So, you’re bored on your Chromebook. And you’re wondering what to do.
You’re sitting in class bored out of your mind.
You’re stuck at home with nothing to do.
Or maybe you’re at work and it’s only 1PM.
Whatever the case, we’ll talk about a few different things you can do to pass the time.
You should have a whole laundry list of things you try out to save yourself from that grueling boredom by the time you get through this guide.
Sound good? Let’s see if we can find something to keep you busy.
What to do on your Chromebook when you are bored?
Well, if you’re bored on your Chromebook, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of things you can do to keep you busy.
You can do everything from playing games, getting Steam, trying out random apps, watching videos, being productive (?), or even making some money online!
Let’s cover some of the best things to do when you’re bored on your Chromebook.
What cool things can you do with a Chromebook?
The limit is only your imagination!
Without sounding like a generic motivational poster with a poorly executed meme, there ARE some pretty sweet things that Chromebooks are capable of.
For instance, you can run Android apps on it.
This is old news to anyone who already knows, but for those who don’t, the integration with the Play Store lets you download your favorite apps on your smartphone and use them on your Chromebook.
You can get your favorite social networks and message people straight from your laptop. No need to take out your phone every time to reply to a message.
You can take your daily selfie using your Chromebook’s webcam and post it straight from your device. (If you’re serious about it, you may want to upgrade your webcam).
You can edit videos, make beats, draw digital art, video chat, voice chat, make phone calls, and even multitask with split screen mode. Business on the right. Party on the left!
You can get Ubuntu and play your favorite Steam games, get PC programs, learn to code, get Java, compile programs, manage your finances, etc.
Okay, that’s enough hype. Let’s drill into some of the cool things you can do when you’re bored- with examples.
Games. The solution to boredom (for most people).
Thankfully, Chrome OS doesn’t skimp on this and has a whole library of various games you can play- both online and office.
You can download them from the Play Store or find them on the Chrome Web Store. Some even work directly in Chrome.
Here are some games to play when you’re bored on Chromebook:
- Awesome strategy games
- Best browser games
- FPS games
- Games you can play with no WiFi
- Steam games
- Browser MMOs
- DOS games
And if you’re really bored, check out some cool easter eggs hidden right on Google. They’re almost like some kind of Chromebook secret code, but as long as you have access to Google, you can try them all out.
You can also do a search for your favorite game title on Platypus Platypus. Chances are I have a tutorial for it.
Mess around with apps
Chromebooks can run apps both from the Play Store and the Chrome Web Store.
This is literally thousands of free apps at your fingertips and can transform your device into the computer of your wildest dreams (minus the limited processing power).
You can pretty much access a huge chunk of Android apps and run them directly on your device to do anything- play games, productivity apps, educational apps, video/conference calls, save money with coupon codes, spell checkers, social apps, messengers, music stations, password managers, and more.
And if that’s not enough, you can also add the power of Chrome extensions to your browser through the Chrome Web Store.
Although apps are “always there” they’re easy to overlook.
You don’t really know exactly what you’ll find until you start browsing through the archives. You just may find that next awesome app that saves you time, money, or makes your life easier.
Here are some cool Chromebook apps you can check out:
- Essential apps for Chrome OS
- Apps to improve your writing
- Best apps for college students
- “Must have apps”
- Handwriting apps
- Apps for taking notes
Use social networks
So if you’re bored, why not get social?
There are a ton of social apps you can try out, for free, that work on Chrome OS. Make some new friends or catch up with old ones and chat the night away.
Here are some of the most popular social networks apps for Chromebooks- they’re all free to use, most allow messaging (some have both audio and video calls) directly from your laptop.
- Avakin Life
Make some new friends or chat with existing ones directly through your Chromebook.
Why pull out your phone when you can do it from your comfortable keyboard/touchpad setup?
Make money with your Chromebook
Bored and want to make your time worth it? Literally? Then make some sweet, sweet dough online with your Chromebook!
There are a few sites you can earn legitimate income from by taking surveys, playing games, or watching videos.
The two sites I personally use (and have been paid by) are Amazon MTurk and Swagbucks. I won’t go into too much detail regarding these sites, but basically, they’re platforms that pay you to do various tasks.
MTurk is exclusively for taking surveys 80% of the time.
But you can also complete other tasks (called HITS) for requesters like data entry, transcribing, reviewing text, etc. It’s a legitimate crowdsourcing site that pays you some nice side income.
And you can work as much as you want with no limits.
There are always HITS to complete, but a lot of them are garbage (they pay you $0.01) and simply aren’t worth your time.
Regardless, it’s an easy way to earn some money online with your Chromebook. On a typical day, you can make anywhere from $5-$20 with about 2-3 hours of work.
Not bad if you’re bored with a Chromebook, right?
Swagbucks also has decent paying surveys, but they offer a lot of other ways to earn cash online.
You can play games, watch videos, answer a daily poll, and even just search the web. If you hate surveys but want to make some small money, try Swagbucks because they offer a lot more options. And I think it’s easier to use for the beginner.
MTurk requires approval and has a lot more regulations while Swagbucks is instant approval and easier to navigate.
Regardless of which one you pick, they both work with Chromebooks.
So why not get paid for your downtime?
You can make some beer money for that next Steam game you’ve been eyeing. Or pay off your Netflix subscription.
Manage your finances
Okay, finances are boring.
But what if you’re one of those few that are trying to achieve financial independence? What if you don’t want to wageslave 9-5 for the next 30 years? Managing and taking charge of your financials, investments, and budgeting is where it’s at.
You can do your weekly, monthly, yearly, or even daily budget on your Chromebook with the multitude of budget apps available online. If you’re on that path to financial freedom, consider using your Chromebook to be your personal portable budget manager device.
And there plenty of apps you can use to do so:
You can even do your taxes if you really wanted to.
This isn’t for everyone and most people will probably find money matters even MORE boring than before. I don’t blame you. But taking action and being proactive is key.
Turn it into an entertainment station
Your chromebook can be transformed into an awesome entertainment center- complete with your favorite media player, image viewer, and more
There are a few select apps on the Chrome Web Store that can do this for you.
They can do everything from changing the appearance of YouTube to playing your favorite videos in dark mode.
Or how about enabling dark mode everywhere?
With these apps, you can greatly enhance your experience, like night mode, “turning off the lights” when watching videos, or view images in a gallery.
If you already use your Chromebook just for entertainment, getting some free apps can make your leisure time online even more leisurely.
So why not?
To really get the most enjoyment out of watching videos, I’d suggest getting a Chromebook with a high-resolution screen for a crisp, sharp picture.
Oh, and if you have a powerful enough device, you can technically stream on your Chromebook.
Make it your digital creative workstation
Are you a creative starving artist?
That’s good, because your Chromebook can be transformed into a digital canvas.
Of course, you’ll want a Chromebook with a very accurate touchscreen to do this- unless you draw with your touchpad.
Better yet, a convertible Chromebook would be ideal so you can fold it back and use it in tablet mode. Then it’s really like a digital canvas.
Regardless, there are plenty of free image editing apps for free on the Chrome Web Store. Newer Chromebooks come with the Play Store by default and can run image editors from there as well.
So you have plenty of apps to choose from:
- Poster Maker
Chrome OS even has a built-in editor to manipulate your pictures.
With these apps, you’ll be able to draw, sketch, doodle, paint, and create your art directly on your Chromebook. You may want to also invest in a stylus pen for finer details. Or a lap desk so you can draw in bed.
Even though Chromebooks are no match for a professional drawing tablet, I’ve seen some artists use their tools and create pretty amazing works, like this person:
Make music or produce beats
Believe it or not, Chromebooks can be a viable DAW for producers.
Of course, most of the workstations are going to be exclusively through the browser.
But if you’re an amateur producer or you just want to mess around with making some beats, you can do that on your Chromebook.
Some of the most popular production programs that work with Chrome OS are:
- Music Maker
- Beat Maker Pro
- n-Track Studio DAW
Yeah, they’re mainly just drag and drop beatmakers.
But anyone can use them to make some tracks. Whether you’re trying to make an intro theme to your channel or recording a podcast, there’s a program that can accomplish that online.
Check out this post to see some compatible DAWs.
Plus the abundance of free Play Store apps that do the same thing.
Get Windows programs
Are you bored with your Chromebook? Do you wish “only if you had your PC?”
Guess what? You can actually use Windows-native programs directly on your device.
Yes, you can run your favorite Windows programs on your Chromebook.
You can do this using three different methods:
- Use Chrome Remote Desktop
- Use WINE and Ubuntu
- Or use CrossOver
Chrome Remote Desktop is a browser extension that lets you host a remote session from your PC and control it on your Chromebook. So you’re technically using your PC on your Chromebook.
WINE requires Linux to be installed, but this should be easy if you have Linux (Beta) enabled or you can use the Crouton method. You just get Linux, then get WINE. This will let you run native PC programs through Linux.
This will be covered in detail below, or you can just do a search for the tutorial.
CrossOver is a funny one because it’s a paid application that claims to allow you to run any Windows programs without lag. I’ve never used this myself, but I thought I’d throw it out there for anyone who would rather shell out the cash because they don’t have the time to set up CRD or WINE.
Regardless of which one you pick, you can definitely use the programs you’re used to.
The only problem is that performance may suffer depending on the speed of your WiFi connection and how fast your Chromebook is.
CRD relies on a speedy connection. WINE requires a fast Chromebook.
Ubuntu Linux allows you to do all sorts of cool stuff on your Chromebook.
It expands beyond the typical restrictions of Chrome OS and enables you to do things like:
- Install .exe files
- Run Windows programs
- Use other alternative browsers rather than Chrome
- Play your favorite games (LoL, DotA Underlords, Hearthstone, WoW, PoE, GMod, etc.)
Ubuntu is free and you can dual boot it on your system so you can run both Chrome OS and Linux at the same time. And switch between them with a hotkey shortcut!
The process is pretty easy and only takes 20 minutes. All you need is something to save your files onto and a Chromebook with an Intel processor!
There are multiple ways to get a copy of Linux:
- With the trusty Crouton
- Using Live Linux through a USB drive
- Using Linux Beta through the Chrome browser
If you want to get Linux, you’ll need to save your stuff.
You need to make copies of your important files because doing this will erase all your files. Linux Beta is available through select versions of Chrome OS and not all models have this feature.
Ubuntu has a TON of free software you can use to do everything that you couldn’t before. Just check out the Ubuntu Software Center and browse the archives to see what’s possible.
Regardless, if you’re doing nothing and sick and tired of doing nothing, you might as well play around with Linux.
You DON’T need to know how to code- I go through the steps with you one at a time =]. Why not open your Chromebook up to a world of possibilities and use it to its full potential?
Cool things to do with an old Chromebook
Got an old Chromebook lying around that you no longer use?
Wondering what you can do with it since you already upgraded to a newer model?
Well, here are some ideas:
- Turn it into a Windows emulator by using Linux and WINE
- Convert it to a streaming media center using Plex, Kodi, or VLC
- Host a Minecraft server as a dedicated machine
- Use it as a secondary webcam for streaming
- Pair it with some good speakers and make it a media center for music and movies
- Play shows, games, movies, and videos on your TV (wirelessly, wired, or projection)
If the battery is dated and doesn’t hold a charge, consider replacing the battery and making it usable again.
Or if you have an older Chromebook, you may be able to swap out the parts and upgrade them. Maybe it’ll even rival your new device!
Fun things to do on a Chromebook at school
Bored at school and stuck on your loaner Chromebook?
Sadly, most functions may be restricted by your school’s admin team and this leaves you with fewer things you can do.
You probably won’t be able to enter Developer Mode, which means you can’t get Linux. You may also be limited to the apps you can download from the Play Store (or not have Play Store access at all).
All you can pretty much do is use either Chrome extensions to play games, or play them directly through the web browser.
There are some games that work directly in Chrome and require no download.
As long as you don’t have web filtering software, they should work right on Chrome. Of course, don’t do this during class!
Deck it out
This is kinda out there, but I know a friend who literally likes to add stickers to his Chromebook and make it look cool. It’s kind of the same thing like decking out a car with vinyl decals and bumper stickers to show off your ride.
He has Yoshi from Nintendo sticking his tongue out eating the Chrome logo and a whole scene of characters from Mario doing various poses on his keys. It’s the most Nintendo-influenced Chromebook I’ve ever seen.
Getting back on track, I guess you could do the same if that’s your thing. Think of a theme for your Chromebook.
Buy some stickers to match said theme. Get a cool silicone keyboard cover. Pair some cool headphones that have a similar color accent.
And maybe put a nice laptop cooler with the same matching colors under it to keep your Chromebook cool.
You’ll be the talk of the office- or school. If you really wanted to make your Chromebook look cool, this would be it. I can’t think of another way than decking your entire system with similar themed accessories.
Believe it or not, Chromebooks can be a workhorse of a machine to get things done. The best thing to do when you’re bored is to be productive and cross off that to-do list.
Because your future self will have fewer tasks to do (and thank you).
This ain’t for everyone, but if you can suck it up and get to work, here are useful productivity tasks you can do on Chrome OS:
- Type up documents with Google Docs
- Work on spreadsheets with Google Sheets
- Create slideshows and presentations with Google Slides
- Edit, sign, and create PDFs
- Video call and chat with Skype, Zoom, Duo, Hangouts, etc.
- Plan your day with a custom tab
- Assign, plan, and mind map with Trello
- Correct and improve your writing
- Manage and organize your email inboxes
Want to be a productivity ninja? Check out this list of some of my favorite Chrome tips for getting things done- even when offline.
Chrome OS is extremely versatile and allows you to customize your Chromebook to your liking.
Whether you’re a digital artist, gamer, music producer, video watcher, teacher, professor, student, or a business professional, there are apps that you can get that’ll suit your purpose.
That’s probably one of the best uses of a Chromebook- the ability to run Android apps and Chrome Web Store apps lets you “build” your device however you want.
This makes each Chromebook unique and personalized to some degree.
But even then, people are always curious about what you can do with a Chromebook, or what Chromebooks are good for. There’s no answer. It completely depends on YOU and what YOU do.
Did you find something to do on your Chromebook when you’re bored?
Well, did you? Hopefully you now have some ideas of random things to do to kill time.
You can play games, try out random apps, convert it into an entertainment laptop, get Ubuntu, or even get some work done.
Whatever you choose, there’s always something to keep you busy on a Chromebook- or anything with an Internet connection for that matter.
If you have any other favorite pastimes to keep you busy when you’re bored, drop a comment below.
Or if you found this article helpful, let me know =].
Thanks for reading.