I once picked up a Chromebook that hadn’t been used in a while to try out what was then a relatively new Chrome OS feature: virtual desktops. But when I pressed the key to bring those desktops to my screen, I didn’t see anything. I did some looking around and found that the feature was expected to be available from version 77 of Chrome OS – several iterations after the version I was using.
While Chromebooks work pretty much on their own and you can usually ignore which version of the operating system your device is running, you may want to have this information available in case you need it anyway. All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Click on the clock in the lower right corner of your screen.
- Select the “Settings” icon (the gear in the top row of the pop-up window).
- Find “About Chrome OS” at the bottom of the menu on the left and select it.
Your version number is just below the title of Google Chrome OS at the top of the window. With a button to the right of that number, you can check for new updates or install updates that were recently downloaded but not yet installed. You’ll also see a number of other options on this page (these may vary) to see what’s new in your current version of Chrome OS, go to Google’s help pages, report a problem, among other things.
You can get additional information about the inner workings of Chrome OS by selecting: Additional details† For example, if you want to know what channel your Chromebook is running – in other words, your operating system’s settings – select Change channel† You can choose from Stable (the default secure version of the operating system), Beta (which receives new features about a month before the Stable channel), and Developer – Unstable (which lets you try out features that are still being tested).
On the Additional details page, you’ll also find details of the current OS build and how long your Chromebook will get software and security updates (usually six years).
Update May 19, 2022, 10:20 AM ET: This article was originally published on October 16, 2019 and has been updated to reflect operating system changes.