Recover your Chromebook

You can reinstall the Chrome operating system (OS) on your Chromebook any time you’d like to wipe the memory clean, such as if you want to give your Chromebook to someone else.

If you see a message saying "Chrome OS is missing or damaged," you may need to reinstall Chrome OS through a process called recovery.

What happens when you restore your Chromebook

Reinstalling Chrome OS will restore your Chromebook to its factory settings and get it working like new.

Important: When you restore your Chromebook, all of the data on your hard drive will be erased.

What to do before you reinstall Chrome OS

Reboot your Chromebook if you received a message saying "Chrome OS is missing or damaged"

Before you reinstall Chrome OS, try restarting your Chromebook:

  1. Press and hold the power button until your Chromebook shuts down.
  2. Turn your Chromebook back on.

If the error message still appears, you’ll need to create recovery media and reinstall Chrome OS on your Chromebook.

Create recovery media for the recovery process

Use the Chromebook Recovery Utility to create recovery media.

How to reinstall Chrome OS

  1. When you see the "Chrome OS is missing or damaged" screen, insert the recovery media into the USB port or SD card slot on your Chromebook.
  2. The operating system will install automatically. When it's done, you’ll see a message to remove your recovery media.
  3. After you remove the recovery media, your Chromebook will automatically restart.
  4. Sign in to your Chromebook.

Troubleshoot problems

I followed the steps, but I can't restore my Chromebook

If you created your recovery media a while ago, it might contain an older version of Chrome OS. Try creating new recovery media by using the Chromebook Recovery Utility.

I don't see the "Chrome OS is missing or damaged" message, but I want to reinstall my system

To reinstall your operating system, you'll need to go into recovery mode first.

To find the recovery button on your Chromebook, choose your model from the list below. Then follow the steps above to reinstall the OS. You may need a pin or paperclip for some devices.

If your Chromebook isn’t listed below, use the shortcut Esc+Refresh, then hold down the Power button.

I see the message "An unexpected error has occurred"

You may have an issue with the USB flash drive or the SD card. Try using a different USB flash drive or SD card when you use the Chromebook Recovery Utility.

I restored my Chromebook, but now I can't use my USB flash drive or SD card anymore

Find out how to use the Chromebook Recovery Utility to erase your USB flash drive or SD card so you can reformat it.

Discuss with other Chromies in Chromebook Central.

Contact a Chromebook agent

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