Have you ever got to a stage of thinking you need to upgrade your Windows PC and thought where do I start? Even worse, one day your Windows PC suddenly crashes and the hard disk is no more. It’s an absolute nightmare upgrading to a new PC. All of your files and programs are gone and you literally have to start from scratch. Well, with a Chromebook this isn’t something you need to worry about.
There are so many benefits to owning a Chrome OS computer. The three key selling points are that they are fast, secure, and easy to use. They are also very easy to upgrade, even if your Chromebook is lost, stolen or unfortunately gives up on you one day.
If you’ve ever used an Android phone you’ll already know what I mean by this. Using Android means the days of worrying about your SIM contacts or anything else being lost when upgrading your phone isn’t something to be concerned about. All of your contacts and hopefully most of your files if you’ve been storing them correctly will still be there when you buy a new phone. This is exactly the same with your Chrome OS computer.
You connect to a Chromebook with your Gmail account
Most people have heard of Gmail, it’s the free email service provided by Google. Having a Gmail account means you’ve got a Google account, which comes with huge benefits. To register a Chromebook you need a Google account, so if you don’t already have one you’ll be able to create one during the setup process.
Apart from providing you with an email address. A google account also gives you access to Google Drive, which is a cloud storage service available for free. You also get access to a word processor, spreadsheets program, slides program similar to PowerPoint, and many more useful productivity tools.
The great thing is all of the tools work seamlessly with Google Drive. Therefore, it’s really easy to save any of your work files in the cloud. Making it easy to avoid saving files locally on your computer. Using the productivity tools provided in your Google Account and saving your files to the cloud means your files are safe.
The Chrome browser
When you use a Chrome OS computer the Chrome browser is the default browser. Arguably the best browser available, and is the most used browser in the world by far. The benefit of using the Chrome browser is that it works closely with your Google Account.
Any bookmarks you create whilst surfing the internet are synced with your Google account. Therefore, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to upgrade to a new Chromebook. You’ll find all of your bookmarks and settings for your Chrome browser will be ready for you once you’ve registered your new Chromebook.
Once you’ve created a Google account you’re essentially creating a central hub where all of your files and settings are kept. These are all available to use on any device where you sign in to your Google account. Whether that is your Android phone or a new Chromebook.
Get into the habit of saving your files in the cloud
All Chromebooks come with local internal storage. Any files you download from the internet are stored in your Downloads folder. This folder is very similar to a root directory on a Windows PC. See the downloads folder as being the C:\ location on a windows PC. Anything that you save in that location is stored locally, and therefore will not be available if your Chromebook is lost or dies on you for good.
Therefore, you should try and avoid saving files in the Downloads folder. Again, Chrome OS is integrated with Google Drive, which makes it really easy to save your files to the cloud rather than locally. Also, by doing this you’re saving your local storage space for installing Android apps, which are installed on your local storage. How to store your downloads in the cloud automatically on your Chromebook.
Although Android apps are stored locally you don’t need to worry about these not being available when you upgrade to a new Chromebook. This is because all of your Android downloads are registered against your Google account. Providing you have set up your account to sync your data. When you register a new Chromebook all of your Android apps will automatically be installed on your new computer.
Providing you take full advantage of what your Google account offers. You can easily upgrade to a new Chromebook and start off where you left off. Unlike a typical PC where you would have to install all the programs you had installed, and possibly lost your files if they were saved locally.
If you use your Chromebook and save all of your files in Google Drive. Then you’ll not really need to worry too much if you lose access to your Chromebook for whatever reason. You can buy a new Chromebook and continue where you left off. If you were working on a document or spreadsheet using Google office suite, you’ll find they are there and ready to continue working on.
All of your bookmarks and Android apps will also be accessible. The only thing you would need to be concerned about is if you did have files stored locally in your Downloads folder. If you installed Linux then that’s slightly different because you would have needed to have done a Linux backup to an external source. Everything else will be there for you ready to continue using your Chrome OS device.
If you don’t yet own a Chromebook or are looking for an upgrade. Take a look at my Top Ten Chromebooks in 2022.