Chromebook is a light-weight laptop and does not have many issues, unlike its Windows and macOS counterparts. But as true with an electrical appliance, it can sometimes develop issues that cannot be identified or solved with counter troubleshooting steps. In such cases, it is evident that a factory reset can resolve the issues. Another reason to do a hard reset on Chromebook could be purging all the data before selling your machine. This factory/hard reset is known as a Powerwash when it relates to a Chromebook or Chrome OS.
It is important to understand that a factory reset on Chromebook will wipe all the existing settings and data on the machine. It is necessary to take a backup of your data either on Google Drive or an external hard drive before attempting a Powerwash on Chromebook. However, Chromebook also allows the user to do a standard reset which will only reset the user profile to default and remove all the extensions and configuration changes without affecting the data.
How to Factory Reset Your Chromebook
For a standard reset, open your Chromebook, and log in to your profile. The reset options can be accessed through the Chromebook’s settings. This method of reset will erase all the customizations made on your Chromebook, including your desktop wallpaper but will not affect your files. To proceed, carry out the following steps:
Step 1. Click Right bottom of the screen to access the menu.
Step 2. Next, click on Settings.
Step 3. Locate the search bar at the top of the screen, and type in RESET.
Step 4. A list of reset options will be displayed. Choose the one that is labelled as Restore Settings to the Original Defaults and click on it.
Step 5. A prompt will appear asking to confirm your action. Click Reset Settings and your machine will be restored to default.
How to Powerwash Your Chromebook?
A Powerwash is the same as a hard reset which once done will restore your Chromebook to its factory default state much like the one when you first unwrapped it out of the box. Remember to take a backup of all your data as once the Powerwash on Chromebook is done, you will not be able to retrieve or restore any previous data or setting hereafter.
If you are logged into your Chromebook, then here are the steps to Powerwash your Chromebook:
Step 1. Click the menu on the bottom-right of the screen.
Step 2. Choose Settings and click on it.
Step 3. This time, in the search bar on the top, type in Powerwash.
Step 4. From the results displayed, choose Powerwash.
Step 5. A prompt will appear which confirm your action and ask you to click on the Restart Button.
How to Powerwash Your Chromebook If you’re not signed in your profile?
The above methods described to factory reset your Chromebook would work if you can sign in your profile in the Chromebook. But there can be a situation where you might have forgotten your password or bought a second-hand Chromebook where the previous user did not sign out. In any such case, you have an option to Powerwash your Chromebook without signing in, with the following steps:
Step 1. Turn on the Chromebook and press CTRL + Alt + Shift + R together.
Step 2. A prompt will appear on the screen asking to Restart. Click on it.
Step 3. When the Chromebook restarts, it will again display a prompt confirming if you want to Powerwash your Chromebook.
Step 4. Click on the checkbox next to Update Firmware for Added Security.
Step 5. Click on Powerwash button. Once the Powerwash is completed, you can sign in with your Google ID and start using it.
Also Read: How to Factory Reset your Android Smartphone
You can also create a Recovery Disk to avoid Hard Reset of Chromebook
Just like Windows, you can also create a recovery disk of the Chrome operating system installed on your Chromebook. This disk would ensure that you have a stable version of the OS which can be used to restore or repair your Chromebook in case, it stops to work as expected. That way, you would not have to do a hard reset of Chromebook and thus save your settings and data. Also creating such disk each time, a major OS update is rolled will allow the user to roll back to a previous version of the OS if required.
Chromebooks are great machines and are quick in repairing and restoring themselves. A simple factory reset of your Chromebook can resolve many issues and you would not have to consider to Powerwash the machine. But if the issues are persistent and do not get resolved, then a rollback to its factory state will sort everything out. And even after a Powerwash, you find no change then it could be a hardware issue or an issue with the default boot files which are used to reset the Chromebook. If so, then I strongly recommend a visit to the Service Centre for more professional help.