How to factory reset a Chromebook and what happens when you do - MrLiambi's blog


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Thursday, 6 October 2022

How to factory reset a Chromebook and what happens when you do

Do you want to make your Chromebook run like it's new again? There is an easy way to do that - by doing a factory reset.  Or perhaps you want to give your old Chromebook to someone but need to wipe it first. You may want to do a factory reset in that case. Whatever the situation may be, just know that a factory reset erases all the information stored locally on your Chromebook's hard drive, including all the files in the Downloads folder.

So, if you're going to do factory reset on your Chromebook, here is your warning that all your data on the laptop itself will be forever lost. Be sure to back up your files to the cloud, like Google Drive, or to an external drive if you prefer that method for storing your old photos, documents, or whatnot. (Pocket-lint has a separate guide on how Google Drive works - if you'd like to know more about Google's cloud storage service.)

Anyway, factory resetting a Chrome OS machine can be done in a few quick steps and takes no time at all. Here's how.

How to factory reset a Chromebook

First, turn on your Chromebook and sign out of it. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold Ctrl + Alt + Shift + r.
  2. Select Restart.
  3. In the box that appears, select Powerwash > Continue.

It's that simple. You can then follow the on-screen steps to sign in with a Google Account. The account you sign in with after you reset your Chromebook will be the owner account.

What happens when you factory reset a Chromebook?

A factory reset erases all the information on your Chromebook's hard drive, including your settings, apps, and files, according to Google.

Does a factory reset wipe your Google Drive?

No. A factory reset won't delete any of your files on Google Drive. It also won't delete anything off your external hard drive if you used one of those to back up your Chromebook.

Can you factory reset a school or work Chromebook?

No. If you're using your Chromebook at work or school, you can't reset it. Google said to ask your administrator to wipe the data on your Chromebook and re-enroll the device on your work or school network.

Want to know more?

Google has a support page if you need more details. It also has another support page for how to set up a Chromebook once you've reset it.

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