There are three main things that I want to share in this article:
- Things you should know before asking for help
- Where to go for help with Chrome OS
- How to ask for help so that you get the right answer, quickly.
Before you ask for help – know your device details
When you contact any type of support team, the first few questions will always be to collect more information about your device. This helps the person who is helping you find the best matching information and instructions for you.
This will also help you find some answers yourself, using the built-in help app and also Google’s online Help Center.
When it comes to Chrome OS and Chromebooks, here are a few things the support team would want to know, and where you can find those details.
Your Device (Hardware)
What kind of device do you have? Whoever is trying to help you, will need to know the make and model of your Chromebook.
On most devices, you will see the make and model on the bottom of the device. Here is a picture of my Pixelbook:
If the Chromebook is powered on, you can open the following URL in your address bar and get device details.
From this page, the information under “Firmware” is what we are looking for. In the following example, Google_Nocturne is the make and model of this device.
Nocturne is the internal code name of Pixel Slate.
Your Device (Software)
Google updates Chrome OS every six weeks. This means things change and new things get added or removed every six weeks.
So, when you ask for help, you need to be able to tell the people who are helping you which version of Chrome OS you are on.
Before the version, let me tell you about channels. You will get the exact software version from:
For example, here is what I have as of today, on the Pixel Slate that I am using, with Stable channel of Chrome OS:
Version 74.0.3729.159 (Official Build) (64-bit)
Are you using the latest version of Chrome OS?
You should ideally be using the latest version of Chrome OS to get the latest features, security updates and bug fixes. This is true for all the operating systems.
When you open chrome://settings/help, look for a line that says “Your Chromebook is up to date”
If you are not using the latest version of Chrome OS, open the Settings app and go to About Chrome OS and click “Check for updates”
Chrome OS will now download the latest version of the operating system and ask you to restart the device to apply the changes.
Before asking for help, always make sure that you are on the latest version of Chrome OS. If you are not, download and install the latest version and check if you have the same issue on the latest version too.
Updating using mobile data
If your Chromebook is connected to mobile data most of the time, Chrome OS will not automatically download the latest version. You will have to do one of the following:
- Occasionally connect your Chromebook to a WiFi network and download updates
- Visit Settings > About Chrome OS and skip the warning about mobile data and download and install the update.
Different Chrome OS channels have different update cycles. Most of you will be using the Stable channel of Chrome OS and it updates every six weeks.
Chrome OS Channels
Chrome and Chrome OS have three channels. Let me explain:
Dev: This is the development channel where the team puts any new version of Chrome OS for developers to test. This channel gets updated every week. If someone at support or a forum asks you if you have “Developer Mode” on, it is a different thing though.
Beta: When a new version of Chrome OS is good enough for Chrome OS enthusiasts to test, the team pushes that version to the Beta channel. Things are a bit less shaky than the Dev channel here. The beta channel is also updated every week.
Stable: This is the channel that you will be on by default. This is the current Chrome OS version. This gets updated every six weeks.
The reason I told you about these channels is that you are going to see this alongside the Chrome OS version on your Chromebook.
Note: There is another version of Chrome OS called “Canary” which updates every day. This version is highly experimental.
Dev Channel Vs Developer Mode
Dev channel is just another version of Chrome OS. For example, if Stable version is 75, Dev channel would have already started testing the next version, 76.
Developer Mode is enabled when you turn off Chrome OS’ “Verified Boot” feature. Verified Boot is a Chrome OS feature that checks Chrome OS on your device and makes sure that it has not been tampered with, every time you turn on your Chromebook. In simple words, it is a security feature.
Sometimes developers will have to disable this “Verified Boot” feature in order to access some parts of the Chromebook. This could be to work on a Chrome OS-related thing, or even installing a new operating system on the device.
When you disable Verified Boot, your Chromebook is in Developer Mode. So, when someone asks if you have “Developer Mode” they are asking you if you have disabled Verified Boot.
Okay, now let me show you how to find your current Chrome OS version.
Before you ask – read the help content
Chrome OS has a built-in help system with a lot of articles covering various features and functions of the device. If you have a question regarding how to do things on your Chromebook, you will most likely find the answer in this Help app.
You might still need to reach out to the community or Google for troubleshooting help, but I would recommend checking the help app as the first step. This content is available right on your Chromebook.
How to access Chrome OS help app
The “Get Help” app is available on all Chrome OS devices. Open your launcher and type in “Get Help” and you will find this app.
You can also access the same Get Help app from Settings > About Chrome OS > Get help with Chrome OS.
Chrome OS Help App
The Chrome OS “Get Help” app is a collection of resources that will help Chrome OS users get started with their device, know how to do things and find solutions for common issues.
The app is divided into the following sections:
- Get started
- Getting online
- App replacements
- Chrome web apps
- Android apps
- Connecting devices
- Fix a problem
Google’s Online Help Center
Google has an online help center for Chrome OS, just like any other Google product. You can find them here:
Where to get help with your Chromebook
The title of the post is how and where to get help with your Chromebook and Chrome OS. However, I spent a few minutes explaining what to do before asking for help, and what information you will need before asking for help.
This wasn’t to keep you on this page for longer than you actually should. Going to a community forum or a support team with the information that they might ask you, will actually help you get the right kind of help, faster.
Knowing where to find the Chrome OS help app will help you answer some of the questions right on your Chromebook, instantly.
Okay, so what are your options with getting help? Here are the few options that I would recommend:
- Google Community Forums
- Google Support
- Pixelbook support
- Pixel Slate support
Do you have any website or community that you seek Chromebook help from? Let us know in the comments section.