Did you know your Chromebook comes with dozens of preloaded keyboard shortcuts, or “hotkeys,” that you’d definitely use…if you knew them?
That’s right. There are literally over 50 different actions you can do with just the keys on your Chromebook- everything from common tasks such as opening menus, tabs, and windows to more advanced tasks such as quick-launching apps on pinned to your shelf. There are even a few hidden keyboard hotkeys that you’d never guess even existed in the first place, such as an easter egg to make your screen do a barrel roll.
Last updated: 5/4/17.
Level up your Chromebook mastery skills in a flash
Whether you’re new to Chromebooks or a Chromebook expert, it’ll still help to know and master these keyboard shortcuts. This list isn’t a list of every single keyboard shortcut on a Chromebook, but rather the most common ones for the beginner, and the convenient ones that are less popular but super helpful (and thus should be made more popular).
I didn’t include shortcuts that are deemed to be less useful than others by popular opinions, such as using “Ctrl + U” to view a page’s source, since not everyone is a web developer. This list is geared towards improving the typical Chromebook user’s keyboard arsenal to perform actions quicker. Most of the Chromebook shortcuts in this list are compiled from sources around the web and were added because they were found to be helpful for the typical Chromebook user.
Here’s a list of Chromebook keyboard shortcuts. Take what you will to improve your Chromebook skills and become a Chromebook-wielding keyboard ninja ready to dish out keyboard commands like nothing.
Note that the “+” symbol within the following commands doesn’t mean you actually press the “+” button on your keyboard. It’s to be read as “and.” So if you see “Ctrl + 1,” you’d press “Ctrl” and “1” on your keyboard without using the “+” key on your keyboard. Basically, don’t actually press “+” if you see it.
The convenient list of Chromebook keyboard shortcuts
See all keyboard shortcuts on your Chromebook.
This is basically your complete Chromebook keyboard cheat sheet. If you ever forget how to use a shortcut, or you wanted to learn more shortcuts, just press “Ctrl + Alt + ?” which will bring up an overlay of every single keyboard shortcut and hotkey on your Chromebook. This is an interactive keyboard map which will show you all the different combinations you can press and it’ll change depending on which key you hold down. It’s hard to explain. Try it out now and you’ll see what it does. It’s not just a list. It’s an interactive, intuitive map of all the key combinations.
Select, copy, paste, and cut text.
These are the most basic keyboard shortcuts you should know. You can select all text on the screen by pressing “Ctrl + A.” You can copy selected text by pressing “Ctrl + C.” You can paste selected text by pressing “Ctrl + V.” And you can cut selected text by pressing “Ctrl + X.”
Bookmark a tab.
If you want to bookmark a website on a specific tab, focus on that tab by clicking on it. Then press “Ctrl +D” and it’ll be added to your bookmarks.
Open a new tab.
Press “Ctrl + T” to open a new tab in your Chrome browser.
Open a new window.
Press “Ctrl + N” to open a new window in your Chrome browser.
Print the current page.
Press “Ctrl + P” to print the current page. This also works with some other apps, such as Google Docs.
Find text within the current tab.
Press “Ctrl + F” and start typing the text you want to search for. You can go to the next match or the previous match using the little box that pops up.
Open your Chrome history.
Press “Ctrl + H” to open your history.
See your Chrome downloads.
Press “Ctrl + J” to see your downloads.
Open the Chrome browser menu.
Press “Alt + E” to open up the menu within your Chrome browser.
Turn on “Caps Lock.”
You can get your Caps Lock key back by pressing “Alt + Search.” The Search key is where Caps Lock usually is on a typical QWERTY keyboard. It’s the magnifying glass.
Use the “Delete key.”
You can delete “backwards” by pressing “Alt + Backspace.”
Delete the entire selected word.
You can delete the entire word your cursor is focused on by pressing “Ctrl + Backspace.”
Quick-launch the first 8 apps pinned on your shelf.
Your shelf is the bar at the bottom of the screen (similar to a taskbar on Windows OS). You can pin as many apps as you want. Obviously, the point of the shelf is to make access to your most-used apps fast and easy. But, you can launch them even faster with “Alt + 1 through 8” on your keyboard. The app in position 1 will launch if you press “Alt + 1” and the app in position 2 will launch if you press “Alt + 2” and so on. This eliminates the need to move the cursor over the app to launch it.
Snap the focused window to the left or right.
You can snap the focused window to the left or right by pressing “Alt + ” to the right. This will snap your current window to take up half the screen. If you press the same key command twice, you can double-snap the window to a quarter screen. If you press the same key combination three times, it’ll return the window the default position. This is helpful for running windows side-by-side, or “split-screen” mode if you prefer.
Open the notification center.
Chromebooks have a small notification center on the bottom right of the screen by default. You can open your notifications by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + N” for a quick glance at the status of your Chromebook.
Open the file manager.
The file manager is one of the most common places you’ll access, as it contains all your saved files and stuff you download from the Internet. You can quickly access the file manager by pressing “Alt + Shift + M” to access your images, videos, files, and other saved media on your Chromebook.
You can easily and quickly switch tabs by pressing “Ctrl + 1 through 8” for all open tabs. The number refers the tab’s position in Chrome browser. So, pressing “Ctrl + 1” will switch to the first tab, and so on.
Go to the last tab.
You can switch to the last tab by pressing “Ctrl + 9” and your Chrome browser will snap to the last tab in the list. It doesn’t matter how many tabs you have open. Using this hotkey command will always snap to the last tab on your Chromebook.
Reopen the last tab.
You can open the last tab you closed by pressing “Ctrl + Shift +T” and Chrome will open up the last tab you recently closed. If it was an entire window within the Chrome browser, the whole window will reopen along with all the tabs.
Autocomplete a website’s URL
You can simply type out a website’s URL and press “Ctrl + Enter” to autocomplete it. Chrome will automatically add “www.” and “.com” to the website’s URL for you. For example, if you type “platypusplaytpus” in your omnibar (the address field up top) and then press “Ctrl + Enter,” Chrome will automatically append the necessary text to transform your text into a URL. It’ll then become “www.platypusplatypus.com.”
Jump over words using the cursor.
If you want to scroll through the text to a specific word and you don’t want to go letter-by-letter, you can use “Ctrl + Left Arrow” or “Ctrl + Right Arrow” to jump whole words.
Highlight words as you jump through them with the cursor.
If you want to jump between whole words and highlight them, press “Ctrl + Shift + Left Arrow” or “Ctrl + Shift + Right Arrow” for easy text selection.
Take a screenshot, or use “Print Screen.”
On a Windows device, you can take a screenshot with the Print Screen key. On a Chromebook, you have no such key. Instead, you can press “Ctrl + Switch Window” to do so. The Switch Window key is the 6th key from the left on the top row, where “F6” usually is on a Windows keyboard. It looks like a rectangle with two vertical lines to the right of it.
Scroll up one page.
You can quickly scroll up a single page by pressing “Shift + Spacebar” to scroll back up. It’s perfect for long articles, such as this one. Try it now if you want.
Minimize a window.
You can minimize a window by pressing “Alt + -” (that’s Alt and the Minus key) to quickly shrink down the focused window.
Maximize a window.
You can maximize the current window by pressing “Alt + +” (that’s Alt and the Plus key) to quicly expand the current window.
Go back a page.
You can press “Alt + Left Arrow” to go back a page.
Go forward a page.
You can press “Alt + Right Arrow” to move forward a page.
Reload current tab.
You can press “Ctrl + R” to reload (or refresh) the current tab.
Go up a page, or use “Page Up.”
You can press “Alt + Up Arrow” to quickly scroll up.
Go down a page, or use “Page Down.”
You can press “Alt + Down Arrow” to quickly scroll down a page.
Focus on the address bar.
You can focus on the address bar (also called the omnibar) by pressing “Ctrl +E” instead of having to click on it to search for something on Google or your preferred search engine.
Open a link or media in a new tab.
If you highlight a link, image, or video, you can open it in a new tab without having to right-click by pressing “Alt + Enter.”
Go to the next tab.
You can go to the next tab in Chromebook’s browser by pressing “Ctrl + Tab.”
Go to the previous tab.
You can go to the previous tab in the Chrome browser by pressing “Ctrl + Shift + Tab.”
Go to next window.
You can quickly move to the next window by pressing “Alt + Tab” and cycle through your currently open windows.
Zoom in on the current page.
You can zoom in by pressing “Ctrl + +” (that’s Ctrl and the Plus key) to zoom in the current page.
Zoom out on the current page.
You can zoom out by pressing “Ctrl + -” (that’s Ctrl and the Minus key) to zoom out the current page.
Reset to the default zoom level.
You can reset the zoom level by pressing “Ctrl + 0” and it’ll reset to default. The Chrome browser saves zoom levels for specific websites, so it’ll only reset the zoom level for the current site you’re browsing.
Do a barrel roll.
You can fire up your StarFox and press “Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Reload” and dodge some lasers. (Hint: the reload key is the 4th key from the left on the top row.)
Did you learn any new Chromebook keyboard tricks?
Well, there you have it. This list includes the most commonly performed actions and their respective keyboard shortcuts on a Chromebook. By studying and using these hotkeys, you’ll become a finger-slinging, tab-opening, app-launching master.
Please, consider sharing this list if it has helped you.
Train hard, aspiring Jedi.