XDA Basics: How to turn on caps lock on your new Chromebook

XDA Basics: How to turn on caps lock on your new Chromebook

Using Caps Lock on your laptop is a pretty big deal in 2021. If you enjoy yelling at people online, it’s pretty much essential. If you recently moved to a Chromebook from another operating system, you may have noticed the missing Caps Lock key. This is undoubtedly one of the glaring differences when comparing your Chromebook keyboard to a Mac or Windows keyboard.

You can actually restore Caps Lock functionality on your Chromebook in a few different ways. If you don’t mind not having a dedicated key, you can also retain the flexibility of the built-in launcher or search key on your Chrome OS keyboard.


Using external keyboards and remapping keys

Many users migrating to a new Chromebook come from a computer running Windows or macOS. Perhaps you still enjoy using your trusty mechanical keyboard with a Windows or Mac layout? If you’re using a Windows or Mac keyboard for shortcuts, press the Windows key or Command key instead of the Search key or Launcher key .

Settings cog on Chrome OS

To change how a specific keyboard key works:

  • At the bottom right, select the time. Or press Alt + Shift + s.
  • Select Settings .
  • Under Device, choose Keyboard.
  • Change the function of one or more keys.

Device settings in Chrome OS

remap keys for capitalization in Chrome OS

Using this approach, you can remap the Launcher or Search key to become a Caps Lock key. This is a method that allows you to regain the familiar keyboard layout on most Mac and Windows keyboards.

Chrome keyboard shortcuts for text editing

If you don’t need a dedicated Caps Lock key, you can turn Caps Lock on and off easily using the Alt and Launcher/Search key. This method allow you to retain the versatility of the Launcher/Search key for other shortcuts on your Chromebook keyboard.

For those of you using a Chromebook for work or school, you probably edit a fair amount of text. Luckily, a few of the text editing shortcuts you know from Windows or macOS carry over nicely to Chrome OS. Here are some useful general shortcuts you get access to on Chrome OS.

General shortcuts for all apps

      • Turn Caps Lock on or off: Search + Alt (or) Launcher  + Alt
      • Select everything on the page: Ctrl + a
      • Select the next word or letter: Shift + Ctrl + Right arrow
      • Select previous word or letter: Shift + Ctrl + Left arrow
      • Open clipboard menu: Launcher  + or Search + v
      • Copy content to the clipboard: Ctrl+c
      • Cut content: Ctrl+x
      • Paste content from clipboard: Ctrl+v
      • Undo previous command: Ctrl+z 
      • Dim keyboard (for backlit keyboards only): Alt +
      • Make keyboard brighter (for backlit keyboards only): Alt +

These shortcuts all work for general tasks, but there are also shortcuts relevant to specific productivity apps on your Chrome OS device. If you’re interested in learning about all of these shortcuts, check out our full guide to keyboard shortcuts on Chrome OS. Of course, you can also use an external Windows or Mac keyboard to retain the Caps Lock key in Chrome OS.

These are all the possible methods for getting Caps Lock back on your Chromebook or other Chrome OS device. If you want a dedicated Caps Lock key, use a Windows or Mac external keyboard or remap the Launcher/Search key to become Caps Lock. On the other hand, if you simply turn Caps Lock on manually using Launcher+Alt, you can gain access to several other useful Chrome OS keyboard shortcuts. If you’re brand new to Chrome OS and want some more tips, check out our guide to Chrome OS settings.

About author

Jeff Springer
Jeff Springer

Applied mathematician with a love for Android. I am interested in inverse problems for imaging and integration with camera software for mobile phones.

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