How do I perform a system recovery on my Samsung Chromebook or Chromebox?

Note: you will need a 4GB or larger flash drive and access to a Windows, Linux, or Mac computer with administrative rights to perform a recovery. Make sure to back up 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 recovery 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 network passwords) will be deleted. Owner privileges for your primary account will also be reset. However, the actual Google accounts and any data synchronised 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 Chrome device For Recovery

Note: if your Chrome device is already displaying the "Chrome OS is missing or damaged" screen then skip step 1.

ChromeBox Recovery Switch Location

Chromebook Recovery Switch Location

Series 5

Series 550

How to reset the unit:


  • Power the Chrome device off and turn it over with the hinges facing away.


  • Insert a paperclip into the reset hole located on the back left side of 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 after the computer displays the Recovery screen.

Note: the unit should turn on when pressing the power button. If the screen remains blank after waiting for at least 15 seconds then please click here for contact details for Samsung's customer support services for further assistance. (It could possibly be a hardware problem, and hardware problems cannot be fixed by software).


Download the recovery image tool from Google’s server to your desktop (or somewhere else easily accessible).


  • Click here to download the Windows recovery tool.


  • If you are using Linux or Mac to build the recovery tool then please click here.

After you have downloaded the tool you can now create the recovery image. 

Creating the Recovery Disk

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



2. After the file downloads (Chrome is used in the below example) go to the location where the file downloaded.



3. When you are prompted to run the program please do so with administrator privileges.



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



5. Input your model before pressing next. The model can be found on the recovery screen and starts with "SAMS". The easy way to select the model is by entering in "SAMS" into the box and selecting the correct model from the drop down list. Make sure you select the correct model that's listed on your recovery screen.



6. Now that you have selected the firmware/software version you are ready to begin the preparation of the USB drive.



7. Insert the USB stick and then select it on the screen.



8. Press the Next button. The program will begin to download the recovery image/firmware/software. After it is finished downloading it will unpack the download. After the download has been unpacked it will begin to install on the selected USB drive.




9. 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.


Recovering a Chrome device

After a recovery disk has been created your Chrome device will display this screen:

Proceed with the recovery by plugging in the USB/SD card with the recovery image that you just created. The Chrome device will begin the recovery. Once the recovery is complete remove the USB/SD card. After the USB or SD card is removed the Chrome device will restart and you will be guided through the initial setup again.


Formatting your recovery media after finishing the Chrome recovery


After completing a successful recovery, you will need to reformat the storage media that you used. This can be done through the Chrome Recovery Tool. Instructions are below:

1. Open the Recovery Program.



2. Click on Options.



3. Move your mouse pointer down to select Format.



4. Insert your USB drive and select it.



5. Click on Next.



6. A pop-up window will appear. Confirm that this is the action you want to perform on this storage media.



7. The action will be performed. Click on Continue.



8. The Windows Format Tool will appear. Make sure "Quick Format" is checked.



9. Click on Start.



10. A pop-up window will appear. Confirm that this is the action you want to perform on this storage media. The window will turn grey while the formatting proceeds.



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