Advice life hack

How to Reset Your Chromebook to Factory Settings

chrome-os-logo-croppedLook, I admit it. I love Google. That company does so much cool shit, I’m there. I’m not an Android user, but that doesn’t mean I can’t luv on Google a bit. I picked up an Acer C720 Chromebook for work, and while I really liked the machine, I just could not fit it into my flow. So it was back to Best Buy with it.

The problem I immediately realized was that I had attached my Google credentials to this machine. It’s not like I’m going to trust some tech to “wipe” the machine for me. Right? (Btw, techs are snoopers. You give them access to your crap, they WILL dig around in it. They can’t help it.)

What I needed to do was reset the Chromebook back to its factory settings. Doing so actually posed a bit of a head scratcher for me. I even looked for that little pin hole on the side or bottom of the machine that would act as the reset. Nope. No pinhole.

I’ve read a number of different posts about how to reset the Chromebook. The Most “authoritative” post mentioned holding the Refresh button while holding the Power button. This did not work on the Acer. So I kept digging. Then I stumbled across a keyword that made me laugh: Powerwash.

So, you wanna PowerWash your Chromebook? Here’s how it’s done:

First of all, log into your Chromebook.

  • Click on your avatar image in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Then click settings >> Advanced settings.
  • Now scroll down the page until you see PowerWash.
  • Click the button next to PowerWash.
  • You will be prompted with the usual warning stuff. Approve this.
  • Let the machine reboot.
  • Once the machine is back up, you’ll get another dialog, telling you that the Chromebook is getting wiped.

*** Note: don’t make the mistake I did. I thought Deleting all my cache etc was good. Nope. Also, make sure you don’t shut off or delete the bookmarks that you want…because that WILL impact your other machines. When you PowerWash your Chromebook, this does NOT impact your other devices. It’s only impacting the device you are on… which is counter intuitive, granted, since the other changes you make to your history and bookmarks  on the ChromeBook do flow through to all of your other devices.

If you’ve done this PowerWashing correctly, the Chromebook will come back to life and present you with its initial Welcome screen.

Run into any weirdness when trying to PowerWash other types of Chromebooks? Share your experience in the comments below.

  • nickel

    I’m really frustrated!!! I have looked at so many ways to restart my Chrome and none are working! I don’t have a power wash button I don’t know what version mine is. All I know is I don’t have any of the samsungs. Help anybody!?!?

    • scotteallen

      Nickel,
      You can’t tell the make / model of your physical Chromebook is? No labels or tags on the outside of the box? When you click on Advanced Settings, there is no Powerwash option?

      • bcomins211

        I have the same problem. Mine is Acer c720 2103

  • StephenD

    ScottAllen
    Nickel is right….Where is restart..and.. factory settings..and powerwash
    Why cannot I change PDT to EDT clock…and a whole bunch of others am to frustrated to mention….BTW no User Guide booklet included

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