Customize screen menus and buttons

You can adjust the display of the following features to suit your needs:

  • Apps in your launcher and those pinned to the shelf.
  • Items on the browser toolbar, such as the bookmarks bar and Home button.
  • The shelf and status area at the bottom of your screen.

Choose apps for the launcher and shelf

Click the Launcher icon launcher icon in the shelf at the bottom of your screen to see your apps. You can control which apps appear in the list. Pin the apps you use most often to the shelf to easily open them anytime.

Manage apps in the launcher

If you don’t have any apps stored in your account, we’ve pre-populated the list with some popular apps, such as Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube.

  • Add more apps: To explore apps you may want to add to your Chromebook, click the Chrome Web Store button chrome store.
  • Remove an app: Right-click the app and select Remove from Chrome.
  • View your apps: Click the blue bars at the bottom of your apps list to see your apps.
  • View app info: Right-click the app and click App info… to see a short description of the app and choose how you’d like to open it (in a regular tab, a pinned tab, or full-screen). You can also see any special permissions the app requires.
  • Organize your apps: Click and hold an app and move it to adjust its position in your apps list.
  • Find an app: Type the name of your app into the search box at the top of the launcher. Select your app (with its icon) from the search results.
  • Create a folder: Click and drag an app on top of another app to bundle them together in a folder. To give the folder a name, click the folder. To remove an app from a folder, click the folder, then click and drag the app out.

Certain icons are essential to your Chromebook and can’t be removed from the launcher, such as the Chrome, Chrome Web Store, and Files app.

Manage apps pinned to the shelf

A few popular apps have been pinned to the shelf by default, but you can control the apps that should appear in this area.

  • Pin an app: To pin an app to the shelf, click the Apps list button launcher, right-click the app you want to add, and select Pin to Shelf.
  • Unpin an app: Right-click the app and select Unpin.
  • Organize the shelf: Click and hold an app and move it to adjust its position in the shelf.
  • View app info: Right-click the app and click App info… to see a short description of the app and choose how you’d like to open it (in a regular tab, a pinned tab, or full-screen). You can also see any special permissions the app requires.

To make sure you can always open new tabs and find your apps, the Chrome icon and the apps list button are permanently pinned to the shelf.

Adjust the display of your browser toolbar

The browser toolbar is set up to give you easy access to your favorite sites and bookmarks. You can hide the bookmarks bar that is docked by default underneath the address bar. You can also use a Home button to quickly access the site you choose to use as your homepage.

Hide the bookmarks bar
  1. If you haven’t already, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Click the status area at the bottom of the screen, where your account picture appears.
  3. Select Settings and find the “Appearance” section.
  4. Deselect the Always show bookmarks bar checkbox.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+B to quickly toggle the bar’s display.

Tip: To get to your bookmarks when the bookmarks bar is hidden, open a new tab and you’ll see the bookmarks bar at the top of the page. You can also click the Chrome menu and use the Bookmarks menu.

Turn on the Home button
  1. If you haven’t already, sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Click the status area in the lower-right corner, where your account picture appears.
  3. Select Settings and find the “Appearance” section.
  4. Select the "Show Home button" checkbox.
  5. Set the page you'd like to use as your homepage by clicking the Change link underneath the checkbox.

Tip: You can also have your homepage open automatically whenever you sign in by setting it as a startup page. Go to the “On startup” section on the Settings page to set up your startup pages.

Using a Chromebook at work or school? Your network administrator might make your homepage settings for you, in which case you won't be able to change them here. Learn about using a managed Chromebook

Control the display of the shelf and status area

If you want to focus on the webpage you’re viewing, you can hide the shelf and the status area at the bottom of the screen. Just right-click the shelf (or click with two fingers) and select an option:

  • Auto-hide shelf: Hide the shelf at all times.
  • Shelf position: Select from the available options to display the shelf on the bottom (default), or the left or right edges of your screen.

To see the shelf and status area when they're hidden, move the pointer over the bottom area on your screen.

Next steps

  • See more information on adding apps from the Chrome Web Store. Sync your apps to your account to easily find them on all other devices where you use Google Chrome.
  • Enhance your browser toolbar with even more functionality by adding extensions from the Chrome Web Store.
Note: Some of the features described above are not available on all Chromebooks.

Arneil is a Chromebook expert and author of this help page. Help him improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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