How to Enable Screensaver on Chromebook

Update: Chrome OS has renamed Ambient Mode into Screen Saver.

Chromebooks are getting a new Ambient Mode similar to Chromecast and Pixel phones. This feature is currently under development and is available only on the Canary channel of Chrome OS. However, following our custom of telling you about Chrome OS features before they are released, here is our guide to Ambient Mode.

Screen Saver on Chromebook

What is Ambient Mode (Screen Saver)

On a Chromecast-connected TV, Ambient Mode displays a personalized collection of photos. You can choose between different sources, including your own Google Photos albums.

Google Assistant also has an Ambient Mode which shows useful information on the lock screen along with pictures. We are more likely to get this type of Ambient Mode on Chromebooks.

Enable Screensaver

To enable Ambient mode, you need to first enable the experimental flag:

  1. Open chrome://flags in a new tab.
  2. Enable the flag “Enable Ambient Mode”.
  3. Restart your Chromebook.

Ambient Mode is enabled by default. You can verify this and also customize this:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click Personalization from the left pane.
  3. Click “Ambient Mode”

Customize Screensaver

Things are still work-in-progress. However, you can currently choose between Art Gallery and Google Photos for your Chromebook’s Ambient Mode.

To do this, go to Settings > Personalization > Ambient Mode and Select Google Photos or Art Gallery.

Change Weather Unit (Celsius or Fahrenheit) on Lock Screen

To change the weather unit used by Chromebook Ambient Mode:

  1. Go to Settings > Personalization.
  2. Choose Screen saver.
  3. Under Weather, choose Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Weather settings for Ambient Mode
Weather settings for Ambient Mode

The next time you see your Chromebook in Ambient Mode, you will see weather in the selected unit.


As we noted in the beginning, this feature is still work-in-progress. We will update this article with the latest instructions and details as this feature progresses and adds more options.

Stay tuned. Drop your questions in the comments section so that we can discuss.

2 responses to “How to Enable Screensaver on Chromebook”

  1. What do you do with a school Chromebook

  2. Screen saver will not work if you go into power settings and select keep display on when idle, it wont go into idle.

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