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Can I view the items in the Download Folder of one account from another account on Chromebook? 0 Recommended Answers 5 Replies 0 Upvotes
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My chromebook was closed. I opened it and started clicking on something but the touch pad was acting like I was right clicking but I was not. I powered off and powered on the computer. When it came back up the same account, (Account A) it went to black screen instead of loading. I restarted my Chromebook (with the power key and refresh key) and after I logged into that account again, it is still black screen. 

I logged into another account (Account B) and it loaded fine (except a few of the icons in the tray are like system cubes instead of the correct pictures...). I would like to save the items in Account A's Download Folder to Google Drive or something so that I can do a hard reset on the device but I cannot figure out how to view them. 

When I go to storage, it shows that another user on the device is using up a few gigs of storage but it does not let me view those items. 

OR if you know what is wrong with the other account and how I can get it to work again, that would be even better! 

Thanks for your help!
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Each user has their own Downloads folder. They cannot be accessed by other users. That is a fundamental security feature of ChromeOS. There is no hacking or workaround possible - that security is what makes ChromeOS so secure and virus proof.
 
In case there is maybe just a display issue with Account A, try connecting to a external monitor or TV with an HDMI cable. If the external display shows anything at all, you could hold down the keyboard "dim" key for around 10 seconds and your normal home screen should appear. If that works, you can copy the files to Drive or an external storage device.
 
If that doesn't work, you may be out of luck. As you probably have found, Google and the volunteers here have consistently warned against storing anything important in Downloads (or any local folders) unless you keep a backup in Drive or external storage.
 
WARNING --
 
Using the power+refresh keys to shut down is ABSOLUTELY NOT the proper way to shut down or restart. That is a Hard Reset and can cause data corruption if used while the system is powered up. If you cannot see the system menu to shut down, or cannot use the normal power button shut down (press the button and a set of buttons appears), you should just hold the power button for 10+ seconds. That is a safer way to force a shutdown. See this (read the "Turn off your Chromebook" section)
 
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One of the other Product Experts (thanks DennyL!) thought of a possible workaround.

There is a way to sign in to multiple users at the same time. Look at the Help page that I linked below. See if you can sign in to Account B. Then, use the method described in the Help page to sign into Account A. If that is successful and you are not stuck with a black screen, see if you can open a window and then open the Files app. Share that window with Account B.

This might take some fiddling. If you come up with a variation that works, please share the details.

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Thanks Jim and DennyL for your responses! 

I certainly appreciate the security of my files being super private and protected... except for right now when I need to be able to get to them without being logged in to the account directly haha. 

I tried the external monitor but it just did the black screen too. Holding down the dim key did nothing.  

Thank for the note about refresh + power vs. holding down power for 10 sec! I did not realize there was a difference between these two options. 

I will try DennyL's suggestion now and let y'all know if it works. 


Do you have any thoughts on why one account would be "broken" but another one works fine? 
I was thinking maybe it was an update issue? like Account A got stuck because an update came through wrong but Account B wasn't logged in at the time so it wasn't effected? I don't know if that makes sense at all. Is it possible to go back to a previous version without wiping the computer? I did a bit of searching but it looked like in order to "revert" you had to start with a "powerwash."

Thanks again! 
Kelly
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Well no dice...

Account A is on this device but when I try to switch users it either does not let me or it just goes back to the black screen. 

Normally in Chrome (on any device), you can click on your picture and switch to accounts listed there. But on my Chromebook since this black screen thing happened last night, when I click on my picture, my other accounts are not listed. I click on Manage Accounts and it takes me to My Accounts in Setting. I can see both accounts listed there but it does not let me click on the other account. So I cannot even use Chrome to check my email for the other account which also seems odd.
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You should be clicking on the status menu at the bottom right of the screen. Not the 3-dot icon at the upper right. 
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