If you recently switched from a Mac or PC to Chrome OS, you’ve probably noticed the setup is a bit different. It’s natural to want a few tips and tricks when migrating to a new operating system and UI. The good news is Chrome OS is incredibly user-friendly and very powerful. Whether you’re a developer or casual user, the customization available is truly impressive. Some of the basics like taking a screenshot or setting up notifications are also a bit different on your Chromebook.

In this article we’ll take a look at how to set up your Chromebook, Chromebox, or tablet running Chrome OS from start to finish.

Basic Chrome OS set up in 2021

Before we get started, make sure your Chromebook has a full battery. If you don’t have much charge on your Chromebook at the moment, it’s probably worth connecting to a power outlet. The steps below detail the full initial boot menu, and includes some additional tips for after you exit the walk-through.

  • Power on your Chromebook.
  • Enter the email address associated with your Google account. Note you don’t need to enter the domain name at the end.
  • Select Next.
  • Enter the password associated with your Google account.
  • Select Next.
  • Note if you’re using two-factor authentication with your Google account, you’ll need to enter the verification code in this step.
  • At this point you’ll be offered the opportunity to review what automatically syncs to your Chromebook. We recommend checking the Review sync options following setup option.
  • The next screen presents the Google Play terms of service. Make sure to select More and scroll down to read all of the terms and see more options.

Google Play screenshot on Chromebook

Google Play screenshot on Chromebook

  • You can choose to disable Google Drive backups, but this probably isn’t a good idea unless you have another backup solution in mind. You’ll also have the option to disable location services. This is a personal preference, but if you want to use Google services like Maps, it’s best to leave this enabled.
  • We recommend checking the box to Review your Google Play options following setup to check out important permissions later on.
  • Now, select Accept.
  • Next, set up your Google Assistant with voice match. If you use an Android phone the voice match is likely already complete.

Google Assistant Chromebook setup

Google Assistant Chromebook setup

That concludes the initial setup, but there are quite a few more options and settings to explore. You can choose to take a tour of your new machine, or exit and look at the settings manually.

Chromebooks come with some Android apps pre-installed, and these need updates. Click the time in the bottom right hand corner of your Chromebook.

Google Play Updates shown on ChromebookGoogle Play Updates shown on Chromebook

You can choose to either click Update all in the notification, or open the Play Store and choose individual apps to update. From here, you can install Android apps from previous devices, or download any new interesting apps that catch your eye. Keep in mind you might also want to buy some new accessories for your Chromebook — we recommend a docking station for increasing productivity.

Be sure to log into all of your favorite social media apps or Chrome extensions, and you should be good to go for basic use.

That’s all there is to it. Setting up a new Chromebook out of the box is incredibly simple and intuitive. The main things you need to get going are a Google account and internet connection. Make sure to use your preferred cloud service for backing up any necessary files for work or school.

If you want to customize your settings a bit more, check out our full guide to Chrome OS settings and our full guide to Chrome OS keyboard shortcuts. You can also grab some sweet new Android apps to get started using your Chromebook in style.