A Chromebook is a special laptop computer that uses the Google Chrome browser for Internet browsing and custom operating system from Google. The Chromebook is not a standard computer, as it uses Chrome OS, an operating system that Google developed for a fast, simple, and more secure computing experience for people who spend most of their time on the web. If you are new to Chromebooks, here are a few hints to help you use the device for the first time.



How do I get started with a Chromebook?

When the Chromebook is open and powered up, you will be asked to Sign in.  You may use your personal Google account or your Amherst credentials, if you are using a college-owned Chromebook.


You will then see the Chrome Welcome screen:


Select your language and keyboard.  Click on the dropdown arrow next to the no network. 

Select the network you wish to join and click continue.


Next, you will see a Google Chrome OS Terms. Click on Accept and continue.


The Chrome browser ready to accept a web address to visit.

You can personalize your Chromebook by selecting settings. To do so, click on your “personal icon” at the bottom right of the screen.


The settings screen will allow you to set things like a screen saver and manage your synced data.


Chrome does not allow third party software to be downloaded. You can add apps to the device by going to The apps will be added to your device and will be available when you click on the Search icon, at the bottom left of your screen, and select all Apps:



How do I access my email?

Amherst email is available on the website Your personal Gmail is available by clicking on the Gmail icon in the lower left of the screen.

How can I access my drives?

The easiest way to access your Amherst U drive is to use WebDav.  You need to go to

Type your credentials to access the files.

For other file storage services like DropBox, you can find an extension on the Chrome Web Store.

How do I print from the Chromebook?

The Chromebook has no printer drivers for printers connected by a USB cable.  To print, there are three options:

  • You can email the file to yourself and visit a public computer to print the file;
  • You can use to mail the file to a public printer and swipe your ID card on the card scanner next to the printer to release the document;
  • You can save the document in Google Drive or some other file storage service. Then, you can print from on a public computer by accessing the file through the file storage service.

How can I join a video chat?

Visit, and follow the instructions to make a call. At this time, Skype is limited to instant messaging on the Chromebook.  To add Skype to your Chromebook, visit the Chrome Web Store, search for it, and add it to your device.

How do I wipe the device?

When you are done using the Chromebook, you will want to wipe any personal data from it. The process is called Powerwash. To reach the powerwash screen, press and hold Ctrl, Shift, Alt and R.  You will see the following screen


Click “Powerwash and Revert.” You will then see a screen that confirms the Powerwash and the Chromebook will restart after a few seconds.

When the process is complete, you will be sent to the Welcome screen as seen in #2 above.

Do I need antivirus software on a Chromebook?

The simple answer is No. You do still need to watch out for phishing emails and web site scams.




Service Categories

Service Categories: 
Computers & Mobile Devices