Your Chromebook is no ordinary PC: it's powered by Google's Chrome browser, providing a speedy, simple, and secure online experience. It's precisely this reason that Chrome launches automatically whenever you sign back in — there's no better way to showcase your Chromebook's strength than by putting the browser front and center. However, some people just prefer starting with a blank desktop instead, whether they want to use other apps instead, or for minimalism reasons. With the help of a hidden switch in the newest Chrome OS 92 update, you can stop your Chromebook from opening Chrome when you sign in.

Despite being named after a browser, your Chrome OS laptop is a Swiss Army knife that runs a wide variety of desktop and Android apps. In fact, Google is planning to unshackle its operating system's dependence on the browser altogether with its ambitious Lacros project. That could be the reason Google's developing a native solution for restoring your apps and tabs rather than relying on Chrome's fairly limited mechanism. You can prevent Chrome from launching on boot right now by taking advantage of Google's upcoming restore feature in Chrome OS 92 — turn the feature on by copying and pasting the following URL in bold into Chrome's address bar, then enabling it through its drop-down box:

chrome:flags#full-restore

Chrome OS full restore – Chrome OS

You can stop Chrome from launching when signing into your user account.

Upon restarting your Chromebook, you'll notice that Chrome did not launch — unlike before. You'll find a dialog in the system tray that offers the option to either restore your apps or cancel. If you find the message annoying, you can avoid restoring through system preferences. Alternatively, you'll be able to customize the new restore feature by heading into system preferences; you can pick between automatically relaunching your tabs and applications or have Chrome OS ask every time. If restoring your apps is your goal, we recommend enabling this optional flag, too:

chrome:flags#arc-ghost-window

Enables the pre-load app window for ARC++ app during ARCVM booting stage on full restore process – Chrome OS

If you have multiple Android apps on-screen when you restart your device, their windows will display a fancy loading animation while waiting for Android to finish initializing. What's particularly cool is that Chrome OS remembers their size and position almost exactly, saving you the annoyance of moving things around yourself.

Android apps have a nifty loading animation when Chrome OS restores them.

The native full restore doesn't auto-start Linux apps yet — a clear indicator that there's some work left before Google can officially launch it for everybody. But even in this work-in-progress state, it allows users to jump right into their Android or Linux apps, saving the hassle of closing Chrome first. For some, it should finally put a Chrome OS annoyance to rest — personally, I'm eagerly awaiting Chrome OS to restore my several handfuls of Linux apps automatically, which should hopefully be soon.