How to rearrange apps on the shelf and launcher on your Chromebook

The easiest way to customize your Chromebook is to rearrange the apps on the system shelf and launcher. Here’s how to do it in a few easy steps.


Quick Links

  • How to rearrange apps on the ChromeOS launcher
  • How to rearrange apps and pin new apps on the shelf of your Chromebook

Using a Chromebook or a ChromeOS tablet for work or school or at home for your personal things like social media and web browsing? You don’t have to stick to how it came configured out of the box, or how an administrator set it up for you. Like many other operating systems like Windows, you can customize the way ChromeOS looks and feels, so it can fit your own needs. This is in addition to accessorizing your Chromebook with mice, docks, and other cool items.


One of the most essential customization options for Chromebooks is the ability to rearrange apps on the ChromeOS system shelf that you see at the bottom of the screen. Other than that, you can also rearrange the apps as you see listed in your ChromeOS launcher, which you summon by pressing the Everything Button on your Chromebook keyboard or the circular button at the bottom left of the screen. We’ll explain how you can do both of these things today in a few simple steps.

How to rearrange apps on the ChromeOS launcher


The ChromeOS launcher is equal to the Start Menu on Windows. In fact, it used to be a full-screen experience, but with ChromeOS 100, Google tweaked the launcher so that it’s now much smaller and similar to Windows 11’s Start Menu, but with touches like a “continue where you left off” section at the top and a Google search bar. The launcher is home to all apps on your Chromebook. Here’s how you can customize it.

  1. Open the ChromeOS launcher by clicking on the circular icon in the lower left corner of your screen. If you have a ChromeOS tablet, just tap it with your finger.
  2. To rearrange existing apps on the launcher, just hover over the app’s icon with your mouse, click and hold it, and then drag where you want it to go. The other apps will move out of the way automatically.
  3. On a ChromeOS tablet or Chromebook with a touch screen, just tap and hold on the icon and then drag it to an empty space where you want it to go.
  4. To create a folder on the ChromeOS launcher, hover over the app’s icon with your mouse, long-click on it, and then drag it on top of another icon. You’ll get a pop-up that lets you name the folder. If you drag all the icons out of the folder, it’ll delete the folder.
    A folder in the ChromeOS launcher

  5. To create a folder on the ChromeOS launcher on a ChromeOS tablet or Chromebook with a touch screen, tap and hold the icon for the app and then drag it on top of another app’s icon. You’ll see the folder created, and then you can name it.

How to rearrange apps and pin new apps on the shelf of your Chromebook

Pinning apps on ChromeOS Shelf


Similar to the Taskbar in Windows 11, or the dock on macOS, you can pin apps on the shelf of your Chromebook. The shelf is the area at the bottom of the screen that has running apps, and any apps you have chosen to pin. Running apps that are pinned will have a small circular indicator at the bottom to let you know that it has a window open on the screen. Unpinned running apps will show to the right of a small divider in the middle of the shelf. So with those basics explained, here’s how you can rearrange apps, and pin new apps on the shelf of your Chromebook.

How to pin new apps to your Chromebook shelf

We’ll start first with pinning apps to your Chromebook shelf. This lets you access your favorite apps without having to go to the ChromeOS launcher each and every time you want to open it.

  1. Open the ChromeOS launcher by clicking on the circular icon in the lower left corner of your screen. If you have a ChromeOS tablet, just tap it with your finger.
  2. Find the icon for the app that you want to pin to the shelf.
  3. Hover your mouse over the icon. If you have a ChromeOS tablet, you can also long-press the icon to summon a menu.
  4. On a Chromebook without a touch screen, hold down the Alt button on your keyboard while hovering over the icon, and then also right-click on it at the same time.
  5. Select the Pin to shelf option.


At any time, you can remove an app that you pinned. On a Chromebook with a touch screen, just long-press the icon on the shelf and choose Unpin. On Chromebooks without a touchscreen, hover over the icon, hold the Alt button on your keyboard, and then right-click, and choose Unpin.

How to rearrange apps on your Chromebook shelf

Now that you pinned some apps to your Chromebook shelf, you can rearrange them, too. All it takes to do this is a few clicks.

  1. Hover your mouse over the icon you want to rearrange on the ChromeOS shelf.
  2. Hold-click on it, and then drag it around. Do not release your click until the app goes where you want it to.
  3. For ChromeOS tablets or Chromebooks with a touch screen, just press and hold the icon and drag it where you like.


That’s all there is to both pinning apps to your Chromebook shelf, and rearranging those pins. We’ll now jump into how you can customize the ChromeOS launcher.

That’s all there is to rearrange apps on the ChromeOS launcher and also the ChromeOS shelf. It’s a really simple process. We suggest pinning important apps to the Shelf like the settings app or Google Play Store. Then, with the ChromeOS launcher, you can create individual folders for work and school apps, games, photography, social media, and more. It’s all a great way to make your Chromebook feel more personal.

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