How to Turn On Developer Mode On Your Chromebook

Published by Lamin Kanteh on

developer mode

At first glance, your chromebook might appear as a boring hardware with a very basic operating system designed to get simple work done. This however can’t be so far away from the truth.

Google might put too much emphasis on a simplistic overlay for its sandboxed browser-based operating system, but dive deeper and below the crust is an abundance of features reserved for tinkerers and advance users.

To grant yourself access to the most intricate part of your Chromebook, you will need to enable what is called Developer Mode.

Though the process isn’t recommended, prying open the browser-based core system to get to its well hidden juicy features does come with its own rewards and potential caveats.

Despite sharing similar names, Developer Mode and Developer Channel are two different entities.

Whilst the later is centered around turning your machine into a lab rat for power features — including bugs — before they become widely available, the former is akin to rooting your Android device to grant yourself access to the inner workings of both the hardware and software of your handset.

Enabling Developer Mode does come with both advantages and risks and here is a list of some of them.


  • Allows you to side-load Android apps
  • Access to the developer shell
  • Allows you to install a standard Linux desktop environment via crouton and run Linux apps


  • Your device becomes less secure as some of the sentinels that makes your Chrome OS device secure are disabled
  • You risk voiding any warranty for your device since Developer Mode isn’t covered
  • Risk rendering your device unusable
  • Risk of losing all your data

How To Turn On Developer Mode

  1. Back up any data currently stored in your Chromebook since going into Developer Mode deletes everything from login information to locally stored files
  2. The next step in the process is to boot your Chromebook into recovery mode. Power off the device — if it is on — then simultaneously holding the Esc and Refresh (the circular arrow) keys plus the power button.
  3. At this point, you should get some sort of warning/error message, ignore it and proceed to the next step.
  4. Press Enter and proceed to set up your Chromebook.
  5. Done!

How To Revert From Developer Mode

If for some reason, you’ve had your fill with Developer Mode and want to revert your device back to its original-more secure state, the steps are quite simple.

  1. To disable Developer Mode, first, you will need to Reboot your Chromebook
  2. Hit the Spacebar to re-enable verification when you see the “OS verification is off” means the process is initiated and Developer Mode will be disabled as soon as your Chromebook reboots.
  3. Done!

If you encounter any issue in the process, feel free to hit us up in the comments!

Lamin Kanteh

I live, breath, and dream technology. I've only known myself to push the boundaries on what's possible in my mental scope in relation to technology. And having been a writer for the good part of the past three years (covering varying subjects on the major mobile platforms), No place has ever felt more like home than Chrome OS. And as you may know, Chrome OS is ushering us into a future of the unknown and I'm here to help in the process of easing the way into that future via ItsChromeOS.

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Vin Tage
Vin Tage
2 years ago

Its probably a dead end if I ask for instructionns on how to turn on dev. option when its been disabled by admin. ??

Jesse Afolabi
2 years ago
Reply to  Vin Tage

Yes, you’d need permission from the admin if it’s been disabled.

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