I like to reset my Chrome Sync and powerwash my Chromebook every so often and set it up fresh. It is more of a habit than for security reasons. It allows me to time to consider whether my current setup is working for me. I use all these extensions. Can I be more focused? This setup guide is for my own personal reference.
As I have reset my Chrome Sync, I've lost all my bookmarks. So I download my "Settings" folder from Google Drive. It contains a PDF version of this guide, a bookmarks.html folder, exported settings for my favourite apps and my go-to avatar photos.
Setting up the settings
Next up I tune my Chromebook settings, in line with the student guidance offered by EFF, as follows:
- Encrypt all synced data with own sync passphrase.
- Set DNS as follows:
For IPv4: 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206
For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001
- Set DuckDuckGo as search engine.
- Require a pin to wake from sleep.
- Restrict User Sign In.
- Block third-party cookies and site data.
- Keep local data only until you quit your browser.
- Allow the appropriate cookies.
- Do not allow any site to track physical location.
- Block protected content.
- Add additional languages - Portuguese (Brasil), Spanish (Latin America)
- Set startup to “Open New Tab Page”
With the settings tightened, I move on to the extensions directly from the Chrome Web Store. And, yes, I used all of them - I wish I didn't. I haven't included the games here because I don't want to encourage fun.
I like to enable some of the flags relating to Casting, PWA and User Interface. You can find the flags here: chrome://flags. I like to have the freshest look so I always enable the 'use all upcoming UI features' flag.
Chrome Web Store Apps & Extensions
I install the following Apps and Extensions
- Google Translate
- Grammarly for Chrome
- HTTPS Everywhere
- New Tab Clock
- Privacy Badger
- Save To Pocket
- Simplify Gmail
- uBlock Origin
I like to tweak the theme with Dark Theme v3.
Google Play Store Apps (Android)
I keep my application selection limited. One of the reasons that the ChromeOS is an ideal operating system is because it is so lightweight. Android apps can be a little heavy for me.
I'll always install Bitwarden, Pocket, ProtonMail, ProtonVPN and (now) Standard Notes. I also install a selection of games (see above regarding the encouraging fun).
Finally, I organise the extensions, launcher and shelf so it is both practical and pretty. And that's how I set up my Chromebook. It takes about an hour. But once it is done, it is done.