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

A few things to try before you decide to purchase a new one instead.
By
March 10, 2022

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 Chromebook 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.

Read more: What is a Chromebook and what can and can’t it do?

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 hard resetting the device or taking it to a service center.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

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

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 keyboard closeup
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Chromebooks don’t have any hardware implementations that are wildly different from traditional laptops. If your Chromebook doesn’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.

You may have a faulty charging adapter as well, which could be keeping your Chromebook from charging. The device may also 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.

Also see: The best Chromebook tablets you can buy

How to troubleshoot a Chromebook that won’t turn on

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 keyboard straight shot
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

To troubleshoot a Chromebook, 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, you may need to check its output with a multimeter to see if it’s within the acceptable limits specified on the adapter label.

Be careful, though, and make sure to seek professional help if you’re not sure how to use a multimeter. You should also check a different power outlet, as the fault could be with the outlet or the surge protector you connect the charger to. Some devices also have a charging indicator LED, so you can see if the device is detecting power.

Lenovo Chromebook C340 review angled keyboard closeup

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 Chromebook. 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 service. You may be eligible to get the repairs done under warranty if your device has an active one. You can find the nearest service center for your Chromebook on the manufacturer’s website.

Read more: What is Chrome OS, and who is it for?

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

Acer Chromebook 311 ports left

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 a faulty battery and a faulty charger. 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. 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.

Also read: How much should you spend on a Chromebook?

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 be able to get it fixed for free. However, if the device is out of warranty or your actions caused the damage, you’ll have to shell out the repair costs.

If you’re experienced with electronics repairs or know someone who is, you may want to buy spares from sites like ChromebookParts.com 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 an average for the typical Chromebook.


Read more: The best Chromebooks you can buy