Chromebook Setup

If you are at a school or already have your Chromebook, skip down to the Saving Files part of this page.

Initial Setup

Follow the instructions which came with your Chromebook for unpackaging, charging the battery, etc.

  1. You will need the log in information to your local WiFi, as nearly all Chromebooks use WiFi as their internet connection. You will need connectivity to set up Google services.
  2. When you power on the device, it will ask you for your Google account name and password or to create a new one. If you already have a Google account and want this device to use that account, that's fine.
  3. If the device is yours and it asks to update the Chrome OS, please do so to ensure you have the latest features and security updates.
  4. Schools and institutions may have specifics for logging in to Google services. Follow their instructions. Often these groups do not want you to change device settings, update software, etc.

The Chrome Browser and Chrome OS

The Web Tabs area allows you to have multiple browser windows open at the same time. To create a new tab, press the + icon.

The Web Address Bar is where the web page address is typed in. Alternatively you can use the Google Search area to search for a web site.

If you are looking for other Google services, they are in the upper right. The 9 dots icon provides a full list. There you can find GMail, Youtube, Google Drive, etc.

If you need to change browser settings, add browser extensions, etc. you can find them in the cryptic three vertical dots icon in the far upper right corner.

Running applications on the Chromebook are depicted as Application icons in the bottom of the display.

Saving Files

Besides web browsing, you will need to know how to manipulate files on the Chromebook. The latest version of Chrome OS has a Files icon at the bottom. Click that.

If you don't have the blue Files icon, click the circle at the bottom left, then the ^ icon above the search bar then select the blue Files icon.

The Recent files area is useful for finding files that you have just used.

The My Files area is where you might be copying and saving files while you work on your Chromebook - the Downloads subdirectory is the space is on the flash drive memory of the Chromebook itself.

Remember when you are done using the Chromebook, it is best to copy your work onto Google Drive, an external thumb/flash drive, or somewhere else to ensure you have a backup of your files. If in a class, ask your instructor where they suggest saving files for permanent storage of your project.

If you are saving items to and from your Google Drive for more permanent storage or sharing, there is a Google Drive link on the left. You can drag files in the Files app to the Google Drive area and the file will be copied to your Google Drive. Google Drive space can be accessed anywhere you have a Google log in.

If you have a thumb/flash drive that you are saving files on, the drive name will appear on the left, below the Google Drive entry with a USB symbol that looks like a trident.

Boards like the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express and other programmable boards also show up as flash drives. The names may vary. CPLAYBOOT is the flash drive for firmware and MakeCode for the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express. Other boards will have xxxxBOOT names.

If the drive is named CIRCUITPY, that is for loading files for CircuitPython. If you have this drive and really want the CPLAYBOOT/xxxxBOOT drive, press the Reset button on the microcontroller board twice and the boot drive should appear instead of the CIRCUITPY drive.

If you have a file listing of any of these areas, you can click a file name, press the lower left of the Chromebook trackpad while dragging the file via the left mouse button to another file area to initiate copying the file. There appears to not be a copy/paste mechanism.

This guide was first published on Nov 14, 2018. It was last updated on Nov 14, 2018. This page (Chromebook Setup) was last updated on Sep 22, 2019.