Unlike Windows computers, a Chrome OS laptop doesn’t store a lot of information, it’s mostly browser-oriented. So an occasional hard reboot is no big deal.
In this guide, we will walk you through how to restart and factory reset a Chromebook.
How to restart a Chromebook
Every desktop PC has a reset button that forces it to reboot immediately. Like laptops, most Chromebooks don’t have a dedicated reset/restart button. The easiest and most common way to restart a Chromebook is to simply turn it off and on again. This is how this is done:
- Go to the notifications section (where you’ll usually find the current power level, Wi-Fi, and weather information).
- Select this area and use the To switch off icon at the top of the notification menu.
- Once the device has turned off, simply turn it back on using its power button.
This method of restarting a Chromebook is not what you would call a “hard reset,” but it is the safest possible way to restart your device. Ensures your current work and status are saved by safely shutting down your device.
A hard reset should only be performed on a Chromebook if the device does not respond to a regular reboot as described above. If you can, sign out of your Google account (the disconnect is right next to the power off icon). If you don’t do this, you risk losing everything you’ve been working on since you last logged out. Now try to do the hard reset:
- Hold down the power button for a few seconds. This should sign you out of your Google account, but it’s not 100% reliable.
- Use the power button to restart the device.
Here is an alternative method:
- hold the Update button.
- tap on the Energy button.
This should automatically restart your Chromebook.
For Chrome OS tablets, holding down the key Energy button and the Turn up the volume the button should do the trick.
How to Hard Reset a Chromebook
A “hard reset” or “factory reset” is the process of returning a device to its factory settings. Yes, this reverts your Chromebook back to its original settings, just like when you first got it. A factory reset is often done when there are persistent issues with the device and when nothing else offers a solution. It is also recommended that you perform a hard reset when you are sure that you will no longer be using it.
Before proceeding with the reset, try to reset the device, as explained above. If this doesn’t work, please disable Google Chrome extensions one by one to see if that resolves the issue. If this doesn’t help either, the only option left for you is to perform a hard reset.
Doing a factory reset means losing all data on the device’s hard drive. All files in it will be deleted, and this includes everything in the Downloads folder. This is why it is so important to ensure that you have backed up all relevant data on the device. You can use an external flash drive for this or upload everything important to Google Drive.
When you are 100% sure that you are ready to perform the reset, do the following:
- Sign out of the Chromebook.
- printing Ctrl + Alt + Mayus + R on your keyboard and hold down these buttons.
- In the window that appears, go to Restart.
- In the next window, go to pressure washing and select Continue.
- Carefully follow the instructions on the screen.
- Sign in to a Google account when prompted. Note that this account will be the Chromebook owner account once the factory reset is done.
- Go ahead and set up the newly rebooted Chromebook device.
In the vast majority of cases, a factory reset will take care of your Chromebook issues. If the same issues persist, please contact Google support or consult the retailer/manufacturer of the device.
Chrome OS laptops can come from various manufacturers. Although most Chromebook models use the default commands (described above) for hard resets, some models work differently. Here’s how to perform a hard reset on different brands of Chromebooks:
How to reset a Samsung, Acer and ASUS Chromebox
Chrome OS devices from these manufacturers are called “Chromeboxes.” Here’s how to perform a hard reset on a Chromebox:
- Power off the device using one of the methods described.
- Remove the power cord.
- Plug the cable back in.
The device should start a backup automatically.
How to restart a Lenovo Thinkpad X131e
Although the Thinkpad X131e is not the only Chromebook from Lenovo, the hard reset method for this model mirrors most other Lenovo Chrome OS devices.
- Power off the Thinkpad X131e using one of the methods mentioned above.
- Remove the power cable from the device.
- Remove the battery from the device.
- Replace the battery.
- Plug the adapter back into the device.
- Turn on the Thinkpad using the power button.
How to reset the ASUS Chromebit
Unlike other ASUS Chrome OS models, the Chromebit uses a method that is a a bit different.
- Power off the device following the instructions above.
- Remove the power cord. Make sure to wait at least a few seconds.
- Then plug the cable back in.
- Turn on the Chromebit.
It is important that you wait before plugging the cable back in, otherwise the device may not reboot.
Acer Cr-48 and AC700
To restart the Acer Chromebook Cr-48 and AC700 models, you don’t have to remove the charging cable, but the battery:
- Power off the device.
- Take out the battery.
- Let it sit for a few seconds.
- Replace the battery.
- Turn on the device.
Samsung Series 5 and Series 5 550.
Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks work a little differently than other Samsung Chrome OS products.
samsung series 5
- Power off the device.
- Disconnect the adapter.
- Use a paper clip or similar small object to press the button located in a hole on the back of the device (below the vents).
- Hold down on the object while you reconnect the adapter.
- When you’re done, turn on the Chromebook.
Samsung Series 5 550
The Series 5 550 uses the same method as the regular Series 5. The only difference here is that said hole is located on the back of the device, in the bottom center.
What do you do if your Chromebook is frozen?
No matter if you are using Windows PC, Mac computer or Chromebook, device freezing is always a possibility. These instances are usually related to software issues and are represented by an unresponsive screen. This is one of the situations where a hard reset is warranted. So if your Chromebook freezes, try performing the reset options outlined above. At least one of these should work. Otherwise, contact the vendor or manufacturer of the device.
Why won’t my Chromebook turn on?
If your Chromebook won’t turn on, holding down the power key for a few seconds might help. If not, do some of the hard reset steps mentioned. Try leaving the device unplugged for a few hours. Take out the battery (if it has one) and leave it like that. If your Chromebook still doesn’t turn on when you reconnect it to a power source, contact your retailer or manufacturer. If the device works fine when plugged in, but won’t turn on when unplugged, the battery probably needs to be replaced.
Is it okay to leave Chromebook plugged in?
If you don’t usually move your Chromebook around a lot, it’s easiest to leave it plugged in at all times. However, like any other device, this perpetual state of charge can decrease battery life. However, letting the device charge overnight is fine.
Having it charge for a few hours after it has reached full battery capacity is fine too. But from time to time, you have to unplug the device and let the battery drain down to 20%. The best practice is to do this daily. It can be a bit tedious, but it will extend the battery life of your Chromebook.
Why did my Chromebook turn black?
If a Chromebook’s screen dims or goes black, it’s most likely due to its battery-saving properties. Performing any action on it should restore the screen to full brightness. Otherwise, use the corresponding keyboard keys to increase the screen brightness. If your device’s screen has gone dark and is unresponsive, try restarting it. Contact support if the device does not turn back on.
What does the blue light on Chromebook mean?
A solid blue light is an indication that your Chromebook device is on. A flashing orange light is indicative of sleep mode. If you don’t see any lights, the device is either off or out of battery.
Although most Chromebooks restart the same way, some require a different approach. Follow the guidelines above to try resetting on a regular basis before moving on to a hard reset, and check to see if your Chromebook is listed under “Other Methods.”
Have you managed to restart your Chrome OS device? Having trouble finding your model in the list? If you have any questions or something to add to this discussion, hit the comments section below and let us know what’s on your mind.