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Here's how to reset your Chromebook with just a few clicks

Chromebooks are not always working properly, and doing a Chromebook reset can be your best option. Let us help you do it!
August 14, 2021
Google Pixelbook Go Review open with pixel 4
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Chromebooks are wonderfully simple devices to use. There’s very little room for clutter, and that’s one of their main advantages over PC laptops. Still, sometimes you want to start fresh, and the best way to do so is to reset a Chromebook. Maybe you’ve got troublesome cookies, favorites, and settings that just aren’t working for you. Or you might have inherited a Chromebook that you want to make your own. There are plenty of options for resetting your Chromebook. Here’s a quick breakdown to give you all the best tips and tricks on how to perform a Chromebook reset.

Here: What is a Chromebook and what can it do? 

Do you really need to reset your Chromebook?

Google Pixelbook Go Review front view open
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Before taking this major, irreversible step, make sure it’s really what you need. There are plenty of reasons to reset a Chromebook, but you might have other options, like manually changing up your profile and user preferences.

Then again, some reasons for resetting your Chrome OS device are unambiguous. These include reselling your Chromebook or buying a used one, having problems after you’ve tried resetting it, having profile issues, or simply seeing a message pop up on your screen that says something along the lines of “Reset this Chrome device.” If you’re in any of those boats, it will probably be best to go ahead and reset your Chromebook.

Also: Can a Chromebook replace my main computer?

Alternatives to a full reset

How to reset Chromebook -- Acer Chromebook 13

Before you go for the full Chromebook reset, try these two alternatives, just in case.

  • Turn off each of your Chrome extensions, one at a time. For every extension you close, check if your Chromebook is working normally again. You can check out how to manage your Chromebook extensions here.
  • Sometimes you might just need to power your hardware down. This will reset your keyboard and trackpad. It will also delete some of the files in your Downloads folder that might be causing problems. To do this, turn off your Chromebook, then press Refresh > Power.
  • If you’re still having problems, you’re now at the stage where you’ll want to do a full Chromebook reset.

More: How to delete apps from your Chromebook

How to reset Chromebook using shortcut keys

Google Pixelbook Go Review trackpad profile
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Before you reset a Chromebook, make sure you back up anything you don’t want to lose. The reset will wipe all files, settings, and apps on your hard drive. So before resetting, sync your settings to your Google account and back up any important files to Google Drive. That is, if you want to keep any of those.

  1. Sign out of your Chromebook.
  2. Press and hold Ctrl > Alt > Shift > r simultaneously.
  3. Click Restart.
  4. A dialogue box will appear. Click Reset.
  5. Sign in with your Google account.
  6. Follow the steps for setting up a new Chromebook.
  7. Make sure whatever problem led you to reset your Chromebook has been resolved.

Next: The most useful Chromebook shortcuts and gestures

How to reset Chromebook in Settings

How to reset Chromebook

Again, make sure to sync your settings to your Google account and back up any important files to Google Drive before you reset Chromebook.

  1. Click the notification area in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Select the cog next to lock to go into Settings.
  3. Go into Advanced.
  4. Click Reset settings.
  5. Under Powerwash, select Reset.
  6. A dialogue box will appear. Click Restart.
  7. Sign in with your Google Account.
  8. Follow the steps for setting up a new Chromebook.
  9. Make sure whatever problem led you to reset your Chromebook has been resolved.

Those looking for more Chromebook tips and tricks can take a look at the links below!