Home Chrome OS How To Reset, Powerwash and Restore Chromebook. Easy Tutorial

How To Reset, Powerwash and Restore Chromebook. Easy Tutorial

Chromebook is versatile, secure, and an open source operating system made by Google for the web and cloud-based digital life. But after the integration of google play, it has become multi-functional OS. Despite being solid os, many a time you might need to reset or restore your Chromebook. So today I will be sharing a step by step tutorial on how to Reset, Powerwash, and Restore Chromebook if the chrome os is damaged.

Before going to the details tutorial, I would like to focus on why do you need to reset, powerwash, and restore Chromebook?

Why do you need to reset or powerwash Chromebook?

  • If you see any message like “Reset this Chrome device!” on your Chromebook.
  • You have messed up with your chrome profile settings.
  • After restarting your Chromebook, you see the system not working normally.
  • You want to change the owner or give it to the children or family member and want to remove all your personal data.

How To Reset A Chromebook

This option will remove all the customization, themes, background images etc from your Chromebook system. Basically, it will make your system as the default one. It’s helpful when you messed up with the configuration of the profile setting but still, want to use the same google account on your Chromebook. So it will make a default one and again you can use it with your previous google account and get synced all the saved data.

  • Click the clock area at the bottom right corner and select setting.


  • Go at the bottom where advance setting showed and select that.
  • Scroll down again and select reset setting.

  • Now go through the warning notes and press the reset


  • All the customization will be removed and reset the default setting.

How To Powerwash Your Chromebook

Here in this stage, you must remember that doing powerwash of your Chromebook will delete all the personal information, files, apps, settings etc from the local hard drive. So it’s always preferable to sync your personal info into the Google accounts and backup all the files on the google drive or external drive.

This process is a bit different from the previous one. Because doing the resetting removes the browser customization and profile setting and make the chrome as latest version with default profile setting. But Powerwash will remove all the local files from the system and make the system as factory delivered. In this situation, you have to run the system update to get the latest OS and software updates.

There are two options available to do the powerwash on your Chromebook.

Option – 1 :

  • Click the clock area at the bottom right corner and select setting.
  • Go at the bottom where advance setting showed and select that.
  • Here you will get the Powerwash button and select that.


  • Now one restart pop-up box will appear and click Restart.


  • Sign in with your Google account and follow the onscreen instructions.

Option – 2 :

  • First, you have to sign out from your Chromebook.
  • Press and hold Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R altogether.
  • Then press restart for rebooting your Chromebook.
  • Now after rebooting, one box will appear with the reset option. Press Reset and sign in to your Google Account.
  • Go through the onscreen guides to complete the process.

How To Create Recovery Media and Restore Chromebook

Resetting and Powerwash help the system to get default profile setting if anything messed up with the Chromebook customization. But what if your Chrome OS does not boot up or the system damaged totally or you can’t get the login screen? There is a way to recover your chrome OS by completely wiping the storage drive and restore from the recovery media. Here you must remember that this process will completely wipe all the system files, operating system, local storage of your Chromebook and you will not be able to use the machine until the recovery process is completed.


Pre-required Tools

  • A separate chrome OS powered Laptop or windows or Mac OS laptop with chrome browser running on top.
  • A 4GB or larger USB drive or SD card which is completely formatted.
  • Your damaged chrome OS or Chromebook with a power cord attached.
  • Chromebook Recovery App.

Create Recovery Media

  • Firstly you have to install the Chromebook Recovery Utility addon on the laptop, which is not damaged or not on your chrome OS missing Chromebook.
  • Open the extension or app from the chrome browser.
  • Now type the model number of your damaged Chromebook that you want to recover in the pop-up screen which appears after open the app. You can find the model number from the bottom of the error message of your damaged Chromebook.
  • Press continue
  • Now it’s time to insert your empty flash drive into the USB port. Remember all the files and docs will be erased from the USB flash drive. This time, the Chromebook recovery app will show you a drop-down menu of all the available removable storage. Select the correct storage device and press continue.


  • After all the above-mentioned steps, press “create now”. This will take some time to make your recovery image and wait until it shows a successful message that your recovery media is ready and remove the storage device from the computer.

Create Recovery Media Using a Linux Machine

If you do not have windows or mac os powered laptop, you can still make a Chromebook recovery image from the Linux computer. Follow the below steps :

  • Download the Recovery Tool on your Linux laptop.
  • Run the following command in the Terminal to change the permission to allow the execution:
sudo chmod 755 linux_recovery.sh
  • Run the following command with root or superuser privilege into the Terminal:
sudo bash linux_recovery.sh
  • Now follow the on-screen instructions to make the Chromebook Recovery Media.

Restore Chromebook Using Recovery Media

Now, this is the final step to take back control of your damaged system. This process will delete all the chrome OS files inside your Chromebook. So backup all the files and docs to the google drive or external storage. Follow the below steps to Restore Chromebook.

  • Open the damaged Chromebook, you want to recover.
  • Remove all the external devices like mouse, keyboard, flash drive, external storage device, and SD card.
  • Now enter your Chromebook into the recovery mode. If you have a keyboard with your Chromebook, Press and hold the Esc, Refresh keys, and the Power button altogether. First, release the power button then release the other button subsequently.
  • If you own a Chromebox or Chrome bit, power off your system, press the recovery button ( see manual ) and let the power on of your system get into the recovery mode.
  • At this step, you will be seeing either “Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Please insert a recovery USB stick or SD card.” or “Please insert a recovery USB stick or SD card.”
  • Insert your recovery media, what you have made earlier, into the Chromebook.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. It will take some time to complete, so have patience and a cup of tea.
  • When the message shows “System recovery is complete” on-screen, remove the SD card or flash device.

Erase the Recovery Media

After completing the recovery process, you need to erase the recovery media to reuse the SD card or flash device. Follow the steps to erase the SD card or flash drive:

  • First, remove the flash drive from the Chromebook you just have recovered.
  • Insert the storage device into the other laptop with chrome browser.
  • Open the Chromebook Recovery App.
  • Click on setting and select erase the recovery media.
  • Now select the right storage device from the drop-down menu and press continue.
  • Remember all the data on the recovery flash drive will be removed.
  • It’s done when you see “Your recovery media has been erased,” message.
  • Remove the flash drive or SD card from the laptop.
  • Now format the flash device using the traditional format tool, offered by your laptop.

Probable Solutions to Recovery Error Message

  • “An unexpected error has occurred”

This error message may come due to bad or incompatible SD card or flash drive. Try to use a different one and start the whole process again.

  • “The device you inserted does not contain Chrome OS”

First, make sure you have used the correct flash device or SD card that was used to make the recovery image media. If you are using the right one and still the problem remains, the storage device might not work. Try to use a different one and follow the steps again.

  • “Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Please remove all connected devices and start recovery.”

Make sure that all the external devices are removed and try again to recover the system.

  • I followed the steps, but I can’t restore my Chromebook

If you have followed all the steps but can’t restore the Chrome OS, there might be a problem with the recovery media. If you have to make the recovery media a while ago, it might contain old version chrome OS. So you have to create a new recovery media using the new Chrome OS version and follow the recovery process.

  • I restored my Chromebook, but now I can’t use my USB flash drive or SD card anymore

Follow the “Erase The Recovery Media” mentioned above to use the USB flash drive or SD card again.

So this is it. What do you think about this tutorial on how to Restore Chromebook from the dead end? Do you like it? Is it easy and straightforward? Share your experience and suggestions in the comment section.

One Last Thing…

Mind if you do me a sweet favor, and tap the Social Share Button if you learned something new? It’d mean so much to me.

Thanks again for spending part of your day here. Hope to see you come back. 🙂


  1. Thanks for a great review. The great thing is chrome does auto install extensions and settings. The bad thing is chromebook doesn’t
    Is there a way to save app installs, pins and shelf settings without going through the whole media recovery process, it seems odd google don’t do this automatically.

  2. I just got my chromebook for my birthday, January 8th. I literally just set it up last night. Then today I turned on my Chromebook and it tells me there is an update for my Chromebook. My question is, is it necessary for me to do this update and reset or power wash my Chromebook since I just got it?


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