If you're having problems, but are able to see the login screen, try resetting your Chromebook first. This is easier than the full recovery process and may be enough to help.

Recover your Chromebook

When your Chromebook’s operating system (OS) isn’t working properly, you can recover it. Recovery is removing and reinstalling the OS.

Important: Recovery permanently erases everything on your Chromebook's hard drive, including your downloaded files. If possible, before you recover your Chromebook, back up your files.

If you use your Chromebook at work or school, ask your administrator for help. If you're an administrator, for more help, contact Google support.

When to recover

You might want to recover if:

  • You see this error message: "Chrome OS is missing or damaged"
  • You’ve tried other troubleshooting steps and nothing has fixed your issue
  • You’ve asked the experts in our help forum for help fixing your issue, and they recommend recover

Before you recover, try less invasive steps

If you can sign in to your Chromebook, try these steps first:

  1. Turn your Chromebook off, then back on again.
  2. If your Chromebook still has an error, reset to factory settings.

If neither of those steps fix the error, continue to recovery.

Enter recovery mode

On the Chromebook with the error:

  1. If you have anything connected to this Chromebook (such as a mouse or external hard drive), remove it.
  2. Enter recovery mode:
    • Chromebook: Press and hold Esc + Refresh , then press Power . Let go of Power.
      • On some Chromebook models: Press and hold Esc + Maximize , then press Power. Let go of Power.
      • When a message shows on the screen, let go of the other keys.
    • Chromebox: First, turn it off. Using a paper clip or similar object, press and hold the recovery button. Press the Power button to turn the Chromebox back on. When you see a message on screen, release the recovery button.
    • Chromebit: First, unplug it from power. Using a paper clip or similar object, press and hold the recovery button. Plug the Chromebit back in to power. When you see a message on screen, release the recovery button.
    • Chromebook tablet: Press and hold the Volume Up, Volume Down, and Power buttons for at least 10 seconds, then release them.
  3. If your computer has Internet access, select Recover using internet connection and follow the on-screen instructions. If your computer doesn't have Internet access or the option to recover using the Internet doesn't appear, continue to "Traditional recovery."

Traditional recovery

Step 1: Collect these devices
  • The Chromebook with the "Chrome OS is missing or damaged" error
  • Another Chromebook, or a Windows or Mac computer with Chrome installed
  • A USB flash drive that can hold at least 8 GB, and that you don't mind erasing
Step 2: Download a new copy of the OS

On the working computer, not the Chromebook with the error:

  1. If you're using a Mac or Windows computer:
    1. Install Chrome.
    2. Open Chrome Chrome.
    3. Install the recovery extension.
  2. To open the recovery extension:
    1. At the top right of your browser window, click Extensions .
    2. Select the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension. If the extension popup doesn't automatically appear on your screen, make sure it's turned on.
  3. Click Get started.
  4. Click Select a model from a list, or type in the model number of the Chromebook you want to recover. To find this number, look at the bottom of the error message on your Chromebook screen.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Insert your USB flash drive into the working computer.
  7. In the dropdown menu, choose your USB flash drive.
  8. Click Continue and then Create now.
  9. When you get a message that your recovery media is ready, remove your USB flash drive from the computer.
Step 3: Begin recovery

On the Chromebook with the error, select Recover using external disk and follow the on-screen instructions. 

Make sure the recovery extension is turned on
  1. On your computer, open Chrome Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click Extensions and then Manage extensions.
  3. Next to “Chromebook Recovery,” toggle the switch to the right.
  4. Optional: You can also click Details and toggle the switch to the right.
  5. Once the extension is on, in the extension panel in your browser, click on the extension to open the popup.
  6. Optional: If you use the extension frequently, you can pin it Pin (keep).
Optional: Reuse your USB flash drive

Once you've recovered your Chromebook, you’ll need to erase the recovery media if you want to reuse your USB flash drive to store other files.

To erase the recovery media:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click Extensions .
  3. To launch the extension popup, click on the "Chromebook Recovery Utility" extension.
  4. In the extension popup, click Settings.
  5. Click Erase recovery media.
  6. From the dropdown menu, select the USB drive you'd like to erase.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Make sure the storage device you used for recovery is listed.
  9. Click Erase now. The tool will erase everything on your USB drive.
  10. When you get the message "Your recovery media has been erased," click Done.
  11. Remove your USB flash drive from the computer.
  12. Use a tool provided by your operating system to format the storage device.

Fix problems with recovery

"An unexpected error has occurred"
  1. Erase the storage device, then try recovery again.
  2. Try to use a different USB flash drive to recover. Some USB flash drives don’t work well with recovery.

If you're still having problems, contact your Chromebook manufacturer for help. Learn how to contact your manufacturer.

"Please remove all connected devices and start recovery"

First, remove anything that's connected to your Chromebook, such as a mouse or external hard drive. Then, follow the steps to enter recovery mode.

"The device you inserted does not contain Chrome OS"

First, make sure that you inserted the USB drive you used to create recovery media.

If you used the correct storage device, but still see this error, the storage device might not be working properly.

  1. Erase the storage device, then try recovery again.
  2. Try to use a different USB flash drive to recover. Some USB flash drives don’t work well with recovery.

If you still have problems, learn how to contact your manufacturer.

“The security module on this device isn't working”

First, ask our experts for help:

  1. If you use your Chromebook at work or school, contact your administrator. Administrators should contact Google support.
  2. Chat with experts on the Chromebook help forum.

If you still having problems, contact your manufacturer to repair your Chromebook.

Other ways to recover a Chromebook

Press the recovery button

On some Chromebooks, you start recovery by using a paper clip to press a recovery button. Here’s where you can find the button:

When you see a message on screen, continue with recovery.

Use a Linux computer
  1. On the Linux computer, download the Recovery Tool.
  2. Change 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 on-screen instructions to create recovery media.
  5. To continue to recover your Chromebook, follow the steps above.
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center
true
208
false