How To Factory Reset Your Chromebox

What to know before factory resetting your Chromebox

If you need to factory reset your Chromebox, it’s important to note that doing so will erase all stored data, including owner permissions, saved networks, files, and photos on all accounts. Back up your data and ensure your device is synced with Google Chrome Sync. Any data synced to your accounts will not be affected.

After the reset, you will be prompted to begin the initial setup process.

Methods to factory reset your Chromebox

There are two ways to factory reset a Chromebox: Powerwashing and Recovery. 

  • Powerwashing: The quickest and most straightforward way to reset your device. This method removes all Google accounts, settings, owner permissions, and files. Powerwashing resets your device to factory settings.
  • Recovery: A hard reset that deletes all locally saved data. This solution is a last resort when ChromeOS isn’t functioning correctly. Use recovery when you get the error message, “ChromeOS is missing or damaged,” or when all other troubleshooting steps have been ineffective.

The guide below will show you how to factory reset in Recovery Mode.

What you need

In order to factory reset your Chromebox, you'll need a:

  • Display/monitor
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Paperclip
  1. Start with the Chromebox powered on. Power off the Chromebox. Once powered off, your computer screen will go black.
  2. Insert the paper clip into the small hole on the side of the Chromebox. There are two holes, the reset hole and the Kensington Lock Slot. The smaller one that is circled in the picture to the right is the hole you want to go for.
  3. Keep holding the paperclip in that hole. While holding the paperclip, press and hold both the power and reset buttons. Hold the paperclip, power button, and reset button until your computer screen turns back on.
  4. Your screen will turn back on and it will be in recovery mode. Your screen will look like the one pictured to the right. Once you see this screen, press Ctrl + D on your keyboard.
  5. Your screen will change again, asking you to press the Recovery button once more. The Recovery button is the button you pressed with the paperclip earlier.
  6. Use the paperclip to press the Recovery button again. You don't have to hold it this time, just a quick press.
  7. Your screen will go black for a second after you do this, and then it will turn back on and say “OS verification is OFF.”
  8. On your keyboard, press the Space bar. You will see a screen that looks like the one below, asking you to confirm that you wish to turn OS verification on.
  9. On your keyboard, press Enter.
  10. Now the system will reboot and clear everything on the box. The Chromebox is now completely cleared and you can re-enroll this device into your domain.

Chrome and Promevo

As a Google Partner, Promevo takes a holistic approach to your Google life. From Chrome device solutions to Google Workspace management solutions—Promevo partners with you to ensure your success in your Google journey.

You can shop Chrome devices on our online store or get in contact with one of our sales  advisors if you have more questions! If you need additional support or training, we are here for you. All Promevo customers get free support from our Google certified specialists. You can search our Knowledge Base, talk to our support team, or even schedule free training.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you Powerwash a Chromebox?

Yes, you can Powerwash a Chromebox. There are two ways to do this.

  • Logged in: Click Settings, then Show Advanced Settings. Find the Powerwash section and select the Powerwash button. A dialogue box will appear, telling you a restart is required. Hit Restart.
  • Logged out: You can also start a Powerwash from the login screen. Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R. Click Restart when the dialogue box appears.

What is the difference between a Powerwash and a factory reset?

The difference between a Powerwash and a factory reset is that Powerwashing only resets ChromeOS. A full recovery factory reset resets Chromebox, which includes ChromeOS and anything else you’ve installed.

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