Guide for IT Teams: How to Factory Reset School Chromebook

As a leading expert in Chromebook maintenance and repair, our team at Lexicon Tech Solutions has worked extensively with school districts to optimize their educational technology. We understand the importance of keeping school Chromebooks running smoothly to enhance the learning experience for students and educators alike.

In this blog post, we’ll provide IT teams with a step-by-step process of factory resetting school Chromebooks.

When to Factory Reset

Factory resetting a school Chromebook should be considered by IT teams in the following situations:

  • Performance Issues: If the Chromebook is running slowly, freezing frequently, or experiencing other performance-related problems that persist despite attempts to troubleshoot and optimize the device, a factory reset might be necessary. It can help eliminate software conflicts and accumulated clutter that may be causing these issues.
  • Software Errors or Malfunctions: When the Chromebook exhibits persistent software errors, crashes, or unusual behavior that cannot be resolved through regular troubleshooting, a factory reset can be a viable solution. This process reinstalls the operating system, addressing potential software corruption or conflicts.
  • Handing Over or Reassigning Devices: Before handing over Chromebooks to new students or staff members or reassigning them to different classrooms, a factory reset is essential to ensure the device is free from personal data and settings from previous users.
  • Data Security Concerns: If there are concerns about sensitive data or accounts being compromised, a factory reset can be a precautionary measure to remove any personal information, passwords, or stored credentials from the device.
  • End of School Year: As part of routine maintenance at the end of the school year, performing a factory reset on Chromebooks can be beneficial. This clears out all temporary files, user data, and unnecessary applications, preparing the devices for the following academic year.
  • Virus or Malware Infections: In case a Chromebook is infected with malware or viruses that cannot be adequately removed through regular antivirus scans, a factory reset can help eradicate the malicious software and restore the device to a clean state.

Important Preparations for IT Teams

Before proceeding with a factory reset on school Chromebooks, there are a few important preparations to make. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth reset process and minimize the chances of data loss. Here’s what to do:

  • Back up important data using Google Drive or an external storage device: It’s essential to back up any important files or data on the Chromebook before performing a factory reset. The process will erase all user data, including locally saved files and settings, returning the Chromebook to its default settings as if it were just unboxed. You can back up your data to Google Drive, Google’s cloud storage service, or use an external storage device like a USB stick. 
  • Ensure a stable internet connection for the reset process: A stable internet connection is crucial for successfully factory resetting a Chromebook. Make sure you are connected to a reliable Wi-Fi network before proceeding. In case you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, consider using an Ethernet connection.
  • Free up space on the Chromebook’s hard drive: Factory resetting a Chromebook can help improve its performance, but it’s also an opportunity to clean up your device. Before initiating the reset, it’s advisable to free up space on the Chromebook’s hard drive by deleting unnecessary files or uninstalling unused applications. This can help enhance the efficiency of the device post-reset. 

Performing a Factory Reset

Now that you have made the necessary preparations, it’s time to dive into the step-by-step process of performing a factory reset on your school Chromebook. Depending on your device and situation, there are different methods you can use. Let’s explore each one:

1. Method 1: Using the Chrome OS Settings

a. Click on the system tray in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

b. Locate and click on the gear-shaped “Settings” icon.

c. In the Settings menu, scroll down and click on “Advanced.”

d. Under the “Reset Settings” section, click on “Powerwash.”

e. A confirmation message will appear; click on “Restart” to initiate the factory reset.

2. Method 2: Using Developer Mode

a. Turn off your Chromebook completely.

b. Press and hold the “Esc” and “Refresh” keys simultaneously.

c. While still holding those keys, press the power button to turn on the Chromebook.

d. When the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” screen appears, release the keys.

e. Press “Ctrl + D” to enter Developer Mode.

f. Follow the prompts to enable Developer Mode, which may involve multiple restarts.

g. Once in Developer Mode, press “Ctrl + D” again to bypass the Chrome OS verification.

h. Your Chromebook will now reset to factory settings automatically.

3. Method 3: Using Recovery Mode and a Recovery USB Stick

a. Power off your Chromebook.

b. Insert a recovery USB stick into one of the USB ports.

c. Press and hold the “Esc” and “Refresh” keys simultaneously.

d. With those keys held down, press the power button to turn on the Chromebook.

e. Release the keys once the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” screen appears.

f. Follow the prompts to enter Recovery Mode.

g. Select your preferred language and ensure the correct Wi-Fi network is selected.

h. In the recovery menu, select “Powerwash” or “Factory Reset” to initiate the process.

i. Your Chromebook will reset to factory settings using the recovery USB stick.

Remember, whichever method you choose, it’s essential to follow the correct sequence of button presses and on-screen instructions. Be patient, as the factory reset process may take some time. Once the reset is complete, your Chromebook will reboot, and you can proceed with the setup process.

Post-Reset Considerations for IT Teams

After successfully factory resetting a school Chromebook, IT teams should follow these steps:

  • Login and Reset Settings: After the Chromebook reboots, use the appropriate credentials to log in. Reset any necessary settings to ensure a seamless experience.
  • Reconnect to the School Network and Google Domain: Prompt users to reconnect to the school’s network and Google Domain. Provide instructions for a smooth reconnection process.
  • Additional Steps for School Administrators or Content Filter: Depending on your school’s setup, there may be additional steps to follow to ensure compliance with school policies or content filtering.

Chromebook Repair & Maintenance with Lexicon Tech

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