Every month ChromeOS gets an update. Some of these updates offer new security features, so there isn’t much to tell you about. Other updates bring new functionality to your Chromebook.
The ChromeOS 107 update has some interesting new features that you may find interesting. These include a quicker way to access files, a change to how virtual desktops work, and a requirement to enter a password when opening your Chromebook lid.
I also stumbled across another feature, which I think is really useful. Not 100% certain when this was possible, but I’ll let you know about that as well, as you may find it really handy.
Saving files in your Downloads folder
I’ve always recommended storing essential files in Google Drive. This is really easy to do on your Chromebook because it’s integrated into the file management system. This makes it really easy to move files to Google Drive. Doing this will protect your files should anything happen, and you can also access these files from other devices.
That being said, I’m sure many people still have plenty of files stored locally in your Downloads folder. The rise in the number of Chromebooks that come with larger internal storage means it’s even more tempting to store files locally.
If this is you then you most likely have hundreds of files located in your downloads folder. This is where files are automatically saved by default. If you have many files located in your Downloads folder it may be difficult to manage these files. This new feature available on your Chromebook when you update to Chrome OS 107 will help. Find out how to change where files are saved on your Chromebook by default.
Accessing recent files on your Chromebook
When you’ve been working on files and saving them to your Downloads folder. There are many times when you need to find these again later in the day or a couple of days later. That would have meant scrolling through a list of files trying to find the file you need.
Thanks to the latest Chrome OS update you can now find these files much easier. You will now find a ‘Recent Files’ menu option in the file manager. Clicking on this brings up a list of files you’ve recently worked on. This makes it much easier to find files because it presents them depending on the last time they were worked on.
You can filter even more than this thanks to extra filter buttons being presented at the top of the list of files. For example, if you’re looking for an image you worked on last week. You can now simply click on recent files and then click on images from the buttons at the top of your files. This is a great new feature and will make it much easier to find files you’ve recently accessed.
Virtual desks on ChromeOS
For some time you’ve had the ability to use Virtual Desks on your Chromebook. This allows you to work on more than one desktop on your Chromebook. At the moment you can have up to four Virtual desks set up on your Chromebook.
Although I’ve personally not found a reason why this is an essential tool. I’m sure many people like to use Virtual Desks. It’s a great way to manage your workload and the apps you use on a daily basis.
The only issue with Virtual desks is that you had to set them up each time you turned on your Chromebook. The extra time it took to do this may have put some people off from using the functionality.
Save Virtual Desks for later use
The ChromeOS 107 update now makes it possible to save Virtual desks for later use. This has definitely made me consider using extra desktops when using my Chromebook. This is because you can now save your virtual desks, which avoids you from having to do this every time you use your Chromebook.
Also, when you save a Virtual desk it will still be available if you turn off your Chromebook. This means you can use your device a couple of days later and the Virtual desk you saved will be available to use.
If you use your Chromebook on a daily basis then this new feature may be really useful. It will certainly help anyone who likes to be as productive as possible.
Password required when opening your Chromebook lid
If you close your Chromebook lid and then reopen it a few minutes later. You’ll most likely be presented with your ChromeOS desktop. Although this is great for making it really easy to get back into using your computer. It could pose a security risk if you use your Chromebook in a public place or an office.
You now have access to settings, which will require a password or PIN to be entered when your Chromebook lid is reopened. Essentially, closing your lid will now lock your Chromebook if you set your device to do this.
This is great if you’re busy throughout your day and would like to be able to quickly close your lid, and not worry about people accessing your device. I can see this working really well in an office environment or if you are in a public place.
Playing music when your Chromebook is locked
This last feature I found really useful, but I’m not sure when this was available on your Chromebook. Therefore, this feature may have been available long before the latest ChromeOS update.
However, I found it really useful, so I thought you’d like to know about it. If you play music directly from the ChromeOS media player and then lock your Chromebook. You would expect this would stop the music that is currently playing.
If you have music playing and lock your screen from the settings menu. Your Chromebook will lock as normal, but the music continues to play. You also get access to your music controls such as pause, rewind and fast forward directly from your locked screen.
The good news is this also works if you’re playing music from the internet such as YouTube. Therefore, you can put on a YouTube music mix and lock your device and the music will still play. This is excellent if you want to listen to music, but want to stop anyone from accessing your Chromebook.
The ChromeOS 107 update offers a lot of new features. It’s always great when we get access to new functionality because it can make using our devices on a daily basis much more enjoyable.
It’s fair to say we should not expect to see new features being released with every ChromeOS update. This is because some updates may just deal with security patches, which don’t really change how you use your Chromebook on a daily basis.
This makes it more exciting when a ChromeOS update offers new features we can use going forward. I’m sure you’ll find these new Chromebook features of great use. If you don’t yet own a Chromebook or looking for an upgrade. Take a look at my Top Ten Chromebooks in 2022.