Like any digital device protected by some sort of passcode, your Chromebook may be blocked. If this happens to you, here’s how to clean it up without having to log in.

Why would you need to do this?

Since you sign in to your Chromebook using your Google account and password, you might be wondering How? ‘Or’ What you could be excluded. There are several reasons, maybe you don’t use your Google account often and you forgot the password. Maybe you changed the password and can’t remember the new one. It’s even possible that you bought a used Chromebook and the original owner didn’t powerwash it (that’s Google’s name for performing a factory reset on your Chromebook).

Whatever the reason, you are not hopeless if you happen to get locked out of your device. There are failsafes only for situations like this, so don’t worry, it’s a pretty simple process.

How to Reset Your Locked Chromebook

As soon as you launch your Chromebook, it opens to the login screen. If the account is already logged in (but the device is locked), you must log out first.

After logging out (or if it was not logged in), press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R to open the reset window. Tap or click the “Restart” button.

The device will reboot and you will need to confirm that you want to power wash the device. It’s also worth noting that some Chromebooks may have a firmware security update that can only be performed during a Powerwash. There will be a checkbox at the bottom of the Powerwash dialog if it is available on your device. We strongly recommend that you do so.

Once you’ve checked the box (if available) and clicked or tapped the “Powerwash” button, a final confirmation box will appear to make sure you want to Powerwash the device. This will erase all content and return it to a factory state, and it is an irreversible process. But if you’re effectively locked out of the device, none of that matters in the first place.

After pressing the “Continue” button, the Chromebook resets and performs a power wash. It will then restart and you will be ready to log in as a new one.

Image credit: Jonas Sjoblom/