Troubleshoot sync issues on your Chromebook

Issue

You see a sync error notification Sync error on the Chrome menu and need help resolving it, or have made changes to your synced data on one computer but you do not see your changes on another computer.

Solutions

When you click the sync error notification Sync error on the Chrome menu, you see the following messages:

Sync Error: Sign out and sign in again

Your sign-in information is outdated (e.g. you recently changed your password or turned on 2-step verification for your Google Account).

If you have changed your Google Account password, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the error message to sign out of your Chromebook.
  2. On the sign-in screen, ensure that you're connected to a Wi-Fi network. Once the connection has been established, enter your Google Account username and the new password.
  3. It may take up to 24 hours before your Chromebook detects that your Google Account password has changed.

  4. If you see the "Your password has changed" dialogue, select one of the following:
    • "Migrate all Chrome OS data to the new password": If you select this option, all your synced encrypted data will be re-encrypted using your new password. You'll be prompted to enter your previous Google Account password as part of the process.
    • "Only retrieve synced settings and data": If you select this option, you'll be able to access all your data on your Chromebook, but no changes will sync to other devices. You'll see a notification on the Chrome menu with the message, "Sync Error: Update sync passphrase". Resolve the notification to make sure that the changes on your Chromebook will be synced to other signed-in devices.

If you have enabled 2-step verification, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the error to restart your Chromebook.
  2. On the sign-in screen, ensure that you're connected to a Wi-Fi network. Once the connection has been established, enter your Google Account username and password. Do not enter an application-specific password here.
  3. You will be asked to enter a verification code. Generate the code on your mobile device and enter it into the dialogue.

    Application-specific passwords are not the same as verification codes.

Sync Error: Update sync passphrase

You will see this message when you set a custom sync encryption passphrase on one computer or have recently changed your Google Account password.

If you’ve set a custom passphrase on one computer, you’ll need to enter the same passphrase on all of your other syncing computers. On other syncing computers, you may see an error on the Chrome menu Sync error prompting you to update your passphrase.

Follow these steps to fix this issue:

  1. Click Sync Error: Update Sync Passphrase in the Chrome menu.
  2. In the "Advanced sync settings" dialogue, under the "Encryption passphrase" section, you will see one of the following:
    • You already have data that is encrypted using a different version of your Google Account password”. If you see this message, enter your previous Google Account password.
    • You already have data that is encrypted with a passphrase". If you see this message, enter your custom passphrase.

What if I’ve forgotten my custom passphrase?

If you no longer have access to your custom passphrase, you’ll need to reset sync.

  1. If your synced data (bookmarks, apps, etc) is available on your Chromebook, sign in to your Google Dashboard.
  2. Click the Stop and Clear button. This step will remove the data from Google’s servers. The data on your Chromebook won’t be affected.
  3. Wait a few minutes and make sure the process is complete.
  4. Next, follow these steps to set up sync on your Chromebook:
    1. Click Settings in the Chrome menu Chrome menu.
    2. In the Users section, click Set up sync.

You see the following error messages in the "Users" section of the Settings page:

Sync service is not available for your domain

You are probably using a Google Apps account to sign in to your Chromebook. Check with your administrator that the sync feature is enabled for the domain.

Oops, Sync has stopped working

  1. Disable sync items that aren't syncing properly:
    • Go to Chrome menu > Settings > click Advanced sync settings under the "Users" section.
    • Select Choose what to sync from the drop-down.
    • Untick the items that aren't syncing properly.
  2. Restart your Chromebook, and sign in.
  3. If the issue still exists, delete and re-add the account profile.

Set up Sync to save your personalised browser features to the web and access them from Google Chrome on any computer

You will see this message if you have just recently reset sync through the Google Dashboard. Please wait for a few minutes and check that there is no Chrome Sync data listed in your Google Dashboard before selecting Set up sync on your Chromebook.

You encounter the following errors while setting up sync:

The spinning circle doesn't stop

If you notice a spinning circle that continues for a long time when you are trying to Set up sync, follow the steps below:

  1. Click Cancel to close out the dialogue with the spinning circle.
  2. Shut down the Chromebook.
  3. Start up the Chromebook and on the sign-in screen, make sure you're connected to a Wi-Fi network. Once the connection has been established, sign in with your account credentials.
  4. Click Settings in the Chrome menu Chrome menu.
  5. In the Users section, click Set up sync.

If you've tried the recommendations above but continue to see a spinning circle when you set up sync, we want to hear about it. Please describe your issue with as much detail as possible in the Chromebook Central discussion forums.

Still having problems? Discuss your issues with other users in the Chromebook Central discussion forums.