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Create recovery media for your Chromebook

If your Chromebook has a serious error, you might want to recover your Chromebook to get it working like new again. As part of the process, you’ll use the Chromebook Recovery Utility app to create recovery media.

What you need to create recovery media

Make sure that you have:

  • A USB flash drive that can hold at least 4 GB, and that you don't mind completely erasing. You can also use an SD card if your Chromebook has an SD card slot.
  • An extra Chromebook, Windows or Mac computer with administrative rights and the Chrome browser installed

Create recovery media

Step 1: Install the Chromebook Recovery Utility app
  1. On the working computer (not the Chromebook with the error), install the recovery app.
  2. Open the app.
Step 2: Identify your Chromebook
  1. In the screen that appears, type in the model number of the Chromebook that you want to recover.
    You can find this number at the bottom of the error message on your Chromebook.
  2. Click Continue.
Step 3: Insert your USB flash drive or SD card

Important: All the information on the USB drive or SD card will be deleted. Make sure that you’ve backed up those files.

  1. On the working computer, insert your USB drive or SD card into an open port. The recovery app will show all storage devices connected to your computer.
  2. Use the drop-down menu in the app to select the correct storage device.
  3. Click Continue.
Step 4: Create a recovery image

To create a recovery image:

  1. Click Create now.
  2. The tool will create the recovery image on your USB drive or SD card. Don't remove the storage device yet.
  3. When you see a message saying that your recovery media is ready, remove the storage device from your computer.

Create recovery media using a Linux computer

Linux instructions
  1. On the Linux computer, download the recovery tool here:
  2. Change the script permissions to allow execution with the following command: $ sudo chmod 755
  3. Run the script with root privileges with the following command: $ sudo bash
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Continue with recovery

Step 5: Recover your Chromebook

After you create your recovery media, continue with the process to recover your Chromebook.

Step 6: Erase recovery media (optional)

After recovering your Chromebook, you’ll need to erase the recovery media if you want to reuse your USB drive or SD card to store other files.

To erase the recovery media:

  1. Remove the recovery media from the Chromebook that you just recovered.
  2. Insert the recovery media into the other computer.
  3. Open the recovery app.
  4. Click Settings Settings.
  5. Click Erase recovery media.
  6. From the drop-down menu, select the USB drive or SD card that you'd like to erase.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Make sure that the storage device you used for recovery is listed. Remember, all the data on the device will be erased.
  9. Click Erase now.
  10. The tool will erase the recovery image on your USB drive or SD card. Don't remove the storage device yet.
  11. When you see a message saying "Your recovery media has been erased," press Done.
  12. Remove the storage device from your Chromebook.
  13. Format the storage device using a tool provided by your operating system.

Casey is a Chromebook expert and author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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