Chromebook Frequently Asked Questions (faq)
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HOW MUCH MEMORY DOES A CHROMEBOOK NEED?
The amount of memory a Chromebook needs depends on what you will use the Chromebook for. If you’re only looking for a device to surf the internet and not much else, then you can still get 2GB devices. This will be fine for basic tasks but will not be enough if you want more from your Chromebook.
To make the most of the Chromebook and that includes using Android Apps. Then the least amount of RAM you should look for is 4GB of RAM. This is enough RAM for video streaming, spreadsheet work and to use most Android Apps.
If you want a Chromebook that will still be usable in a few years from now and you want to use the latest Android Apps. Then you should look for a Chromebook with 8GB of RAM. This amount of RAM will guarantee your Chromebook can cope now and in the future as Android Apps advance.
To find out more read how much RAM you need for a Chromebook. This article goes into more detail about how RAM works and why it’s important you choose the right amount of memory.
HOW MUCH STORAGE DOES A CHROMEBOOK NEED?
A Chromebook has been designed to work with cloud technology. This means you do not need as much storage as you would with a traditional computer such as Microsoft Windows. You can save files locally but the Chromebook can easily save files to the cloud, which can lower the amount of internal storage you need.
Since the launch of Android Apps on the Chromebook, you do need to have more storage than what was once acceptable. You should be looking for at least 32GB of storage if you want to install some Android Apps. However, you can find Chromebook with less storage than this, so ensure you make the right choice when choosing your Chromebook.
In the future Chromebooks will use more storage. This is because Android Apps will become more advanced and Linux Apps in the future will also need storage space. Therefore, if you want to be able to install plenty of Android App, you should be looking for at least 64GB as an absolute minimum.
If you are unsure on storage, have a read of how much storage do I need for a Chromebook. This article goes into further detail to help you choose the right amount of storage.
WHAT IS GOOGLE DRIVE?
Google Drive is owned and developed by Google and is a cloud storage service. Google Drive allows you to save your files in the cloud, so it takes up less local storage space on your Chromebook.
Saving in the cloud is a great idea because it means you can ensure your files are kept secure. If you lost your Chromebook all the files locally would also be gone for good. However, if you were using Google Drive the files would still be accessible via your Google account.
There are many cloud storage services available and you do not need to use Google Drive. However, it works flawlessly with Chrome OS because it’s integrated into the operating system. You also get 15GB of storage free with every Google account. At present, if you buy a new Chromebook you can get an extra 100GB of storage for free for two years.
Find out more about how the Chromebook and Google Drive work seamlessly together. This article explains more about Google Drive and how it works with the Chromebook.
HOW DOES THE DOWNLOAD FOLDER WORK?
When you download files on a Chromebook they are automatically saved in the ‘downloads’ folder. The files saved in your downloads folder take up local storage space.
If you want to keep files that you’ve downloaded it’s a good idea to move these files from this folder. This is because the files can be deleted without warning when your Chromebook storage becomes full.
You should treat the downloads folder as a temporary folder where none of the files are saved indefinitely. By doing this you’ll get into the habit of managing your downloads.
You can find out more by reading how to manage your downloads on your Chromebook.
CAN YOU USE A CHROMEBOOK OFFLINE?
The Chromebook is a cloud computer, which means it has been made to work with an internet connection. Most of the tasks you do on a Chromebook needs an internet connection.
Most of the world is now connected whether you’re in your home or on the move. However, there may be times when you do not have an internet connection.
You can still use your Chromebook without an internet connection. There are many applications that you can download, which allows you to read/edit and create files while not connected to the internet.
You can also read and send emails while your Chromebook is not connected to the world wide web. Once your Chromebook establishes an internet connection any files you’ve been working on will be saved. Also, emails you may have sent or replied to will be sent once an internet connection is found.
DO I NEED A TOUCHSCREEN DISPLAY?
You don’t need a touchscreen display to use a Chromebook. However, it all depends on what you’re planning to use your Chromebook for. If you only intend to use the Chromebook as a laptop and not intending to use Android Apps. Then a Chromebook without a touchscreen is perfectly fine.
If you do intend to use Android Apps then a touchscreen is more important. Some Android Apps can work without a touchscreen but it’s not ideal. Most Android Apps have been designed with a touchscreen in mind, so choosing a Chromebook with a touchscreen display is the best option.
WHAT IS A HYBRID CHROMEBOOK?
A Hybrid Chromebook has been designed to be used as either a laptop or tablet. Most of the latest Chromebooks are designed as a Hybrid computer. They are also known as a 2 in 1 Chromebook. Designs can differ but most of them come with a hinge that allows the display to rotate by 360 degrees.
This makes it easy to change a Chromebook from a laptop into a tablet. Buying a Hybrid Chromebook means you’re getting both a laptop and tablet in one device, which could save you money compared to buying two separate devices.
Chrome OS has been improved dramatically to work with a tablet device, which makes using a Chromebook in tablet mode more desirable than it once was.
DO I PAY FOR CHROME OS UPDATES?
The Chromebooks operating system is Chrome OS. An operating system is needed for a computer to work. The operating system is what differentiates one type of computer to another. Other popular operating systems are Microsoft Windows and Apple IOS.
Unlike other operating systems you do not pay for updates of the Chrome OS operating system. This is another reason why Chromebooks are seen as good value for money.
The reason why Chrome OS and Chromebooks are considered one of the safest computers to use is because of the regular Chrome OS updates. You do not need to worry about thinking about whether you need to update Chrome OS. Once Chrome OS has been updated this will be installed onto your Chromebook computer.
HOW ARE CHROME OS UPDATES INSTALLED?
The operating system ‘Chrome OS’ receives regular updates to keep you safe and secure online. You do not need to check manually for Chrome OS updates. When Chrome OS updates are available they will be automatically installed on your Chromebook.
You may not even notice that updates have taken place. This is because Chrome OS updates are extremely quick compared to what you may be used to if you have used a Microsoft Windows computer.
Most of the time updates take place in the background and usually take place when you turn your Chromebook computer on. However, you may receive a notification while using your Chromebook that Chrome OS updates are available. If this happens you can click on the notification for the update to take place immediately.
HOW LONG CAN I EXPECT A CHROMEBOOK TO LAST?
The normal lifecycle of any laptop computer is five years. This means laptops have been designed to work for five years. The main reason for this is because a five-year-old laptop’s hardware would not be able to keep up with the advances made in technology.
Operating systems are continually updated to provide the user with new functionality. Over time this functionality becomes more advanced until you get to a stage where your computer’s hardware is no longer able to keep up with the changes made to the operating system.
A Chromebook lifecycle is 6.5 years, which is higher than you would get from a traditional laptop using Microsoft Windows. This is because Chromebooks have a lot less moving parts, which means they will most likely last longer than a laptop designed for Microsoft Windows.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY CHROMEBOOK AFTER 6.5 YEARS?
A new Chromebook gets guaranteed updates of Chrome OS for six and a half years. After this point updates may no longer be installed on your Chromebook computer.
However, this is not always going to be the case. Even if your Chromebook is older than 6.5 years it does not mean it will no longer receive updates. It all depends on whether the hardware in your computer is still going to function correctly with future Chrome OS updates.
If your Chromebook stops receiving updates you can still use your computer. However, you would need to consider whether you would feel safe surfing the internet without getting future updates to the operating system. Although this may be a concern for some. It’s absolutely necessary for your Chromebook to only get guaranteed updates for 6.5 years.
To find out more about this read The Chromebook End Of Life Policy.