Because they are generally cheap and fairly robust, Chromebooks are often bought as laptops for families – to share between parents and children or to share with friends. And because a Chromebook can have more than one user, it must have more than one login so that each user can access their own personal apps and content.
Adding a new user to a Chromebook isn’t difficult. Here’s how to do it:
- Click the button in the lower right corner. (The one that shows the time, battery life, etc.)
- click on Sign out at the top of the pop-up window.
- You will be taken back to the login screen. Click the button labeled . at the bottom left of the screen Add person†
- You will be asked if you want to add an adult (assuming you are an adult) or a child. Make a selection and then click the Next button.
- Let the new user sign in with their Google account. (Or they can create a new account if they don’t already have one.)
- The account’s bookmarks, history, passwords, and other settings will be synced to the new machine. To change any of those options, check the box that says Check out the sync options after installation. Then press Accept and continue†
- Okay, here comes the Google Play terms of service. Go ahead and read them if you want, then approve them.
- There is a checkbox on that page that allows you to backup all your data to Google Drive. If you don’t want this to happen, uncheck the box. You will also be asked if you want to allow the system to use your location (you can also uncheck that box) and if you want to see your Google Play options after installation. You also get the chance to use Google Assistant with the Chromebook.
- Rounded? Then click on To accept†
And you’re done! Now when you click on the login screen, you will see two names. Each user has a separate account and cannot access the others.
Switch accounts easily
The safest thing to do is keep your accounts separate and just go back to the lock screen whenever someone else wants to use the Chromebook. However, if you want to switch users without actually signing out, you can set up your Chromebook for multiple users.
- Click the clock in the lower right corner to open the Quick Settings menu.
- Click the single user icon. (It’s in the top-left corner of the Quick Settings menu.)
- Select Register another user†
- You will get a pop-up window with the title Multiple logins that warns you that users can access any login without using a password. Click Okay†
- You will then be taken back to the lock screen where you can log in to the other account(s).
From now on, you can simply click the user icon in the Quick Settings menu to switch accounts.
Delete a user
If you no longer share the Chromebook, you can easily remove a user:
- Sign out of your account to return to the lock screen.
- Click the down arrow next to the name of the person you want to get off the computer.
- click on Delete this user† You will be reminded that everything associated with that account, including files and local data, will be deleted. If that’s okay, click Delete account†
Note that while you can easily remove additional users added to a system from the main login screen, you cannot remove the Chromebook’s “owner” (the first person to create an account on it) without completely resetting the system. .
Log in as guest user
If you only want someone to use your Chromebook for a few hours, it’s probably easier to just let them sign in as a guest:
- Log out of your account to return to the login screen.
- Click on the Browse as guest button in the lower left corner of the screen.
- To exit guest mode, click the time button in the lower right corner of the screen, then click Leaving guest†
When you’re in guest mode, you can browse, use Bluetooth, adjust the font size, and more, but you can’t save anything to the computer. When you’re done, according to Google, your files, cookies, website data, and browsing activity will be automatically deleted.
Photography by Barbara Krasnoff / The Verge
Update June 7, 2022, 1:20 PM ET: This article was originally published on October 8, 2019 and has been updated to reflect operating system changes.