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Are your Chrome devices having WiFi connection problems? Fix now

Reconnect Chrome devices to managed networks

Steps to resolve Chrome device management WiFi issue

On December 5, 2017, managed Chrome devices may have received an invalid network policy and lost connectivity to passphrase-protected WiFi networks configured through admin policies. This means that some Chrome devices can no longer connect automatically to their organization’s WiFi network.

We have addressed the root cause of this issue, but the fix does not take effect until affected devices connect to networks and refresh policies. To resolve this issue, please follow the steps below on each Chrome device.

How do I know if I’m affected?

You’re affected by this issue if all of the following are true for your Chrome devices:

  • They were online on December 5, 2017 between 9:50am-11:50am PST
  • Managed by your organization
  • Use password-protected WiFi (such as school or business WiFi network)
  • Use WiFi configured via Chrome device management (via the Admin console)
  • Can no longer connect to your school or business’s WiFi

Identify your impacted devices

Use the Google Admin console

  1. Go to admin.google.com and browse to Device management > Chrome devices.
  2. Check the “Search all organizations” box.
  3. Find your devices that were online during the issue by entering "sync:" and the time period 9:50am-11:50am Pacific Time. Be sure to adjust time period to your timezone. For example, for Eastern time, enter:

    sync:2017-12-05T12:50:00..2017-12-05T14:50:00

The list of devices are likely affected by the connectivity issue. As you fix the issue for your devices, you can run the query again and those devices will no longer appear in the results. 

Use other 3rd party tools

  • Amplified IT Gopher tools

    Generates a spreadsheet of the affected devices and requires the Chrome Gopher extension for Sheets. See the instructions provided by Amplified Labs. 

  • GAM

    GAM is a command-line tool that can access some G Suite settings and information.  The following command will generate a spreadsheet of impacted devices.

    gam print cros query sync:2017-12-05T17:50:00..2017-12-05T19:50:00 allfields nolists todrive

Resolve this issue

You’re likely impacted by this issue if your Chrome device can’t connect to WiFi. To resolve the issue, a user must connect to any working network on the login screen.

Once connected, the Chrome device will automatically fetch an updated Chrome policy and reconnect to the managed WiFi network, which will resolve this issue. It's not required, but if you'd like to update policies immediately, then either shut down the device, reboot the device, or visit chrome://policy and press Reload policies.

There are multiple options to connect a Chrome device to a network. See below to determine which option works best for your organization.

Option A: Create a new open network and instruct users to connect

  1. Create a new temporary WiFi SSID to something easy to read (for example, “Fix WiFi”) and security type to be open (no password). If this is not possible, consider temporarily changing your organization’s WiFi network SSID in this way.
    • Please note enabling an open network (without a password) may result in untrusted devices joining your network. If you change your existing SSID and password non Chrome-OS devices that have stored your WiFi password will not be able to connect during this period.
  2. Instruct users to join WiFi before signing in
  3. After the devices have connected, change your organization’s WiFI network SSID and security type back to previous configuration.

If your network uses SSL inspection please refer to this support article on best practices to set this up.

Option B: Manually connect to an existing open network

If there is already an open WiFi network available, your users can manually connect.

  1. On each affected device, manually connect to an open WiFi network by clicking the WiFi symbol in the bottom right on the login screen.

This type of network doesn’t require you to sign in with a password. Note: If you’re not able to connect on the login screen, attempt connecting in Guest Mode.

Option C: Use a phone hotspot with Open WiFi

  1. Configure a mobile phone as an open mobile hotspot.
  2. Manually connect each Chrome device to hotspot from login screen.

Option D: Manually re-enter WPA-PSK passphrase

  1. Connect each device to the WPA-PSK network and re-enter PSK manually from keyboard.

Option E: Use an Ethernet connection with USB adapter

This option may work best for organizations with a small number of devices:

  1. Connect an ethernet cable to your network using a USB ethernet adapter.
  2. Connect USB ethernet adapter to each Chrome device to connect.

 

Article last updated on December 8, 2017

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