Chrome Devices: How To Perform A ChromeOS Recovery

Important: You will need a 4GB or larger flash drive and access to a Windows, Linux, or Mac computer with administrative rights to perform the recovery. Make sure to backup any data you have on your flash drive as the recovery process will overwrite it. The USB Drive will also need to be reformatted after you perform the recovery. There will be notes at the bottom of this article describing how to re-format your USB drive for common use again.



Note: The Recovery tool is created and managed by Google. If you have any problems with the tool on your computer, you will need to contact Google for assistance here.



Warning: All account information and data stored on your Chrome device, such as photos, downloaded files, and saved networks, will be deleted. Owner privileges for your primary account will also be reset. However, the actual Google Accounts and any data synced to these accounts won't be affected by the recovery process. After the recovery process is completed, you’ll be guided through the initial setup again.


Readying a ChromeBook/ChromeBox For Recovery

Hint: If your ChromeBook/ChromeBox is already displaying the "Chrome OS is missing or damaged" screen, skip step 1.


ChromeBox Recovery Switch Location




Chromebook Recovery Switch Location

Series 5

Series 550



  1. How to reset the unit:
    • Power the ChromeBook/ChromeBox off and flip it over with the hinges facing away.
    • Insert a paperclip into the reset hole located to the back left on the underside of the unit.
    • While pressing the paperclip in, press the power button.
    • Release the button the paperclip was holding, and remove the paperclip.


Note: Power the unit back on. If the screen remains blank after waiting at least 15 seconds, call 0330 SAMSUNG (7267864), for assistance, it could possibly be a hardware issue.

  1. Download the recovery image tool from Google’s server, to your desktop (or somewhere easily accessible).
    • Direct Link to the Windows Recovery Tool Download: Here.
    • If you are using Linux or Mac to build the recovery tool, please go here.
  2. After you have downloaded the tool, we now start with creating the recovery image.



Creating the Recovery Disk:

  1. Click on the link on the Google recovery page to download the recovery program.



  1. After the file downloads, (we use chrome in this example) go to the location where the file downloaded.





  1. When you’re prompted to run the program, please do so with administrator privileges.



  1. The program will display a “Downloading Chrome OS recovery configurations…” quickly before moving into the model select screen.




  1. Select your Model before pressing next. ChromeBook/ChromeBoxs are very tough, but it might not like being flashed with the wrong firmware/software:
    • If you have a Series 3 ChromeBook/ChromeBox, Make that selection.
    • If you have a Series 550 ChromeBook/ChromeBox, Make that selection.
    • If you have a Series 5 ChromeBook/ChromeBox:
      • Was it purchased in the US?
      • Does it have the capability to connect via 3G?
        • After answering those questions, Make the appropriate selection.



  1. Now that we have selected our firmware/software version, we are ready to begin the preparation of the USB drive.





  1. After the USB stick has been inserted, Select it on the screen if it doesn’t automatically



  1. Press the next button. After pressing next, the program will begin to download the recovery image/firmware/software. It’s called an image because it’s then written to the USB drive. After it’s finished downloading, it will begin to unpack the download.



  1. After the download has been unpacked, it will begin to install itself on the selected USB drive.



  1. When the installation is complete, the tool will show you that "Your media is ready." After this prompt, remove the USB drive from your computer and we are now prepared for the next steps. We will now proceded with recovery. Click on the "Perform a Recovery" at the bottom of this article.




Recovering a ChromeBook/ChromeBox:

After a recovery disk has been created, and your ChromeBook/ChromeBox is displaying this screen:



Proceed with the recovery by plugging in the USB/SD card with the recovery image that you just created. The ChromeBook/ChromeBox will take over from there. The ChromeBook/ChromeBox will let you know when the recovery is complete and then remove the USB/SD card. After they are removed, you will be guided through the initial prompts again.


Recovery is now complete, enjoy your ChromeBook/ChromeBox!



Important: At this time a small percentage of users are experiencing a symptom where once they finish using the recovery tool, they are then unable to use the full amount of storage space located on their USB thumb drive. This has been escalated to google and we are waiting for a fix to be implemented. In the mean time, if you do experience this problem after a restore, please visit the link below for instructions on how to do so.


Warning: You are being directed to a site outside of and may be encouraged to use a third-party piece of software. We and Google believe this software to be safe to use, however we cannot be held responsible should the software cause any further problems or be used improperly. For questions about the software, please content that developer of the third party program specifically.

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