Chromebook Powerwash vs. Reset: When to Use Them

Chromebook 2022

Chromebook Powerwash vs. Reset: When to Use Them

Chromebooks are laptop computers that use the Google Chrome operating system. They are popular among students and professionals due to their speed, low cost, and ease of use.

However, they, like any other computer, may encounter problems that necessitate troubleshooting. Resetting or powerwashing your Chromebook can help here. These two options can aid in the resolution of issues such as slow performance, software errors, and security flaws.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between resetting and powerwashing your Chromebook, as well as when each should be used.

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook
Powerwashing a Chromebook will delete all of your data from the computer.

Powerwash vs. Reset: Side-by-Side Comparison

Chromebook PowerwashChromebook Reset
PurposeA complete wipe of the device, returning it to factory settings, including all settings, user data and appsResetting the Chromebook reverts it back to its original settings, but retains user data and apps
User DataAll user data is deletedUser data is retained
Apps and SettingsAll apps and settings are deletedApps and settings are retained
EffectivenessEffective in completely removing malware or virus infections, as well as persistent software errorsMay not completely solve persistent software errors or malware infections
Privacy and SecurityProtects privacy and security by completely erasing all personal data and informationMay not be as secure, as user data remains
ConvenienceCan be done quickly and easily without any additional equipmentMay require an external USB or SD card to reset the device
SpeedFaster than resetting the deviceSlower than powerwashing the device

Chromebook Reset: Step-by-Step Guide

A Chromebook reset restores your device to its factory default settings. This clears your device’s data, including apps, files, and personal information. To reset your Chromebook, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the Settings icon in the bottom right corner of your screen.
  2. Select Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and click on Reset Settings.
  4. Click on the blue Reset Settings button to confirm.
  5. Wait for your Chromebook to complete the reset process.

Reasons to Reset Your Chromebook

There are several reasons why users may choose to reset their Chromebook, including:

  • The device is running slowly and needs a fresh start.
  • There are software errors or other issues that are impacting performance.
  • The user is planning to sell or give away the device.

Pros and Cons of Chromebook Reset


  • Resets can quickly solve software problems
  • Easy and straightforward process


  • All data, including files and apps, will be deleted
  • You’ll need to back up your files before resetting
  • You’ll need to set up your device from scratch once the reset is complete

Chromebook Powerwash: Step-by-Step Guide

A Chromebook powerwash is a way to reset your device to its original factory settings, with the added step of removing your Google account and data from the device. This means that you’ll need to sign in to your Google account again once the powerwash is complete.

Here’s how to powerwash your Chromebook.

  1. Log out of your Chromebook.
  2. Hold down Ctrl + Alt + Shift + r.
  3. Choose Restart.
  4. Select Powerwash and then Continue in the box that appears.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to sign in with your Google Account.
  6. Please keep in mind that the account you use to sign in with after resetting your Chromebook is going to be the owner account.
  7. After you’ve reset your Chromebook, set up your Chromebook by following the onscreen instructions.
  8. Check to see that the issue has been resolved.
chromebook laptop
Powerwashing your Chromebook is an effective way to remove any threats from your computer.

Reasons to Powerwash Your Chromebook

Someone may choose to powerwash their Chromebook for a variety of reasons. One common cause is a malware or virus infection that cannot be removed using conventional methods, such as antivirus software. In this case, powerwashing the Chromebook is a more effective way to completely remove any remaining threats and start from scratch.

Another reason to powerwash a Chromebook is if it’s experiencing persistent software errors that cannot be resolved with a simple reset. This can include frequent crashes or freezes, issues with apps not opening or running properly, and other software-related glitches. Powerwashing the Chromebook can frequently resolve these issues and return it to its original working state.

Powerwashing may be required if the user intends to sell or give away their Chromebook. This ensures that all personal data and information on the device is completely erased, protecting the user’s privacy and security. The Chromebook is essentially restored to its original factory settings after a powerwash, making it a blank slate for the next user.

Finally, some users simply prefer to powerwash their Chromebook on a regular basis to keep it operating at its best. The device can accumulate unnecessary files and data over time, slowing its performance. These files are completely erased by powerwashing the Chromebook, and the device is returned to its original state, improving overall performance and speed.

Overall, there are several compelling reasons to powerwash a Chromebook, ranging from resolving software issues to safeguarding personal data and improving device performance. If you are experiencing any of these issues or simply want to give your Chromebook a fresh start, powerwashing could be a great solution.

Pros and Cons of Chromebook Powerwash


  • Can solve persistent software and security problems
  • Quick and easy process to perform


  • All data, including your Google account, will be deleted
  • You’ll need to sign in to your Google account again and set up your device from scratch
  • You’ll lose all your apps and files, so it’s important to back them up before performing a powerwash

Chromebook Powerwash vs. Reset: 8 Must-Know Facts

  • Powerwash removes all data from the Chromebook and resets it to factory settings.
  • Reset restores the Chromebook to its original settings while retaining user data and apps.
  • Powerwash is useful for completely cleaning the device and removing malware or virus infections.
  • Reset is useful for users who do not want to lose their personal information.
  • All user data, apps, and settings are deleted with Powerwash.
  • It is possible that persistent software errors or malware infections will not be completely resolved with Reset.
  • Powerwash is more secure because it wipes out all personal data and information from the device.
  • Because Reset does not delete personal data, it may be less secure than a powerwash.
What is dynamic programming?
Resetting is the better option if you don’t want to lose data.

Chromebook Powerwash vs. Reset: Which One Should You Use?

Chromebook powerwashing is the recommended option for users who want to ensure that all personal data and information is completely erased from their device. While a Chromebook reset can be beneficial for users who want to retain their personal data and settings, it may not completely resolve persistent software errors or malware infections.

All user data, applications, and settings are erased during a powerwash, making it a more secure option for users concerned about data privacy and security. Furthermore, powerwashing is a more comprehensive process that usually results in a faster and more reliable device.

While a powerwash may appear to be a more drastic option, keep in mind that Chromebooks are designed to easily sync with cloud-based services, making it simple to restore any necessary data and settings. Finally, the advantages of a powerwash outweigh the inconvenience of having to re-sync data and settings.

If you want to completely clean your device and start over, a powerwash is the best option. In the long run, it will provide a more secure and reliable device.

Chromebook in the News

Since the end of 2022, Google and its Chromebook product have been in the news for a few major brand and production developments.

  • Outselling Mac: The end of 2022 marked the first year that the Google Chromebook outsold the Apple Mac computer in the United States.
  • Lenovo Partnership: In January of 2023 Lenovo and Google announced a partnership release of the new Chromebook Duet, with the aim of targeting educational and business laptop users.
  • Consistent Affordability: Google’s Chromebook is routinely featured by news outlets for how affordable the laptop is in comparison with its competitors; priced on average around $200.

Up Next

  • The 7 Best Chromebooks Available Right Now — Here’s our comprehensive consumer guide to the seven best Chromebooks currently on the market.
  • Chromebook vs. MacBook: Full Pros and Cons — Apple is well established as a leading laptop manufacturer, so we compared the popular MacBook with the Chromebook to see how Google fares against its biggest competitor.
  • How To Install Windows On Chromebook — Windows is one of the most commonly used document programs, but it can be difficult to download onto a Chromebook. We’ve created a helpful guide for Chromebook owners to get access to the popular Windows system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does powerwashing a Chromebook remove administrator?

Yes, powerwashing a Chromebook will wipe out any administrator accounts. This means that, after powerwashing, the device must be reconfigured and a new administrator account created. It’s important to remember that powerwashing erases all data on the Chromebook, including user accounts, so make a backup of any important files before beginning the process.

Does a powerwash on a Chromebook remove malware?

Yes, a Chromebook powerwash can remove malware. The Chromebook will be restored to its original state, including the operating system, after powerwashing erases all user data. This means that any malware or viruses found on the Chromebook will be removed as well. It is important to note, however, that powerwashing alone may not always be sufficient to completely remove all types of malware, and additional steps may be required to ensure the Chromebook is completely clean and secure.

When should you powerwash Chromebook?

If you have persistent software issues, malware, or virus infections, or if you intend to sell or give away your Chromebook, you should consider powerwashing it. Powerwashing can help to resolve many common software issues and give your device a fresh start.

It’s important to note, however, that powerwashing will erase all data on the Chromebook, so make a backup of any important files beforehand.

Does powerwashing a Chromebook remove everything?

Yes, powerwashing a Chromebook will completely erase everything, including your personal files, installed apps, and settings. It resets the device to factory settings and deletes all data from the hard drive. Before powerwashing your Chromebook, make a backup of any important files, as they will be permanently deleted.

Should I powerwash or reset my Chromebook?

The decision to powerwash or reset your Chromebook is determined by your specific circumstances. A powerwash is the best option if you want to completely erase all data from your device and start over. If you are experiencing software problems or glitches, a reset may be a better option. Before beginning either process, make a backup of any important files. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and your goals.

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