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How to fix a Chromebook that won't turn on or stay on

Here are a few things to try before you decide to purchase a new one instead.
By

Published onFebruary 28, 2024

ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip review 2

Chromebooks are nifty little computing machines, but they have their own set of issues, just like any other kind of computer. So what do you do when your device refuses to turn on? There are a few things to try before you give up and get it serviced or decide to recycle it. Here’s how to fix a Chromebook that won’t turn on or stay on.

QUICK ANSWER

To fix a Chromebook that won't turn on, you may want to check if the battery has any charge. You can also leave the charger plugged for a while and turn it on. You could also try to factory reset the device before taking it to a service center.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Why won’t my Chromebook turn on or stay on?

Lenovo Chromebook C340 review angled keyboard closeup

If your Chromebook won’t turn on, the possible reasons will be more or less the same as the common points of failure in other laptops. The most likely reason is that the battery of your Chromebook is dead and needs a charge. It’s also possible that your battery has failed and needs a replacement. Chromebooks don’t have any hardware implementations that are wildly different from traditional laptops.

You may have a faulty wall charging adapter as well, which could be keeping your Chromebook from charging. Alternatively, the device could have a temporary issue that a reset may help solve. Barring issues related to battery or charging, it’s possible that your device has a hardware failure and may need servicing.

Here are some troubleshooting steps you can try to revive your non-functional laptop.

How to troubleshoot a Chromebook that won’t turn on

chromebook plus ports

To troubleshoot a Chrome OS device, you will want to start by checking your charging adapter. If it’s a USB-C charger, as most Chromebook chargers are, you can plug it into another device that charges via USB-C and see if the device detects it. If you have a barrel plug charging adapter, troubleshooting becomes a bit harder and you may have to consult a professional.

Still, before we get there, you should also check a different power outlet. The outlet or surge protector you connect the charger to could be the faulty link in the chain. Some devices also have a charging indicator LED, so you can see if the device is detecting power.

Plug in your Chromebook and check for signs of life.

If your charger works fine, move on to the battery. If you plug in the charger to your Chromebook and attempt to turn it on, it should turn on. However, the battery may have fully drained out in some cases, so you might want to keep the charger connected to your Chromebook for a good while, at least a few hours, and see if that works.

If that doesn’t work, you can try removing all the connected USB devices and attempting to power on the device. If all else fails, try hard resetting your device. Press and hold the Refresh key (circular arrow) and press the power button to hard reset your Chrome OS device. Release the Refresh key once it powers on. Some devices may require you to press a dedicated hard reset switch.

If none of these methods work, it may be time to bring in your Chromebook for a repair. If you bought your device less than a year ago, the repair should be covered under warranty. You can find the nearest service center for your Chromebook on the manufacturer’s website.

What if I have a Chromebook that turns on but won’t stay on?

lenovo ideapad slim 3 chromebook both colors lid dual tone finish

It’s slightly trickier to troubleshoot a Chromebook that turns on but won’t stay on. In most cases, this will mean that you either have a faulty battery, or one that cannot power the device for longer than a few minutes. If the Chromebook turns on when connected to the adapter but turns off immediately after you remove the charger, it’s very likely a case of a dead battery.

Any other scenario is likely to mean a faulty charger and battery combination. There may be other hardware malfunctions, mainly relating to the charging circuitry rather than the battery itself. In some cases, it may mean that there’s a software issue. In that case, you can attempt a full recovery of the Chromebook.

Disconnect all connected external peripherals like mouse, keyboard, and hard drives. Press and hold Esc + Refresh (circular arrow), and press the power button once. Some models may require you to press and hold Esc + Maximize (dashed square) and press the power button once. You can let go of the other keys when a message shows on the screen and follow the recovery steps.

If that doesn’t work, you need to bring the Chromebook in for service.

Is it worth bringing in a Chromebook for servicing?

Acer Chromebook 714 bottom edge

If none of the troubleshooting methods work for you, your device needs a good look at its internals. The question is — is it worth bringing in a Chromebook for servicing?

It comes down to the price of the Chromebook and the price of the repairs. If you have warranty coverage on your device and the damage hasn’t occurred due to improper use, then you should get it fixed for free. However, if the device is no longer covered by warranty, you’ll have to shell out the repair costs. Luckily, just like replacing a smartphone battery, you can get a new one installed for much less than the cost of a brand-new device.

If you’re experienced with electronics repairs or know someone who is, you may also want to check for spares on sites like iFixit to get the job done. As a rule of thumb, if the repair costs accumulate to over half the total price of the Chromebook, you should consider getting a new one instead. This works out to $150 on average for a typical Chromebook, but this rule may not apply to more premium models.