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Chromebook users can’t sign in, here’s the fix

Chrome OS 84 was a relatively substantial update for Chromebook users and until now, we haven’t seen any major issues or bugs in the software. Unfortunately, a rather nasty glitch has recently popped up and it is preventing users from logging into their Chromebooks. While most of us have misspelled our password and had Chrome OS tell us it is invalid, this new bug is throwing the error even when the password is correct or updated.

When I open my chromebook I try to log in but it tells me the password is invalid or unrecognised, even though the same p/w allows me to open my gmail okay when I go on as a ‘guest’. I’ve tried changing the password  once inside my gmail but the chromebook still doesn’t accept it.

Chromebook Support Forum

The forum thread now has dozens of “me too” comments but it appears that Google’s developers have found a workaround to get things back up and running while a more permanent fix is in the works. Keep in mind, these “fixes” do require powerwashing your Chromebook which will result in the loss of any local data you may have saved. If you’re like me, that’s a non-issue. I keep my stuff in the cloud but I understand that the average user doesn’t switch or reset devices all the time like we do. That said, there are two methods to overcome this issue and both of them will require a powerwash. If your content deleting whatever local data you have, you can go with method number one which is powerwashing from the lock screen. Here’s the official walkthrough from the Community Manager.

Powerwash

Powerwashing your device erases all the information on your Chromebook’s hard drive, including all the files in the Downloads folder. For more information, you can visit the Reset your Chromebook to factory settings help center article. If you have all your files backed up to Google Drive or an external storage device, please follow the below steps:

  • Press and hold Ctrl + Alt + Shift + r.
  • Select Restart.
  • In the box that appears, select Powerwash > Continue.
  • Follow the steps that appear and sign in with your Google Account.
    • Note: The account you sign in with after you reset your Chromebook will be the owner account.

2-day Wake

Save your files by first keeping your Chromebook awake for 48 hours. If you have files in your Downloads folder, files that are not backed up to Google Drive or an external storage device, please follow the below steps: 

Ensure your charger or adapter cables are completely plugged in, both to your Chromebook and the wall. Sign in as a guest on your device that is experiencing this issue. Update your Settings:

  • On the left, select Device.
  • Select Power.
  • Under “When idle,” next to “While charging” and “While on battery,” choose Keep display on.
  • Under “Sleep when cover is closed,” toggle to off  
  • Keep your device awake with the lid open for 48 hours without powering off.

Once 48 hours has passed, please exit guest mode and login into your account. Once you login, ensure you have backed up all of your files: 

  • Press Ctrl + s.
  • At the bottom, enter a name for your file.
  • In the left column, choose where you’d like to save your file, such as Google Drive.
  • Select Save.

Factory reset your Chromebook and ensure your Chromebook’s operating system has been updated to the latest version.

Shop Best Chromebooks of 2020 So Far on Chrome Shop

This fix feels a bit hacky for sure but my guess is that this is the quickest, least-intrusive way for users to get back on track while developers get the final fix pushed out. Seeing that step two points out that you should ensure your Chromebook is updated tells me that the fix may already be in place and you just have to reset to implement it. It is a bit inconvenient to leave your Chromebook in the awake state for 48 hours but it’s better than the alternative of losing important files. If you follow these procedures and are still having issues, developer can use your feedback. To send feedback and share system info, press Alt+Shift+i or press and hold your power button and click feedback. In the description, included #M84Login so the report will get filtered quickly to the proper developers. Chrome OS devs take login issues very seriously and this particular bug was given the highest level of priority because of that very reason. Drop a comment below and let us know if you are having this issue and the fix worked for you.

Gabriel Brangers

Lover of all things coffee. Foodie for life. Passionate drummer, hobby guitar player, Web designer and proud Army Veteran. I have come to drink coffee and tell the world of all things Chrome. "Whatever you do, Carpe the heck out of that Diem" - Roman poet, Horace. Slightly paraphrased.

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Gabriel Brangers