4 Chromebook Trackpad Tips That Will Blow Your Mind

Ben Stegner 29-02-2016

Everything about Chromebooks is designed to be easy, even making the switch to one Make an Easy Switch to Chromebook Now (and Never Look Back) I've adopted, studied every Windows OS, adapted, and eventually learned to love each of them for different reasons. Are you curious to know why as of today, I'm a Chromebook guy? Read More . To that end, there are plenty of ways to speed up your Chromebook experience How To Speed Up Your Chromebook Experience Do you want to improve your Chromebook experience with easy tweaks and shortcuts? There are lots of time-savers and little known tricks to improve and simplify your day-to-day usage of your device. Read More to get work done even faster.


You can put your touchpad to greater use with these four quick tips. Try them and see how much faster you can get around your system!

1. When in Chrome, you can slide between open tabs using three or four fingers to slide horizontally. Instead of manually mousing up and clicking a tab, just slide right over to it! This is even faster than using CTRL + TAB to cycle through open tabs.

2. You can open the task switcher window with a key on your keyboard (in between the fullscreen and brightness-down keys), but swiping down with three or four fingers will open it immediately! This lets you visualize your work when you have several apps running.

3. The keyboard has forward/back buttons for easy browsing, but you can also swipe left or right with two fingers to navigate through your page history. This also gives the cool visual effect of the current window sliding away to show the new one — you’ll never have to click the back arrow inside Chrome again!


4. You can use two fingers to slide up and down to scroll webpages vertically; this can be reversed if you prefer. Open Settings, and under the Device heading, choose Touchpad settings. Here, you can switch to Australian scrolling, which makes up swiping up move the page down and vice-versa.

Note that this will also reverse the action for #2 above — you’ll need to swipe up to open the switcher with Australian scrolling enabled.

Now that you’ve mastered the touchpad, learn some of the most important Chromebook keyboard shortcuts The 9 Most Powerful Chromebook Shortcuts for You to Learn For those of you who are just starting to love your Chromebook, it's time to learn how to get super-productive with your Google OS device. Read More to increase your speedy skills!

Did you know all of these touchpad shortcuts? What are your favorite ways to navigate your Chromebook? Let us know below!

Image Credit: lumen-digital via

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  1. cooper
    April 20, 2019 at 12:36 am

    Had no idea about the first two. Very helpful. Thanks

  2. DoktorThomas™
    March 5, 2016 at 2:40 am


    The most expensive paperweight ever bought. It is doubly offensive in a paperless world! ©2016

    • Keith R
      February 4, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      In other words - you're not bright enough to understand their value, and that frightens you...

  3. Anonymous
    March 3, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    RE: "4. ...Here, you can switch to Australian scrolling, which makes up swiping up move the page down and vice-versa"

    It's not Australian, it's Applian (sp) as in that's how the Apple/Mac have done it for years. Just sayin...

    Or, for those who may not have got the joke, that's backwards... as in the way Australian water spins in the toilet compared to North America (sometimes).

  4. Anonymous
    February 29, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Why is the stock photo for almost all articles show a picture of a Mac?

    This article is specifically geared toward the Chromebook crowd, so a photo of a Pixel, Toshiba, or HP Chromebook would seem more appropriate.

    I know this is a nit-picky gripe, but having the stock photo of a Mac when the content has nothing to do with anything Mac, it just gives off the impression that these types of articles are more filler or afterthought and any stock photo will do.

    The content is good and often useful, but it can turn users off when they see the lack of effort to grab a stock photo of the actual product discussed in the article.

    • Ben Stegner
      March 1, 2016 at 1:48 am

      I understand your gripe, and thanks for noticing. I appreciate you mentioning it.

      I don't know if it's any consolation, but let me explain why this is: we have a graphics guy who's responsible for creating featured images for all of our regular, longer articles. He's awesome and does an amazing job with those.

      With our shorter posts, however, we turn them around very quickly, so he doesn't have time to make an image for each one. Thus, I grab a stock image from Shutterstock for my short posts in the interest of time.

      The stock photos on Shutterstock lean heavily towards Macs for whatever reason (when you type something generic like "laptop" or "trackpad"), and there weren't any good Chromebook stock photos that we hadn't already used before. Thus, I went with this image because it clearly showed a trackpad.

      I don't know if this makes things any better, but there is a reason for it. I actually thought about this when uploading the image and figured someone might notice it :)

  5. Connor
    February 29, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I agree with Peter.
    Good article, don't use click-bait headlines.

  6. MindImplode
    February 29, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Mind implodes

  7. Mind Blown
    February 29, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    if you're mind is blown by this, you've got some problems....

    • Ben Stegner
      February 29, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      What would you suggest as an alternate title?

      • Anonymous
        February 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm

        Ben, as much as I enjoy this website and find a lot of useful hints and tips, to resort to a Buzzfeed/clickbait style headline cheapens all the hard work you and other put into this site.

        You ask for a different title?

        How about:

        4 useful chromebook trackpad tips.... or...

        Trackpad tips to make life a bit easier on chromebook... or....

        Even more tips for Chromebooks... or anything that isn't designed to look and feel like a cheap attempt at gaining page hits.

        I'm sure there is an article on this site that explains that headlines like this simply don't work and turn people away from reading.

        Make Use Of deserves better. So do it's readers. I'd hate to think that this is setting a new trend for what is usually a brilliant place to read interesting articles.

        Great article - Naff title.

        • Ben Stegner
          March 1, 2016 at 1:52 am

          Hey Peter, thanks for your concerns. If you notice (I'd forgive you if you haven't), we usually style our headlines for the shorter posts a bit more aggressively than the normal articles. This is because we rely on them being viewed from the main site and shared on social media, so we try to be a bit more enticing with the title.

          We hate clickbait as much as you do and would never write a ridiculous, exciting title with zero content in-article — this post delivers on what it claims in the title, in my opinion. If it's any consolation, one of our other authors actually did react with great surprise ("you literally just changed my life on my chromebook") when I mentioned this trick in our chat, so you could say it blew his mind :)

        • Anonymous
          March 1, 2016 at 2:56 am

          Nothing wrong with the headline. Got my attention and I'm glad I came by and picked up a few tricks I didn't know.

    • Doc
      March 2, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      "if you're mind"
      "You're" is not a possessive, it's a contraction of "you are" (or "you were")...which makes no sense.