How to Powerwash Your Chromebook

Published by Lamin Kanteh on


Computers play an integral aspect of our day to day affairs whether is composing a mail, watching a movie, reading the news, there is a chance that one would at least use a computer once during the day to complete one of these tasks.

In recent times, we have seen Chromebooks rise from the depths of the unknown and become eligible competitors in a space dominated by Windows and Mac OS.

Owning a Chromebook is pretty much like owning any device; it doesn’t imply that one is immune to disappointments that seldom come with owning an electronic device.

Evidently, there is a long list of reasons as to why your Chromebook (or any computer for that matter) decides to pull some funky moves.

It could be anything from a bug in the software to a list of resource hogging programs installed in your system.

In most cases, the only way to get your device functioning normally again is to perform a reset of some sort that usually deletes everything on the system and restores it back to factory settings.

A Chromebook being annoyingly slow isn’t the only time you might require a reset.

Since logging into your devices requires an account, there are possible scenarios where you forget parts of your login credential like the password and  get completely locked out from your system.

Could be that you haven’t used your Chromebook for a while and use an email address that isn’t your primary mailing address or you’ve recently changed your password and can’t remember what it was.

Whatever the case might be that renders your devices practically useless and needing a reset or as Google calls it, “Powerwash”, you will need to know what steps to take.

On Chromebooks, performing a Powerwash is a relatively simple and straightforward affair. Your primary concern would be backing up your local data. Backups in your cloud storage including Google settings, are safe.

To perform a Powerwash, follow these simple steps.

Step 1

This method implies that you have full access to your Chromebook and is able to log in.

After login is complete, click Settings, then Show advanced settings, within the Reset section, click the Powerwash button, a dialog box should appear, then proceed to click on the Restart button.

Depending on your machine, the process takes few minutes to complete. When Powerwash is completed, you should be presented with a new login screen.

Step 2

This process implies that you forgot what the password is for the user account associated with the Chrome device.

With this method, you will need to turn on your device and get to the login screen.

Simultaneously hold down the Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and R keys at the same time (all four of them). The Powerwash prompt should appear, click “Powerwash” and then “Continue” on the follow-up window.

After the process is complete, your Chromebook would be rid of all settings, local files, and data.

It should be noted that some Chromebooks would require a firmware security update that can only be performed during a Powerwash.

An option for it in the form of a checkbox would appear at the bottom of the Powerwash dialog box if your Chromebook supports this feature.

Categories: Tips

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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