Chromebook Powerwash Step 1 of 3
Chromebook Powerwash Step 1 of 3

Facing performance hiccups on your Chromebook? Explore this detailed guide on how to factory reset a Chromebook and bring back its pristine, high-speed performance.


Chromebooks are hailed for their simplicity, speed, and security. But like all devices, they can occasionally falter. Whether it’s to address software snags, prepare for a resale, or simply to rejuvenate your device, a factory reset can be the ideal solution. Let’s delve into the how-to of resetting your Chromebook.

Why Reset a Chromebook?

A factory reset, also known as a ‘Powerwash’ in the Chromebook world, can be beneficial for:

  • Clearing all local data and profiles.
  • Addressing software glitches.
  • Improving sluggish performance.
  • Prepping for resale or a new user.

Preliminary Steps Before the Reset

Backup Your Data

Before initiating a Powerwash, ensure all crucial files are backed up to Google Drive or another cloud service, as the reset will wipe local data.

Stay Plugged In

It’s wise to keep your Chromebook connected to its charger during the reset to avoid any interruptions.

Factory reset your Chromebook

Via Chromebook Settings

  1. Open the ‘Settings’ from the bottom right corner.
  2. Click on ‘Advanced’ at the bottom.
  3. Under the ‘Reset settings’ section, choose ‘Powerwash’.
  4. Confirm by selecting ‘Restart’.
  5. In the box that appears, select ‘Powerwash’ and then ‘Continue’. Your Chromebook will reboot, and you’ll be greeted with a fresh start.

Using Shortcut Keys

If you’re unable to access your settings or if your Chromebook isn’t functioning correctly:

  1. Turn off your Chromebook.
  2. Press and hold ‘Esc’ + ‘Refresh’, then press the ‘Power’ button. Let go of all the keys.
  3. When the recovery screen appears, select ‘Powerwash’ or ‘Continue’.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to reset.
Chromebook powerwash step2

Using Ctrl + Alt + Shift + r

  1. Sign out of your Chromebook.
  2. Press and hold Ctrl + Alt + Shift + r.
  3. Select Restart.
  4. In the box that appears, select Powerwash Continue.
  5. Follow the steps that appear and sign in with your Google Account.
    Note: The account you sign in with after you reset your Chromebook will be the owner account.
  6. Once you’ve reset your Chromebook:
    • Follow the onscreen instructions to set up your Chromebook
    • Check if the problem is fixed
Chromebook powerwash step3

Post Reset Action Items

Initial Device Setup

Upon completion, your Chromebook will present the first-time setup screen. You’ll need to choose your language, connect to Wi-Fi, and sign in to your Google account.

Restoring Data

All your Google Drive files will be readily accessible once you log in. However, remember to reinstall apps from the Chrome Web Store or Google Play Store if required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Powerwashing remove Google Drive files? No, Powerwashing only wipes local data. Files stored in Google Drive remain unaffected.

Can I reverse the factory reset on my Chromebook? Unfortunately, once completed, the factory reset cannot be undone. Ensure all vital data is backed up beforehand.

Is it possible that a factory reset could fail? While rare, technical issues can arise. If faced with complications, consider seeking assistance from Chromebook support or checking online forums for solutions.

How often should I reset my Chromebook? There’s no fixed frequency. Reset your Chromebook when you face persistent issues or when prepping the device for a new user.

Will I lose my Chrome extensions post-reset? Yes, locally stored extensions will be removed. However, they can be easily reinstalled from the Chrome Web Store.


Factory resetting, or Powerwashing, your Chromebook can breathe new life into your device. Though the process is straightforward, always approach it with preparation, especially regarding data backup. By following the steps outlined above, you’re set for a smooth and successful reset, ensuring your Chromebook remains the agile, efficient machine you cherish.

Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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