Many people are switching to devices like a Chromebook and they have a lot of questions just like this reader: “I have a Chromebook, and am very unfamiliar with it as I’ve always used Windows on my desktop, etc. How do I clean it up, defrag, etc?”

Great question!  While a Chromebook looks a whole lot like a Windows laptop, it’s really a very different type of device. A Chromebook is really more like a tablet than the Windows PC you’re used to. Truthfully, it’s really a tablet in a laptop’s body.

chromebookcrop

So there’s no need for  routine PC maintenance tasks like defragging. Chromebooks run on the Linux-based Chrome OS, which usually doesn’t require defragging. Chromebooks have SSDs, which are more like memory cards than physical drives.  So moving and rewriting the data closer together on a drive wouldn’t really speed anything up.

ssd

The big difference is that a Chromebook is designed to be an Internet appliance.  Instead of boasting a large hard drive to install programs on, this device is designed to be used online with apps like Google Docs instead of installing several GBs worth of a program like Office.

You won’t be able to use the traditional Windows programs on this device. Instead, you’ll find apps in the Chrome Web Store. 

chrome-web-store

You’ll need to find Chrome app replacements for your favorite Windows programs like Paint or WordPad.  Most Chromebooks don’t have the computing power to handle high-powered desktop programs like Photoshop. But they are lightweight and low-maintenance. That’s one of the reasons they are very popular with schools, who like them for student use.

But as more and more things like games become online activities, Chromebooks become a great lower-cost alternative for most folks. If you mainly use your PC for the Internet and email, your new Chromebook should work out great for you. While you don’t hear a lot about hackers going after Chromebooks, do make sure to download a security app like Avast.  Enjoy your new device.

~ Cynthia