Chrome OS flag update changes how you access the calendar

By - Dan Millward

Published -

Something we’ve been waiting for a long time is a built-in calendar on Chrome OS. From Chrome OS 97 you can now enable a calendar by using a Chrome OS flag. If you want to know how to do this read my article on adding a built-in calendar to your Chromebook.

It’s only been about a week since I created a video on how the calendar works. However, it appears Google is actively working on this flag because the way you access the calendar has changed.

I noticed this the other day when I clicked on the time and date at the bottom right of my desktop. Instead of showing the calendar, it crashed my system. Luckily, when it rebooted all of my browsers were restored to where they were.

A warning about using Chrome OS flags

This is a good time to warn anyone who uses Chrome OS flags. When you enable flags there is a warning that your computer may not work as intended. It also states you could lose browsing data.

This is exactly what I experienced, but thankfully, did not lose any data. I was writing an article at the time, so I could have easily lost all my work.

When using Chrome OS flags. We need to remember these flags are experiments. When the team changes how these flags work. You could find yourself in a position where your system crashes. Generally speaking, this should not be a major issue, but is definitely something you should be aware of.

It has taken a couple of days to settle down

When my system rebooted I wanted to understand why it had happened. After all, you don’t normally have a system crash when you click the time and date at the bottom of your desktop. I immediately realised it must have been linked to the Chrome OS flag.

Can no longer access the calendar from clicking on the time and date

Once you’ve enabled the Chrome OS flag. One of the ways to access the calendar was to click on the date and time. When I clicked on it again to see if I’d experience another crash everything was fine. However, the calendar that would normally show was not visible, and I got the standard system menu you normally find. I left it at the time because I was busy writing an article.

The next day I received a Chrome OS update. I was already on 97, so it must have been a version patch. After the update, I checked, and the calendar was still not visible. I assumed the Chrome OS update removed my flags. However, this could not have been the case because my new Chrome OS start menu was working all ok.

I checked the Chrome OS flags

After realising the new Chrome OS start menu was still working, which I enabled with a flag. I decided to take a look at the Chrome OS flags. I assumed the calendar was going to be showing as disabled. However, the two flags for the calendar and the menu were still enabled.

I tried a quick reboot to see if that would get my calendar back. Once rebooted I clicked on the date and time at the bottom, and the calendar was still not showing.

I remembered in the video I created. There were two ways to access it. You could either click on the time and date at the bottom right of your desktop, or you could click on the settings menu and then click the date showing on that menu.

I was happy when I realised the calendar was still working. Whereas before you could access it by two different methods. The flag has now been updated so you need to click on the date, as shown below.

How to access the Chrome OS calendar
How to access the calendar

This explains why my system crashed

I think this explains why my system crashed. When I clicked on the date and time at the bottom of the desktop. The system could not recognise this was the command to access the calendar. This is because it had been removed.

The strange thing is it did not happen immediately. For a couple of days, it was very intermittent. Sometimes I could access the calendar by clicking on the date and time, and other times I could not.

However, I can only guess the Chrome OS team has decided they have removed the functionality to access the calendar this way. I think this was the right move because I did find it a little frustrating when I did want to access the system menu. That I got the calendar instead if I clicked on the wrong section.

Clicking on the system menu first and then the date. Feels like a much better way of accessing the calendar. Whether this is something I’ve just experienced with my Chromebox or is what everyone experiences I’m unsure. The best thing is to give it a try to find out.

It may change again in the future

What we need to remember with Chrome OS flags is that they can change at any time. I’ve mentioned how it has changed in just under a week. There is nothing to say that this will not change back again in the future, or it could change completely.

Chrome OS flags are a great way of accessing functions that may eventually be standard on the stable channel. I think we just need to accept that using flags isn’t necessarily going to give you a seamless experience.

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