Chromebooks have transformed from being the subject of ridicule in the computing world to becoming genuine contenders in the field. The top-notch Chromebooks are available in various forms and sizes, ranging from traditional laptops to convertibles and tablets, ensuring there’s a Chromebook suitable for everyone’s needs. Additionally, ChromeOS offers a specialized tablet mode designed to provide a touch-friendly interface. While this tablet mode is valuable, there might be instances when your Chromebook gets stuck in it. In this guide, we will explore what tablet mode is and provide instructions on how to disable it if necessary.
What is Tablet Mode?
Tablet mode is a feature on Chromebooks that transforms the user interface into a touch-friendly environment. Instead of the usual desktop layout, it displays all your applications in a scrollable list with prominent app icons. This mode also introduces a variety of touch gestures, allowing you to switch between apps and desktops with ease. While your Chromebook retains its full functionality in this mode, you’ll perform tasks slightly differently compared to its regular state.
How to Deactivate Tablet Mode on a Chromebook?
Disabling tablet mode on your Chromebook can be achieved through various methods. Although there isn’t an official software option for this, you can employ a few workarounds to resolve the issue.
Plug In a Peripheral
The simplest method to exit tablet mode is by connecting a peripheral device. A peripheral, such as a mouse or keyboard, can be attached to your Chromebook. When you plug in the wireless dongle or the peripheral wire, your Chromebook will automatically switch to desktop mode. In some cases, depending on your Chromebook’s available ports, you might require a dock or docking station to connect your peripherals.
Restart your Chromebook
Every device encounters issues from time to time, and as the IT adage suggests, have you attempted the classic “turn it off and on again” fix? A swift restart frequently resolves peculiar software glitches and might effectively address this particular problem. To initiate a restart, you can either press and hold the built-in power button or tap the time display in the lower-right corner and select the power button option to restart. After the restart, your Chromebook may return to desktop mode.
Reset your Chromebook Hardware
You have the option to restart your entire Chromebook or just its hardware components, such as the keyboard and trackpad. Your Chromebook might be stuck in tablet mode due to a failure to recognize the keyboard or trackpad. For standard or convertible Chromebooks, you can resolve this issue by pressing and holding the “refresh” button and simultaneously tapping the “power” button. Once the device restarts, release the “refresh” button.
Alternatively, you can perform a restart by pressing and holding the “back,” “refresh,” and “power” buttons together for a minimum of 10 seconds until the Chromebook initiates a restart. If you are using a dedicated Chromebook tablet, you should press and hold the “power” and “volume up” buttons until the device restarts.
Powerwash your Device
If you’ve exhausted all other troubleshooting steps without success, it might be necessary to perform a powerwash on your Chromebook. Powerwashing essentially means conducting a factory reset on your device. Keep in mind that this action will result in the loss of all downloaded files, so it’s crucial to back up your Chromebook beforehand.
To proceed with a powerwash, follow these steps:
- Tap the time display located in the lower-right corner of the screen.
- Select the Settings Gear icon.
- Navigate to “Advanced“
- Choose “Reset Settings“
- Finally, tap “Reset“
The Chromebook will take a moment to erase all its data and revert to its factory default settings.
Get Back to the Desktop
Tablet mode is a valuable feature on Chromebooks, but there are occasions when switching back to desktop mode is more conducive to productivity. If you find yourself stuck in tablet mode, there are several methods to switch back to the desktop interface. Additionally, if you encounter any other issues with your device, consider utilizing the Chromebook Diagnostics app as an excellent resource for troubleshooting and diagnosing problems.