Everything You Need to Know About Chromebook Guest Mode

Is someone interested in borrowing your Chromebook for a short time? You may be concerned that they will have access to your Google Chrome data and files. Well, you are right about that. Fortunately, Chromebooks offer a user account known as a guest user that will come in handy here. Let's explore everything you need to know about the guest mode in Chromebook.

What Is a Guest User on Chromebook

Guest mode is a temporary user account on Chromebooks whose data is reset after signing out. That means browsing history, cookies, website data, and downloaded files from the guest user will be deleted once they exit guest mode. If you want someone to use your Chromebook for a limited time, you can have them sign in as a guest user.

Moreover, the guest mode works without signing into a Google account too. So, if anyone wants to use your Chromebook, you simply have to make them enter the guest mode and they can start browsing without affecting your files or data.

What Happens When You Sign in to Guest Mode

When you log in as a guest user, the Chrome browser will open automatically with a message indicating that you are in guest mode. Now you can launch the websites that you want to open.

In guest mode, you can browse the internet, download files, take pictures using the Camera app, and change limited settings. However, there are some limitations to what a guest user can do.

What Happens to Apps in Guest Mode

The guest user has access to only a few apps, including basic Chromebook apps like Chrome browser, Files app, Camera, and Settings. Other apps are not available, and the guest user cannot install or uninstall any apps. The Play Store is also unavailable to the guest.

Can a Guest User Modify Settings

The guest user has access to the Settings app but not to the settings from your actual account. The guest user can personalize the guest profile settings for their own usage. However, any changes made by a guest user to a setting will be restricted to the guest profile only and will not impact other Chromebook profiles. Once a guest user signs out, the settings will be reset to default.

Can a Guest User Access Your Google Chrome Data

The guest user will not be able to see your Google Chrome profile, browsing history, bookmarks, auto-fill, passwords, etc. from your main profile in the guest account. Your data remains secure and private.

What Happens to Chrome Data After Signing Out of Guest Profile

When it comes to the guest user's Chrome data, it will be automatically deleted once the user exits the guest profile. So, neither the guest user nor any other user can have access to the guest user's data after signing out.

Can a Guest User See Your Downloads

The guest user has access to the Files app but cannot view your downloads on hard drives or files in Google Drive. They also won't have access to Google Drive in the Files app.

What Happens to Files Downloaded in Guest Mode

Any file that a user downloads in guest mode will be automatically deleted once they sign out. If you want to keep the downloaded file, you must transfer it to your phone or upload it to a cloud service from the Chrome browser.

How to Log in to Guest Mode

There are two methods to browse as a guest user. First, you can sign in as a guest user when you turn on your Chromebook. You will find the “Browse as guest” option at the bottom of the sign-in screen. Click on it to log in to guest mode.

Secondly, if you are signed in to your own account and you want to log in as a guest user, you don't need to restart the Chromebook. Simply, sign out from your account and log in to guest mode as shown below:

  1. To sign out, click on the time at the bottom-right corner of the Chromebook. Press the “Sign out” button in the Quick Panel.
  2. You will be taken to the Sign-in screen. Click on “Browse as a guest” at the bottom to sign in as a guest user.

How to Exit Guest Mode

To sign out of guest mode, click on the time at the bottom right. Select “Exit guest” from the Quick settings panel. Remember that all browsing history, website data, files, and cookies will be deleted after signing out of guest mode.

What's the Difference Between Guest Mode vs Incognito Mode

Guest mode and incognito mode are different yet similar. Both allow you to browse privately, but they serve different purposes. Guest mode is a separate user profile, while incognito mode is a Chrome browser feature.

Incognito mode prevents Chrome from recording or tracking your browsing history, but it does not conceal your files or personal information. In incognito mode, you can still access your bookmarks, autofill data, and extensions (if enabled).

On the other hand, guest mode provides a blank profile for temporary users to browse privately. It does not allow access to other Chrome profiles, making it ideal for sharing your Chromebook with others.

How to Fix Can't See Browse as Guest

If you don't see the guest mode option on the sign-in screen of your Chromebook, you can try the following solutions:

  • Sign Out: If you are on the lock screen, click on the Sign out option instead of Browse as guest. Then, you should see the Browse as guest button.
  • Enable Guest Mode: Go to the main Chromebook profile, click on the time at the bottom, and open Chromebook settings. In the Settings window, go to Security and privacy > Manage other people. Turn on the toggle next to Enable guest browsing.
  • Ask Your School: If you are using a Chromebook from your work or school, your administrator may have disabled guest browsing. Contact them to find out more.

What Are The Limitations of Chrome OS Guest Mode

While guest mode is a great feature to let someone else use your Chromebook, you should be aware that your internet activity will still be visible to your ISP and system administrator. Additionally, websites that you sign in to may collect data.

When to Use Guest Mode

Guest mode should be used when someone wants to borrow your Chromebook, when you want to borrow someone else's Chromebook, or on shared Chromebooks such as those in schools. It is also useful if you want to use your Chromebook without signing in to a Google account.

In addition to guest mode, you can create multiple user profiles on Chromebook and even restrict login to specific users. Explore the possibilities and enjoy sharing your Chromebook with others.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only. Ensure you understand the privacy and security implications before using guest mode or sharing your Chromebook.