How to Add Apps to Chromebook Taskbar

Chromebooks have taskbar at the bottom of the screen called the Shelf. From the Shelf you can launch and switch between apps, see notifications, connect to WiFi, and see your Chromebook’s battery level. Oh, and the clock. Can’t forget the clock.

Chromebook App Shelf

How To Pin Apps To The Shelf on A Chromebook

Any app you currently have running will show up on the Shelf. You can also pin apps to the Shelf so they are easy to find. Pinned apps show up on the Shelf regardless of whether they are open or not.

Pin an App That is Currently Open

Apps that are open are the easiest to pin since they are currently on the Shelf.

To Pin an open app:

  1. Right click on the app on the Shelf. Need help with right clicking? Read my post on using your Chromebook touchpad.
  2. Click Pin
Pin App To Shelf

That’s all there is to it. You can change the order of your pinned apps by click and holding on the app and dragging left or right.

Pin an App That Isn’t Running

You can find all of your installed apps in the Launcher. It’s the circle button in the bottom left corner of your screen. When you click it a search box will popup as well as some suggested apps. You can also open the Launcher by pressing the Search key on the left side of your keyboard.

Launcher View

You can browse through your list of apps, but the easiest way to find it is to type in its name. Let’s use the Zoom app as an example. When I type “Zoom” the first thing listed is the Zoom app.

App Launcher

To pin the app to the Shelf:

  1. Right click on the app on the Shelf. Again, if you need help with right clicking, read my post on using your Chromebook touchpad.
  2. Click Pin to Shelf
Pin App From Launcher

Now the Zoom app will always be located on the Shelf taskbar.

Shelf with Zoom

By the way, if you use Zoom on a Chromebook, read my post on best practices for using Zoom on a Chromebook to help with performance issues.

How To Remove a Pinned App

Removing a pinned app from the Shelf is easy to do.

  1. Right click on the app you want to remove on the Shelf.
  2. Click Unpin
Unpin app

Keep in mind, if the app is open, it will not disappear from the Shelf until it is closed.

Now that you’ve got the Shelf covered, take a look at my post on keyboard shortcuts. They will save you a lot of time and make using your Chromebook even easier.

Dave Carty

K12 district technology administrator, Google domain admin, Certified Google Trainer.

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