A while ago the Chrome OS team confirmed the search key on your Chromebook would be renamed the Everything Button. Since then I don’t think many people are taking advantage of the Everything Button. This will hopefully change in the future as Chrome OS updates have made it a great tool to use. It makes it really easy to access files, web pages, Google Assistant and your system settings.
The key to getting the most out of your computer is to try new things. Chrome OS is a lot more flexible than it once was, and this means you can access files and settings in many different ways. This is great because everyone uses their computer differently. That being said, it’s very easy to find a way you like and stick to it. This is fine of course, but it still makes sense to try other alternatives.
Finding local and Google Drive files on your Chromebook
Some of us save files in an organised way. By that, I mean setting up folders for different file types. I try to do this as much as possible because it makes finding files much easier. Also, it’s very much like having a clean home. You just feel more at ease when you know where everything is. A lot of us though, even if we desire to have a clean file system; can let things get a little messy from time to time.
This can be even more true on the Chromebook if you tend to leave all of your files in the Downloads folder. If you’ve got hundreds of files in the downloads folder it can be very difficult to find the file you’re looking for. Providing you name your files to make them relevant to the subject matter. You can easily find these files using the Everything button on your Chromebook. The great thing is, it will also show files from your Google Drive that match your query.
You don’t necessarily need to worry if you have not been naming all of your files either. For example, if I wanted to find an image I know I took of my screen. I could simply hit the Everything Button and type in ‘screenshot’. This will instantly show me a list of files that start with the word Screenshot, as you can see below.
Visiting a website or web articles using the Everything button
You can also visit websites using the Everything button. Instead of opening the Chrome Browser and clicking on the web address bar. You can simply press the Everything button and type in the website name. For example, if you type in ‘facebook.com’ and hit the return key a new browser will open and direct you to that website.
Alternatively, you can use the Everything button to search the internet. Simply do this by pressing the Everything button and type something you would normally type into Google. It will show you a list of suggestions to search for, and you simply click on the suggestion that matches your query best.
Another great thing about the Everything button is you can also search for Android Apps. Earlier, I showed you how to visit the Facebook website. However, if you typed in Facebook without the .com at the end. You would see a suggestion of Android Apps that match your query, as you can see below.
Use the Everything Button to open installed Android and Linux apps
Another benefit of the Everything button is having quick access to installed apps. If you’ve got a lot of apps installed. It can be time-consuming to find where this app is located. By using the Everything button you can simply type in the app name. This will then show the app as the first result, and other results matching the term will be listed below it.
This is really good to see because it will make using your Chromebook on a regular basis much easier. The great thing is this also works for your Linux Apps. If I started using Gimp on a regular basis to edit images. Instead of finding this app in my app launcher, which takes up time. I can simply press the Everything button and type in ‘Gimp’. As you can see from the below screenshot, this then brings back a list of results with my installed Gimp Linux app showing first. The blue rectangle around the app shows this will be the result used if you hit the return key.
Access Chrome OS settings quicker with the Everything button
Finding settings on your Chromebook is thankfully not too difficult. We all know to access these we simply click on the settings cog from the bottom right of your desktop. Once you’ve accessed these settings it can be difficult to find the one you’re looking for. This will only increase as Chrome OS continues to develop.
If you find it difficult to find certain settings this way. Then you should try using the Everything button instead. For example, if you want to access your display settings, simply press the Everything button and type ‘display’. When you do this Chrome OS will show the settings at the top of the results. Anything else matching the term will also show beneath this. You can easily see whether it brings back a setting result because it shows the settings cog to the left of the search result, as you can see below.
Google Assistant can also help with your query
When you use the Everything button on Chrome OS you’ll get results that best match your query. The first result is usually the best. For example, If I wanted to know the weather in London I would simply press the Everything button and type ‘weather in London’. The first result instantly lets me know what the weather in London is at the present moment, as you can see below.
The above result is great if I want to know the current weather. If I wanted to know whether the sunshine was going to continue into the weekend. I would either need to type a different search query, which takes time or simply use Google Assistant. The Google Assistant is great at preempting your next possible query, so you don’t need to ask the assistant again.
You’ll notice above the last query available has the Google Assistant icon to the left. If I click on this result I’ll get a more detailed weather analysis for the rest of the day. You can see this from the image below.
The good thing about using the Google Assistant from the Everything button is you’ll be provided with other search queries. If I was considering visiting London on the weekend, the query provided ‘What about this weekend?’. Will give me the weather predictions for London this weekend. This avoids me having to type in a separate query to get this weather forecast. By simply clicking on this I’ll get the not so good weather forecast for London this weekend, as you can see from the image below.
Get into the habit of using the Everything button
I am guilty of finding a certain way of doing things and sticking to the one I like best. However, it’s really important to try out new functionality when it exists. You could end up doing things a certain way, which can be done much quicker if you only experimented with the different options available. This is what we all love about technology and Chrome OS in particular. Having this extra functionality makes using your Chromebook or Chromebox even better.
Not everyone will start to use the Everything button, but it really is useful when you need to access information quickly. Also, if you’ve already got a Chrome browser open, and you’re working on something important. It’s much easier to hit the Everything button to search for things rather than opening a new browser. Once you’ve got the result, you can simply close the window and you’re back to where you left off.
You don’t need to worry if you don’t have access to the Everything button. This may be the case if you’re using a Chromebox and have not assigned a button to that specific task. You’ll get the same results by simply clicking on the launcher from the bottom left of the desktop. Once you’ve hit the launcher you can simply start typing, as there is no need to click on the search box first.