How to Hard Restart a Chromebook

Unlike Windows computers, a Chrome OS laptop doesn’t store a lot of information on it, it’s mainly browser-oriented. So, an occasional hard restart is not too big a deal.

How to Hard Restart a Chromebook

In this guide, we’re going to explain to you how to hard restart and factory reset a Chromebook.

How to Hard Restart a Chromebook

Every desktop PC has a restart button on it that forces it to reset immediately. Like laptops, most Chromebooks don’t have a dedicated button for a reset/restart. The most straightforward and regular way of restarting a Chromebook is by simply shutting it down and powering it back on. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Go to the notification section (where you’ll typically find the current power level, Wi-Fi, and time information).
  2. Select this area and use the Shutdown icon at the top of the notification menu.
  3. Once the device has shut down, simply power it back on using its power button.

This method of restarting a Chromebook isn’t what you’d call a “hard restart,” but it is the safest possible way to restart your device. It ensures that your current work and status is saved, safely turning the device off.

Performing a hard reset on a Chromebook should only be done if the device doesn’t respond to a regular restart, as outlined above. If you can, sign out from your Google account (the Sign out button is right next to the Shutdown icon). If you don’t do this, you’re risking losing everything you’ve been working on since the last sign out. Now, try performing the hard restart:

  1. Hold down the power button for a few seconds. This should log you out of your Google account, but it’s not 100% reliable.
  2. Use the power button to start the device back up again.

Here’s an alternative method:

  1. Hold the Refresh button.
  2. Tap the Power button.

This should automatically restart your Chromebook.

For Chrome OS tablets, pressing and holding down the Power button and the Volume Up button should do the trick.

How to Hard Reset a Chromebook

A “hard reset” or a “factory reset” is the process of returning a device to its factory settings. Yes, this reverts your Chromebook to its original settings – the same as when you first got it. A factory reset is often performed when there are persistent issues with the device and when nothing else yields a solution. It is also recommended that you perform a hard reset when you’re sure that you’ll no longer be using it.

Before you proceed with the reset, try restarting the device, as explained above. If this doesn’t work, turn off the Google Chrome extensions one by one to see if this solves the problem. If this doesn’t help either, your only remaining option is performing a hard reset.

Doing a factory reset means losing all information on the device’s hard drive. Every single file on it will be deleted, and this includes the entire content of the Downloads folder. This is why it’s so important to make sure you’ve backed up all the relevant data from the device. You can use an external flash drive for this, or upload everything of importance to Google Drive.

When you’re 100% certain that you are ready to perform the reset, do the following:

  1. Sign out of the Chromebook.
  2. Press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R on your keyboard and hold these buttons.
  3. In the window that pops up, go to Restart.
  4. In the next window, go to PowerWash and select Continue.
  5. Carefully follow the instructions on the screen.
  6. Sign in to a Google Account when prompted. Keep in mind that this account will be the Chromebook’s owner account once the factory reset is done.
  7. Go ahead and set up the freshly-reset Chromebook device.

In the vast majority of cases, a factory reset will take care of your Chromebook problems. If the same issues persist, contact Google’s support or refer to the device’s retailer/manufacturer.

Other Methods

Chrome OS laptops can come from various manufacturers. Although most Chromebook models use default commands (outlined above) for hard resets, some models work differently. Here’s how to hard-reset different brands of Chromebooks:

How to Hard Restart a Samsung, Acer, and ASUS Chromeboxes

Chrome OS devices from these manufacturers are called “Chromeboxes.” Here’s how to hard reset a Chromebox:

  1. Turn off the device using one of the outlined methods.
  2. Remove the power cable.
  3. Plug the cable back in.

The device should start back up automatically.

How to Hard Restart a Lenovo ThinkPad X131e

Although the ThinkPad X131e isn’t the only Chromebook from Lenovo, the hard-reset method for this model reflects most other Lenovo Chrome OS devices.

  1. Turn off the ThinkPad X131e using one of the above-mentioned methods.
  2. Remove the power cable from the device.
  3. Remove the device’s battery.
  4. Put the battery back in.
  5. Plug the adapter back into the device.
  6. Turn on the ThinkPad using the power button.

How to Hard Restart the ASUS Chromebit

Unlike other ASUS Chrome OS models, the Chromebit uses a method that’s a bit different.

  1. Turn the device off by following the above instructions.
  2. Remove the power cable. Make sure that you wait at least a few seconds.
  3. Then, plug the cable back in.
  4. Switch on the Chromebit.

It’s important that you wait before plugging the cable back in, as the device might not restart otherwise.

Acer Cr-48 and AC700

To hard-restart Acer Chromebook models Cr-48 and AC700, you don’t have to remove the charging cable, but the battery, instead:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Take out the battery.
  3. Let it sit for a few seconds.
  4. Put the battery back in.
  5. Turn on the device.

Samsung Series 5 and Series 5 550.

Samsung’s Series 5 Chromebooks work a bit differently from the rest of the Samsung Chrome OS products.

Samsung Series 5

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Unplug the adapter.
  3. Use a paperclip or a similar small object to press the button located in a hole on the back of the device (below the cooling vents).
  4. Press and hold with the object while you reconnect the adapter.
  5. When done, turn the Chromebook on.

Samsung Series 5 550

The Series 5 550 uses the same method as the regular Series 5. The only difference here is that the said hole is located on the back of the device, on the bottom middle.

Additional FAQ

What do you do if your Chromebook is frozen?

No matter if you’re using a Windows PC, a Mac computer, or a Chromebook, device freezing is always a possibility. These instances are usually related to software issues and are represented by an unresponsive screen. This is one of the situations where a hard restart is warranted. So, if your Chromebook freezes, try performing the above-outlined restart options. At least one of these should work. If not, contact the device’s retailer or manufacturer.

Why will my Chromebook not turn on?

If your Chromebook won’t turn on, holding the power key for a few seconds might help. If not, do some of the mentioned hard reset steps. Try leaving the device unplugged for a few hours. Take the battery out (if it has one) and leave it be. If the Chromebook still doesn’t turn on upon reconnecting it to a power source, contact the retailer or the manufacturer. If the device works fine when plugged in, but won’t turn on when plugged out, the battery likely needs replacement.

Is it okay to leave Chromebook plugged in?

If you don’t tend to move your Chromebook a lot, the easiest thing to do is leave it plugged in at all times. However, like any other device, this perpetual state of charging can diminish its battery life. Leaving the device to charge overnight is okay though.

Having it charge for a few hours after it has reached its full battery capacity is also fine. But occasionally, you should unplug the device and let the battery run down to 20%. The best practice is to do this on a daily basis. It might be a bit tedious, but it will prolong your Chromebook’s battery life.

Why did my Chromebook go black?

If a Chromebook’s screen goes dim or black, this is most likely due to its battery-saving properties. Performing any action on it should restore the screen to full brightness. If not, use the corresponding keyboard keys to increase the screen brightness. If your device’s screen has gone dark and it’s unresponsive, try restarting it. Contact tech support if the device won’t turn back on.

What does blue light mean on Chromebook?

A solid blue light is an indication that your Chromebook device is switched on. A flashing orange light is indicative of sleep mode. If you see no lights, the device is either turned off or out of battery.

Restarting Chromebooks

Although most Chromebooks are restarted in the same way, some require a different approach. Follow the guidelines above to try to reset in a regular way before moving on to a hard reset, and check to see if your Chromebook is on the “Other Methods” list.

Have you managed to restart your Chrome OS device? Are you’re having trouble finding your model on the list? If you have any questions or something to add to this discussion, hit the comments section below and tell us what’s on your mind.

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