Upcoming Chromebook shelf ‘drag to pin’ apps feature is simple but useful


To date, when you open an application or a web app on your Chromebook and it’s not pinned, it will appear to the right of a nearly invisible separator. This thin, white, nearly transparent line will divide pinned apps from non-pinned apps so that the user can understand what will disappear after being closed and what will remain on their shelf.

If you want to pin an application, you have a few options – you can either right-click it in the Chromebook launcher and choose ‘Pin to shelf’, or you can first open it before right-clicking it on the shelf and choosing the same option. We’ve discovered a new Chromium Repository commit that indicates you may soon be able to drag and drop a non-pinned but opened shelf icon from the right of the divider to the left, pinning it organically in the process.


Add shelf-drag-to-pin to chrome://flags

The feature enables users to drag unpinned shelf items to pinned section to pin them to shelf.

Chromium Repository

This is a simple, yet welcome change to how the Chromebook shelf operates. I’ve always thought about this function, but have never seen evidence of it being added to the OS. The more we get features that allow users to interact with their devices in natural ways and the more Chromebooks do exactly what a user feels it ought to based on how they would naturally use it, the better.

Of course, there’s no telling whether or not this feature will make its way out of development and to the public, but as with other early tests, I believe this one just makes too much sense and feels easy enough to pass through the approval process. ‘Drag to pin’ will appear first as a Chrome OS Canary developer flag before it is refined and launched officially, but it’s a neat little change that we thought everyone could get excited about!


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