Customize the Launcher for your Chromebook

For anyone looking for a cheap computer that is capable of most everyday tasks, a Chromebook is an ideal option. They are not only cheap, but also lightweight and tend to benefit from great battery life. But for anyone making the move from Windows, it may not be immediately obvious just how to go about customizing things.

Whatever you use your computer for, you’ll spend a good deal of time working with the launcher. This is the equivalent of Windows’ taskbar and Start menu / screen and it can be tweak in various ways to suite the way you work.

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The first thing you might want to do is try to maximize the amount of available screen space. A lot of Chromebooks have quite small screens and it  makes sense to make the best possible use of what you have.

The launcher can be configured to hide when it is not needed, freeing up valuable pixels at the bottom of the screen. Right click the launcher bar (or tap with two fingers) and select the Auto-hide launcher option. The bar will now slide into view when you move your mouse to the bottom of the screen, but will disappear whenever it is not needed.

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That’s about all there is available in terms of changing the look and feel of the launcher, but it is still possible to change various options to personalize the way it works.

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If there are any shortcuts displayed that you do not need, right click (or tap the touchpad with two fingers) the icon in question and click the Unpin option in the menu that appears.

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From the same menu you can choose how individual Chrome apps should open. You can opt to have it open as a regular tab in your browser, as a pinned tab, in a new window, or force it to open maximized.

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If you launch an app from Apps menu in the launcher, an icon will be added to the launcher to allow for easy switching. If you would like to make it easier to access any particular app in future, you can right click its icon in Apps and select the Pin to Launcher option.

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This will make your life a great deal easier and save you having to spend so much time navigating to launch apps.

If you’re a newcomer to Chromebook, the launcher can take a little getting used to, but give it time and you will soon find that it works for you.

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