Before letting someone else use your laptop, you should know how to set up Chromebook Guest mode. That way, all of your private files and information won't be accessible.
Information in this article applies to all Chrome OS devices regardless of the manufacturer (Acer, Dell, Google, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Toshiba, etc.).
What Is Chromebook Guest Mode?
Guest mode on Chromebooks is a temporary Chrome OS account that others can access when using your Chromebook. When they're browsing as a guest, your Google Account and any files on the hard drive will be inaccessible. Guests also can't see your Google Chrome profile, your bookmarks, your stored passwords and autofill data, or your browsing history.
Only a few apps, such as Google Chrome, will be available in Guest mode. While guests can download files and adjust some settings, any changes to the system will be undone when they log out. Chrome will also delete all browser activity when the guest session ends.
If you can't sign in to your Chromebook account, try signing in as a guest to perform troubleshooting.
Chromebook Guest Mode vs Incognito Mode
Going incognito on Chromebooks prevents Google Chrome from tracking your browser history; however, your bookmarks and any autofill data (i.e. passwords you have stored for your online accounts) will still be available. Incognito mode also doesn't block access to your Google Account or hard drive. While Incognito mode is helpful for private browsing, it's better to turn on Guest mode before handing off your laptop to someone else.
How to Browse as a Guest on Chromebook
Before you can access Guest mode, you must sign out of your account:
Select the clock in the bottom-right corner of the screen, then select Sign out.
Select Browse as Guest on the lock screen.
If you don't see Browse as Guest on a school or work Chromebook, then the administrator has disabled guest browsing.
To end the guest session, select the clock in the Chromebook shelf, then select Exit guest.
Chrome OS Guest Mode Limitations
While using guest mode, your Chromebook's internet activity will still be visible to your internet service provider (ISP) and the system administrator if you're using a school or work computer. Websites can also still collect data from your computer.
How to Enable Chromebook Guest Browsing
Guest mode should be available by default, but if you don't see it as an option on your Chromebook's login screen, check to see if it's enabled in your system settings:
Sign in to the owner account, select the clock in the bottom-right corner of the screen, then select the Settings gear.
Scroll down to the People section of your Chromebook settings and select Manage other people.
Make sure Enable Guest browsing is enabled.
You may not be able to enable Guest mode if you're using a work or school computer.