A Step-by-step Guide: How to Find the Delete Button on a Chromebook

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Chromebooks have gained a reputation as an affordable, portable, and versatile option in the wide range of computer types available today. A Chromebook may be a different beast for those who are familiar with traditional Windows or Mac operating systems. This leads to common questions like Where is the delete button on a Chromebook? In this guide, we delve into this query, explain the process, and provide additional resources to enhance your Chromebook experience. It’s essential to figure out the location and function of the delete button to handle your daily computing tasks smoothly.

What is a Delete Function?

If you ask any computer user what the delete function is, they will likely know it’s associated with removing data. However, the intricacies might escape some. In essence, the delete function on a computer lets you erase data or remove items such as files, folders, text, and applications. When you delete something, it is moved to a trash or recycle bin, giving you a chance to retrieve it if necessary. However, once you clear this bin, the data is erased from storage.

Differentiation between a Backspace and a Delete function

While the delete and backspace keys might seem similar, their functions differ. The backspace key, usually marked with a left-pointing arrow, is used to erase text or objects to the left of the cursor. It’s akin to moving backward and erasing as you go.

On the other hand, the delete key, marked as Del on most keyboards, removes text or objects to the right of the cursor. Think of it as forward-erasing, a feature that can be incredibly helpful in accurate editing.

The Chromebook Keyboard Layout and the Absence of the Delete Key

Chromebook keyboards are a little different from traditional PC and Mac keyboards. They have been designed with simplicity in mind, replacing some typical keys like Caps Lock and Delete with other functions more pertinent to the operating system’s web-centric design.

One unusual feature is the complete absence of a dedicated delete button. This was a design decision by Google to keep the keyboard as simplistic as possible, favouring the use of keyboard shortcuts rather than an array of keys. But don’t worry, deleting is still possible, even without a designated button.

Performing a Delete Function on a Chromebook

Using the Alt + Backspace Combination

To execute the delete function, you need to use a keyboard combination, namely, Alt + Backspace. Simply position the cursor where you’d like to delete, hold down the Alt key, and then tap Backspace. Viola, you’ve just used the delete function.

Using the Powerwash Function

If your goal is to delete everything on your Chromebook, the Powerwash function is what you need. Powerwash resets your Chromebook to factory settings, effectively deleting all data and apps. To do this, go to Settings > Advanced > Reset settings, then click Reset beside the Powerwash option. Remember, everything is wiped with this process, so ensure to back up any valuable data.

Deleting Files or Apps

To delete files or applications, navigate to the file or app you wish to remove, right-click by tapping the touchpad with two fingers, and select Remove or Uninstall.

Customizing Keyboard Settings to a Traditional Layout

For those who prefer having a Delete key on their keyboard, customizing it is possible. Aim for the Launcher/Search button—it can be changed to function as a Delete key. Head over to Settings > Device > Keyboard, and under the Search option, select Delete from the drop-down menu.

Third-Party Applications Offering the Delete Function

There are also third-party applications offering delete functionality. Tools like Keyboard Remapper will allow you to assign the delete function to another key of your liking. Simply install the application, open it, choose the key you’d like to remap, and select the delete function from the options.


While the delete button might not be readily available on your Chromebook keyboard, with a few tips and tricks, you can easily perform delete functions. Understanding these keyboard shortcuts and options contribute to efficient operation of your device, increasing productivity and ensuring optimal usage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have a Delete key on my Chromebook?

Absolutely, through some quick settings changes, you can turn the Launcher/Search key into a functionally similar Delete key.

What’s the difference between pressing Backspace and Delete?

Backspace erases to the left of the cursor, while Delete (or Alt + Backspace on a Chromebook) erases to the right.

What does Powerwash do on a Chromebook?

Powerwash resets your Chromebook to factory defaults, deleting all data and applications in the process.

Does deleting a file or app on a Chromebook free up space?

Yes, any file or app removed from the device frees up the space it previously occupied.

Can I recover deleted data on my Chromebook?

Data deleted but still in the trash bin can be retrieved, but once cleared from the bin or if a Powerwash has been run, recovering data is significantly more difficult and sometimes impossible.

Are there other keyboard shortcuts I should know about on my Chromebook?

Definitely! Chromebooks have an array of logical shortcuts like Ctrl + S for saving, Ctrl + P for printing, and even Ctrl + Alt + ? that opens up an interactive keyboard shortcut guide.