shortcuts, as it’s so much faster to lock the screen, take a screenshot, or of course move around text without reaching for the mouse or trackpad. Here are the top 15 you should learn right away. The first tip, showing a keyboard overlay of where all the keyboards are located, can be especially helpful.

chrome keyboard help

A keyboard shortcut can reveal all the secrets to the Chromebook keyboard.

  • Show the keyboard shortcut overlay: Control + Alt + ? is the ultimate cheat sheet. It pulls up a large keyboard that shows where all of the shortcuts are. 

  • Toggle on/off the Caps Lock: Alt + search button (where the caps lock is located on Windows PCs and Macs) capitalizes every letter, for when you need to type out a long acronym or yell at somebody on the Internet.

  • Lock the screen: Control + Shift + L keeps everybody out when you’re taking a break from the computer.

  • Launch apps from the shelf: Alt + 1 - 8 will launch apps from the shelf, which is the Chrome equivalent of the Windows taskbar. The numbers correspond to the position of the apps, in ascending order from left to right.

  • Activate a specific tab: Control + 1 - 8 works similarly to the dock, shifting over to a specific tab.

  • Open the task manager: Shift + Esc opens the task manager, a good way to track down a process you need to shut down for faster performance.

  • Open the file manager: Alt + Shift + M access your offline files.

  • Dock a window: Alt + [ – or Alt + ] to dock a window to the left or right side of the screen - functioning just like Windows Snap.

  • Take a screenshot: Control + Switcher key.

  • Open the Chrome browser menu: Alt + E.

  • Log out of your Chromebook: Control + Shift + Q.

  • Mirror the monitor: Control + Monitor button projects your screen contents over to a connected monitor.

  • Page up: Alt + Up to get back to the top of an app or page faster.

  • Page down: Alt + Down to zip faster through a webpage.

  • Close your current tab: Ctrl + W closes the current tab you’re working on, just as with Windows.

But wait, there's more! Check out Google's the full list on a Chrome support page.

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