ChromeOS 118 brings nifty improvements to Chromebooks for password recovery, touchscreens, and printers

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook with touchscreen
(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

ChromeOS 118 is here and it brings a clutch of new features, a few of which are very smart additions – particularly on the password front.

As About Chromebooks reports, ChromeOS 118 is rolling out now to most (supported) Google-powered laptops, and it comes with new password recovery measures, along with text editing improvements for those who have a touchscreen (as well as a bonus for printer users).

That first feature means that you’re no longer left high and dry regarding the files stored on your Chromebook (on the local drive, as opposed to in the cloud) if you forget your password.

Account recovery can now take place without losing local data (such as files in the Downloads folder), thankfully.

The second notable addition is for the benefit of those who have a Chromebook with a touchscreen, and it comes in the form of improved controls for editing text on the screen.

Google informs us that a gesture system that is “much more intuitive” has been brought in for touchscreen users, and text legibility is better, with a new magnifier to boot that shows the cursor position with greater accuracy.

So, if you edit text directly on-screen, these changes should make your life considerably easier.

Finally, Google has implemented some tweaks for printers, with the OS delivering more help in terms of setup instructions, and an easier way to save printers. We’re also told that ChromeOS 118 will provide more assistance when it comes to troubleshooting issues with a printer.

Analysis: Recovery boon is great, but don’t forget backups

It’s good to see this password recovery change coming in, although arguably, you might have expected Google to introduce this before now. There’s no shortage of tales online about less tech-savvy users forgetting passwords and losing their local files as a result.

Of course, with any important files, you shouldn’t be keeping them hanging around in the Downloads folder, anyway. And it’s always worth backing up valuable files whatever the case – whether that’s to Google Drive, another of the best cloud storage services, or indeed to external storage.

Preferably, you should keep two backups (at least) of all your important data, one in the cloud, and one on an external hard drive or similar (as it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a single backup medium could fail, such as an external hard disk becoming corrupted).

Touchscreen improvements are always welcome for those with a touch-capable notebook, and Chromebooks are pretty neat in that department as you can get some wallet-friendly devices with such a display. Indeed, the top pick for a budget touchscreen portable in our best laptops list is a Chromebook, namely the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).