How to Reset a Chromebook

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Wanna pass on that new Chromebook to your child or Grandma? You'll want to reset it to factory settings by wiping all your personal data. But, you should know that you'll be deleting your files, photos, saved networks and permissions. If you follow our directions below, you'll then be presented with the initial sign up screens. 

1. Click the menu on the bottom right of the screen.1 2443641517320480

2. Then tap Settings. 

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3. Type Powerwash into the search bar.3a

4. Scroll down and tap Powerwash. 

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MORE: Chromebook vs. Tablet: Which Should You Buy?

5. Tap Restart. 

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6. Tap Continue.

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The powerwash process will take place, and shouldn't take long.

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You've reset your Chromebook!

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Bonus Tip: You can also reset your Chromebook from the sign-on screen by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt+R. Then press Restart. When you restart you'll be presented with the start screens. 

Author Bio
Anna Attkisson
Anna Attkisson, Laptop Mag & Tom's Guide Managing Editor
A lover of lists and deadlines, Anna Attkisson covers apps, social networking, tablets, chromebooks and accessories. She loves each of her devices equally, including the phablet, three tablets, three laptops and desktop. She joined the Laptop Mag staff in 2007, after working at Time Inc. Content Solutions where she created custom publications for companies from American Express to National Parks Foundation.
Anna Attkisson, Laptop Mag & Tom's Guide Managing Editor on
Add a comment
  • Janice Kelly Says:

    I can not get back into my computer after powerwash....I am desperately unhappy

  • Denise Chapman Says:

    I thought you could not save anything on a Lenovo Chromebook? You said if you do a Powerwash, it will erase pictures and data? Where is this dats & these pictures that it will erase? Thanks.

  • Jemima Says:

    I have forgotten both my email and password to unlock my chrome laptop. Please help me to format it. Thanks

  • Paula Vosloh Says:

    I have serious spam and cannot log in to my account to access the power wash or delete data. Where do I go from here? Tried to go through "guest" but does not access either. Please help! Thank you.

  • wolf max Says:

    is this not wrong statement: "But, you should know that you'll be deleting your files, photos, saved networks and permissions."

    isn't the more accurate statement, that anything not saved to google drive/cloud will be deleted - that this process will log you out of the cloud and not effect the cloud files/settings?

  • Roger alexander Says:

    I need help if you can help I have a friend who has a google crome note book she was no cosser how can she restore the notebook if you can help me via e mail address would be greatful

  • Harlondo Says:

    My Computer is Acting up I press the power button on my computer but it won't turn on completely

  • rebecca Says:

    i have a chrome book laptop and i want to rest the hole computer because my sister has gave it to me. i did the steps that was showed but there is no powerwash setting i am not the administrator on but guset how would i hard rest it

  • San Diego Carol Says:

    Yay ! THANK YOU !!!
    It worked !

  • Dexter Brown Says:

    I agree with the other the other three comments. Did powerwash, didn't work, did everything I read, nothing worked. Please help and post answer here

  • Natalie Forowa Says:

    Tried yo reset the settings, searched the reset, clicked your ctrl+shift+alt+R;
    nothing works, the screen shifts constantly, and will not respond to commands. It is totally out of control. This Chromebook is barely a year old, and is the worst PC experience I have had in 15 years, Cant anybody help me?

  • ahiker4u Says:

    Power wash does NOT set the device back to factory settings. Your browsing history can be deleted but the laptops history of viruses and upgrades stays. I disconnected the battery for a few minutes and still the history remains. Does anyone really know how to set it back to factory.

  • Robert Conn Says:

    Hey, What If It Doesnt Have The Option For The Powerwash?

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