Chrome OS is far more powerful and flexible than you might know. In fact, the much-maligned platform can actually serve you well as a productivity tool. But unlike traditional platforms, you might need a bit of a heads up to reach the point where you're as productive as you can be with the Google cloud-centric platform.
That's where I come in. As a long-time Chrome OS power-user, I've amassed plenty of tips and tricks to aid you in your quest to becoming the most productive chromebook or chromebox user possible.
One such tip is getting that App Menu organized with App Folders.
Who can, who can't
This particular tip only applies to the Stable and Dev builds of Chrome OS. Anyone using the Beta channel will find themselves unable to do this. If you happen to be using the Beta channel, and really want App Menu folders, you'll have to change that channel!
If you open up the Chrome OS App Menu, you'll find a launcher for all the extensions and web apps installed on your device. This can get a bit less than efficient, especially if you have a lot of launchers collected in that menu. To better organize those launchers, you simply have to click and drag one onto another. For instance, you can click and drag all the official Google Apps launchers into one folder (which will clear up a lot of space in that App Menu). Once you've added all the launchers to a folder, click to open the folder and then give the folder a name (Figure A).
Naming a folder containing all the Google Apps launchers.
Once you've named the folder, the name will appear under the folder. All unnamed folders will appear in the App Menu without names (Figure B).
Unnamed folders in the App Menu.
It's not working!
As I mentioned, this will not work in the Beta channel (due to a known bug). If you're using either the Stable (default) or the Dev channel, and this trick still isn't working, there's a quick solution for that which ails your App Menu. If you've disabled Apps sync (in Settings | Advanced sync settings), the ability to create App Menu folders will be removed. To fix that, do this:
- Go to Settings.
- Scroll to the bottom and click Advanced Sync Settings.
- If the check box for Apps is unchecked, click it to enable (Figure C).
- Click OK.
Enabling Apps in the Advanced Sync settings.
You should be able to create folders in the Chrome OS App Menu. A caveat to enabling this: Once you've enabled Apps to sync, they (and the newly created folders) will sync across all your Chrome OS devices. If you're okay with syncing across devices, it does make for a much more consistent experience.
A productive experience
Chrome OS doesn't have to be relegated to web browsing; in fact, the platform can be quite a productive experience. With plenty of apps, a lightening-fast and user-friendly operating system, the Google cloud platform can be one heck of a productive tool.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.