Recover your Chromebook

Install a new version of the Chrome operating system on your Chromebook by going through the recovery process. You may want to go through this process if you’re having problems updating your Chromebook or if it stops working.

All account information and data stored on your Chromebook, such as photos, downloaded files, and saved networks, will be deleted. Owner privileges for your primary account will also be reset. However, the actual Google Accounts and any data synced to these accounts won't be affected by the recovery process. After the recovery process is completed, you’ll be guided through the initial setup again.

What you'll need

Before starting this process, you'll need the following:

  • A Chrome device, Windows, Mac, or Linux computer with administrative rights.
  • A 4 GB or larger USB flash drive or SD card that you don't mind clearing.

Step 1: Check for the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” message

If you see this message, you can first try to perform a hard reset on your Chromebook. If you still see this message after performing a hard reset, please proceed to Step 2.

If you see the "Chrome OS verification is turned off" message, see the Chrome OS verification is turned off article.

You can choose to recover your Chromebook if you don't see either message by pressing the recovery button. Turn off your Chromebook, press this button, and while keeping it pressed, turn it on again. In some cases, you'll need to poke the button by using a pin, while other devices use a keyboard shortcut for recovery.

Find the recovery button location for your Chromebook

ASUS Chromebox

HP Chromebook 11

Press Esc+Refresh then hold down the Power button.

HP Chromebook 14

Press Esc+Refresh then hold down the Power button.

Chromebook Pixel

Press Esc+Refresh then hold down the Power button.

Acer C720/C720P

Press Esc+Refresh then hold down the Power button.

Toshiba Chromebook

Press Esc+Refresh then hold down the Power button.

Dell Chromebook 11

Press Esc+Refresh then hold down the Power button.

HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

Press Esc+Refresh then hold down the Power button.

Acer AC700

Acer C7 Chromebook

Press Esc+Refresh then hold down the Power button.

Cr-48

Samsung Chromebook 2

Press Esc+Refresh then hold down the Power button.

Samsung Series 5

Samsung Series 5 550

Samsung Series 3

Samsung Chromebook

Press Esc+Refresh then hold down the Power button.

Step 2: Create the recovery USB flash drive or SD card

Insert a USB flash drive or SD card into your computer and follow the instructions below:

Chrome device instructions

Create a recovery flash drive by using the Image Burner. The tool may not be available in all languages.

  1. Type chrome://imageburner into the omnibox (browser's address bar)
  2. Run the tool and follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

When recovering your Chromebook, make sure to create the recovery flash drive on the same model. For example, using an Acer AC700 WiFi recovery flash drive will not work on a Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook.

Windows instructions

Create a recovery flash drive by using the Recovery Tool. The tool may not be available in all languages.

  1. Click this link to download the Recovery Tool: https://dl.google.com/dl/chromeos/recovery/chromeosimagecreatorV2.exe
    If you're a network administrator for your school, business, or organization, click this link to download the Recovery Tool: https://dl.google.com/dl/chromeos/recovery/chromeosimagecreator.exe
  2. Run the tool and follow the instructions that appear on your screen.
  3. After you recover your Chromebook, you must format your USB flash drive or SD card using the Recovery Tool. If you don't format your USB flash drive or SD card, you won’t be able to use all the storage space on your external device. Additionally, your USB flash drive or SD card may not be recognizable by Windows. See instructions for reformatting your USB flash drive or SD card.

Mac instructions

Create a recovery flash drive by using the Recovery Tool. The tool may not be available in all languages.

  1. Click this link to download the Recovery Tool: https://dl.google.com/dl/chromeos/recovery/chromeosimagecreator.dmg
  2. Run the tool and follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

After the process is complete, you might see an alert saying your USB drive or SD card is unreadable. If this fails, try removing and reinserting your USB drive or SD card. Your USB drive or SD card should now be ready to use for recovery.

Linux instructions

Create a recovery flash drive by using the Recovery Tool. The tool may not be available in all languages.

  1. Click this link to download the Recovery Tool: https://dl.google.com/dl/edgedl/chromeos/recovery/linux_recovery.sh
  2. Modify the script permissions to allow execution with the following command: $ sudo chmod 755 linux_recovery.sh
  3. Run the script with root privileges with the following command: $ sudo bash linux_recovery.sh
  4. Follow the prompts from the tool to complete building the operating system image.

Step 3: Reinstall the Chrome operating system

  1. Start your Chromebook.
  2. When the "Chrome OS is missing or damaged" screen appears, insert the USB flash drive or SD card you created into the USB port or SD card slot on your Chrome device.
  3. Wait for the Chromebook to boot up from the flash drive.
  4. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen.
  5. On successful installation of the Chrome operating system, you will be prompted to remove the USB flash drive or SD card.
  6. Remove the USB flash drive or SD card when prompted, and your Chromebook will automatically restart.

You should now be able to start your Chromebook as normal. Because the data stored on your Chromebook has been cleared, you'll need to go through the initial setup again. Make sure you sign in with your primary Google Account, because this account will be set as the owner account.

Troubleshooting tips

Click an issue below to learn how to resolve an issue.

I'm unable to recover my Chromebook.

To help ensure that you are running the latest version of Chrome OS once you recover your Chromebook, we recommend creating the recovery media with the latest version of Chrome OS and avoid using recovery media that may contain an older version of the operating system.

You see the error message “An unexpected error has occurred.”

Try the following steps

  1. Confirm that you successfully completed all instructions exactly as specified in step 2.
  2. Try using a different USB stick or SD card.
  3. If the problem persists, contact a Chromebook agent.
You see the error message “You are using an out-of-date Chrome OS recovery image.”

You should download an up-to date recovery image. Simply follow all the instructions exactly as specified in Step 2 above.

You successfully recovered your Chromebook but now you can't use your USB or SD card with Windows.

After you've completed recovery, you need to format your USB or SD card using the recovery tool. See instructions for reformatting your USB flash drive or SD card.

You have successfully recovered your Chromebook but now Windows doesn't recognize the whole size of the USB or SD card used for recovery.

After you've completed recovery, you need to format your USB or SD card using the recovery tool. See instructions for reformatting your USB flash drive or SD card.

Discuss with other Chromies in Chromebook Central.

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