A Chromebook is similar to a conventional laptop where you can do most basic tasks. You can create presentations, attend virtual meetings, answer e-mails, and many more. The key difference is Chromebooks run on a newer OS called Chrome OS.
If you’re currently an owner of a school Chromebook, chances are it is still registered on the school’s domain. It may still contain school accounts and files and is restricted for school use only. Also, you can only install more applications and software once it is unenrolled.
So, if you’re wondering how to factory reset your school Chromebook, as well as how to wipe a school Chromebook, this guide will show you all you need to know.
Table of Contents
Key Reasons to Factory Reset your School Chromebook
Before going straight to the methods, you might want to think about why you need to factory reset or powerwash your school Chromebook. Whether it is due to a slower than usual device performance or wiping all junk data from your laptop, a factory reset will be your remaining option.
Here are some key reasons why you should factory reset your school Chromebook:
- Problems with the user profile and settings – School Chromebooks have specific permissions that limit the user’s ability to install new applications and change user settings, especially when it is still registered in the domain. This is to establish your Chromebook as a school device and for education purposes only.
- Issues on Boot and Restart – Your school Chromebook may have had software issues before it was handed to you. If you experience problems upon turning it on or restarting and other performance-related issues, a factory reset is necessary to troubleshoot your device.
- You want to change the device’s ownership – As a formerly school-owned device, your Chromebook has a system administrator as its owner by default. It also contains the administrator’s account, preferences, and permissions. To change the ownership of your school Chromebook, you will need to factory reset your device and wipe all user data.
How to Factory Reset your School Chromebook
If you’ve experienced one or more of the reasons stated above, you can now proceed to reset your school Chromebook. It is usually a straightforward process but can vary depending on if your Chromebook has serious problems with its Chrome OS, or if you’re planning to switch your device to another OS.
Important: A factory reset will wipe all user data and settings on your Chromebook’s drive to make it run like it’s new again. To be specific, these will all be deleted during the factory reset process:
- Downloaded files, media content, and user files across all folders on your hard disks;
- Applications and other application data;
- Saved passwords and login credentials on the Chrome browser;
- Saved settings, preferences, paired devices, Wi-Fi passwords, etc.
However, you can try backing up and syncing your user files and settings before commencing a factory reset. Here’s how to do it:
To sync your user data to your Google account:
- At the bottom-right, select the time and press Settings.
- Ensure that you will sync all settings in your personal Google account. In the Accounts menu, choose Sync and Google services.
- Select Manage what you sync.
- Here you can choose to fully sync your data or a customized sync. If you want to sync all of your data, choose Sync everything.
- All user preferences, bookmarks, passwords, payment information, and Wi-Fi networks will now be synced to your Google account.
Note: Since you have a school Chromebook, there’s a chance that this feature may be turned off. If so, you may need to contact your school administrator to allow this setting.
To back up your files and apps to Google Drive:
- Open the Files app.
- Go to the Downloads folder and select all files that you want to be backed up.
- Then, move them to the My Drive folder of your Google Drive.
- Repeat these steps to your other folders.
As you can see, you will need to individually transfer all files and folders to your Google Drive; but don’t worry, as this will be readily available once the factory reset is finished. You will only need to connect to a stable Wi-Fi and log in to your Google account.
Also, you can try to transfer your files to an external storage device. First, insert your storage device either through a USB cable (external hard drives) or directly to the USB port (flash drives).
Factory Reset your Chromebook
Once your important files and user information are now backed up to your Google account or an external storage device, you can now proceed to factory reset your Chromebook.
To do this, follow the steps below:
- Sign out of your Chromebook.
- Press and hold the CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+R keys on the keyboard.
- Choose Restart. In the next box, select Powerwash and click Continue.
- The Chromebook will now start the Factory Reset (Powerwash) process. It’s important to keep your device turned on throughout. You can plug in the charger for your Chromebook if it’s necessary.
- Once the process is finished, your Chromebook is now unenrolled to your school’s domain. Also, any school accounts that were logged in have now been deleted.
- Follow the on-screen steps to set up your Chromebook and log in to your Google account.
Note: The Google account that you’re going to sign in to after a powerwash will be the owner account by default.
To factory reset your Chromebook via Developer mode, do the following:
- Turn off your Chromebook and turn it back on while pressing the ESC+Refresh+Power buttons on the keyboard to boot in Developer mode.
- On the developer mode screen (yellow exclamation point icon with warnings on the bottom), press the CTRL+D keys to begin the powerwash process.
- To bypass the OS verification screen, press both the SPACEBAR+ENTER keys.
- Once you see the exclamation point turn red, press CTRL+D once more to confirm. Your Chromebook will now begin to wipe all data and school accounts.
- Once done, you can now use your Chromebook without any restrictions.
If you bought or were given a Chromebook that was used for school purposes, there’s a big chance that it is still enrolled in the school’s database. All accounts and features may be limited and are still synced to the administrator.
The best way to go about this situation is to factory reset or powerwash your Chromebook. It will wipe all data, accounts, and settings to have a more customizable device. So, when you’re wondering how to powerwash your Chromebook, this guide has you covered.