Chromebooks may be all about simplicity, but don’t be fooled: Beneath their intuitive outer layer lies a web of advanced options. And you don’t have to be a power user to embrace it.

Make your way through this massive collection of next-level tips, and you’ll be zipping around Chrome OS like a pro in no time.

Getting around Chrome OS

1. The Chrome OS launcher — the drawer-like interface that appears when you tap the Everything key (a.k.a. the Search key or Launcher key) or when you hit the circle icon in the lower-left corner of the screen — is actually a powerful universal search tool. Just start typing as soon as it appears, and you can find and open apps, pull up websites, and even get answers to specific questions right then and there — no clicking or digging required.

2. The launcher has some easily overlooked extra powers, too. Try typing in calculations like 172.4/3, for instance, or unit conversions like 14.9 feet to meters to put Google to work at the system level.

02 chrome os launcher calculations IDG/JR Raphael

The launcher’s search box can pull up apps and websites and perform all sorts of other functions. (Click on any image in this story to enlarge it.)

3. On most current Chromebooks, that same launcher panel is also a portal for interacting with the Google Assistant. And that opens up the door to some interesting Chrome-OS-specific possibilities. You could ask Assistant to create a new document, spreadsheet, or presentation, for instance, or ask it what’s on your agenda for a specific upcoming day. (See my list of 22 worthwhile ways to use Google Assistant on a Chromebook for even more useful commands to consider.)

4. Chrome OS has a hidden gesture for accessing the fully expanded app drawer area of the launcher, which is especially advantageous when you’re using a Chromebook as a tablet: Simply swipe up from an open area at the bottom of the screen, and — just like with Android on Google’s Pixel phones — your full list of installed applications will appear.

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