Home Browsers The best new Chrome OS feature you aren’t yet using

The best new Chrome OS feature you aren’t yet using


We’ve all got our own personal pet peeves with technology — y’know, the relatively minor annoyances that for some reason get your goat and drive you batty.

Maybe it’s the way your Chromebook makes it weirdly tricky to get to emojis. (Google just fixed that one this month! 🥳) Maybe it’s the way your Chromebook haunts your dreams and tickles you whilst you slumber. (No offense, but that sounds like a problem best addressed in therapy.) Or maybe it’s the way your Chromebook fails to remember what stuff you had open and instead pops up a blasted blank browser window every forkin’ time you restart the computer.

For me, that last one has been my chief Chrome OS complaint for quite a while now. It’s a small thing, I realize, but something about having to close that blank browser window and then open up my standard stuff every single time I power up my Chromebook just raises me hackles, makes me say “arg,” and generally turns me into an old-timey (but helplessly lovable) pirate.

Well, me maties, I’ve got good news: Google’s at long last giving us a better way to handle the Chromebook startup experience. And whether you share my pet peeve or not, you’ll almost certainly find it to be preferable to the current Chrome OS condition.

So here’s the secret (and you’d better believe this one is buried): With the Chrome OS 92 update that’s been rolling out to devices over the past several days, Google’s got a new tucked-away option that (a) stops that godforsaken Chrome window from popping up every time your Chromebook starts and (b) gives you the option to restore whatever apps and windows you had open when you last shut ‘er down — either automatically, as soon as the system boots up, or via a prompt you can opt to either click or ignore, depending on your mood at any given moment.

It’s a major usability improvement, to say the least, and one heck of an overdue upgrade. The whole Chrome-window-coming-up-automatically concept dates back to the Chromebook’s earliest days, when the systems were dead-simple and positioned mostly as one-dimensional windows to the web. Back then, the idea was that everything we did revolved around the World Wide Interwhoomps, and we wanted our computers to start up quickly so we could get right to the address bar that’d take us online.

The core idea there may still be valid, but these days, we use a variety of different forms to reach our mostly web-centric destinations. From packaged progressive web apps to Android apps and beyond, our Chromebooks have evolved into platform-defying “everything machines” with an endless array of productivity options. And the basic browser isn’t always where we want to begin.

Anyway, enough geek-flavored philosophizin’. If you want to free your Chromebook from its forced-browser-opening shackles and give yourself the option to restore whatever you had open before, here’s how to do it.

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