5 Ways to Make Your Chromebook Uniquely Yours
One thing that various operating systems have got us used to is customizing appearance settings down to the smallest detail. Chrome OS also has rather decent customization options. Here’s how you can use these themes and other options to personalize your Chromebook.
1. The Chrome Launcher and Personalization Options
The Chrome operating system has the same basics as any Android device: it requires a (system) launcher in order to operate. This launcher is where everything else happens. The launcher includes the home screen, the app drawer, and pretty much everything else. Many Android-based phones can easily run launchers different from the stock launcher, which makes the customization options endless.
When it comes to the Chromebook, however, the possibilities are a bit more limited. Even though this is bound to change at some point, right now, you can only run the stock launcher. What you can do, however, is change other elements within the launcher to personalize your Chromebook.
2. Change the Wallpaper
One of the oldest personalization options available, the wallpaper is the easiest way to quickly personalize your Chromebook. Chromebook comes with a variety of readily available wallpaper options. You can access them by right-clicking or two-finger tapping the trackpad and choosing the “Set Wallpaper” option. A new window will pop up where you can browse through the wallpapers.
You can also use your own images as wallpapers if they are stored locally or on Google Drive. Click the “Custom” option to get access to those images. One very nifty option that Chrome OS has is “Surprise me.” If you tick the box next to this option, your wallpaper will change every time you log in to your Chromebook.
3. Change the Whole Theme
Another great personalization option for your Chromebook is changing the theme. In order to do this, you have to click the status area that’s located near your account picture, then go to Settings > Appearance, and finally, choose Browser Themes.
This will open the Chrome Web Store and let you browse through various themes. Once you have found a theme to your liking, you can easily set it up by selecting the “Add to Chrome” button. This theme is bound to your account, and it will sync with all the computers you use. If you want to use it only on your Chromebook, you will have to use selective sync to make sure it stays only there.
4. Put Folders in the App Drawer
If you have ever moved an app around an Android phone, you might have accidentally dropped it on top of another app, only to find them both in the same place, in a folder. Folder creation is done the same way in Chrome OS – just drop an app on top of another to get started. The default name will be “Unnamed folder”, so make sure to change the name.
Unfortunately, a folder can’t be created on the shelf or added to it, but having folders still helps you keep your Chromebook nice, tidy and keeps your personal favorites grouped together.
5. Personalize Your Shelf
The taskbar at the very bottom of your interface is called a shelf, and it can be customized too. You can change the position easily by right-clicking or two-finger tapping the trackpad, then go to “Shelf Position” and pick the position that suits you best.
If you feel like the shelf is a distraction, you can choose the auto-hide option for it. It will appear once you move the cursor to the edge of the screen. This option only works if you have other apps open. If there are no other apps, the shelf will stay visible.
Choose the apps you like most and add shortcuts to the shelf. This is rather easy to do: go to your favorite app, right-click on it, and click the “Pin to shelf” option which will create a shortcut. Plus you can add bookmarks there too, by accessing “More” in the browser, then “More Tools” and finally “Add to Shelf.”
One of the most common listed disadvantages of a Chromebook is their lack of customization options but as you can see, there is plenty to get you started. With their library full of various themes that you can apply to your Chromebook to switch things up a bit, Chrome OS can be customized to provide an experience to your liking.