Every so often in life, it’s good to take a step back and take a good old fashion reset. It may be a simple cup of coffee on the front porch on a crisp Saturday morning or maybe a relaxing round of golf with some good friends. Whatever your method, there’s nothing quite like taking a pause, wiping the proverbial mental slate clean and starting fresh. This same can apply to your Chromebook or any PC, for that matter. From time to time, a piece of hardware can run into a speed bump that can cause a wide range of hardware or software issues.
Thankfully, ChromeOS has a number of ways to invoke a reset to get you back on track in no time. Some of them are more invasive than others but oftentimes, a simple hardware hiccup can be resolved with a quick reset that won’t affect the data saved on your device. Today, we’re going to take a look at how you can reset your Chromebook if you happen to find yourself experiencing a hardware issue. This could range from keys not working on your keyboard to the touchscreen not responding and just about everything in between.
Occasionally, for reasons unknown, the EC(embedded controller) will lose its direct communication with various pieces of hardware on a device. This could be a USB port, display, touchpad, or anything else that communicates directly with the devices “brain.” A simple hardware reset is generally the easiest and best solution to remedy these types of issues when they arise. This, of course, won’t fix a hardware failure but it is the best first step you can take if your Chromebook is giving you fits.
Restart & Reset
Before we dive into the hardware reset, let’s take the obvious maintenance measures that should always be the first line of defense to circumvent hardware and software issues alike. You can always shut down your device entirely and give it a quick restart to see if that fixes your problem. Soon, Google will be adding a restart button to the power button options found in the system tray and that will make this task even more simple than it is currently. If you power your Chromebook back on and the problem persists, now is the time to do a hardware reset.
The good thing about a hardware reset is that it doesn’t erase anything on your ChromeOS device the way a full-blown powerwash would. You’re essentially just giving the EC a jolt and helping it to re-establish communication with the device’s hardware. Performing a hardware reset is almost as simple as restarting your device. To get started, turn your device completely off. You can do so by clicking the power button in the system tray or by holding down the physical power button for a few seconds until it shuts off. Wait at least five seconds and make sure the device is completely powered down.
To start the reset, hold down the refresh key. It is generally the third top-row key from the left and looks similar to this. ↻ While holding the refresh key, tap the power button. (Do not hold the power button. Just a tap.) Once the device starts to power on and you see the screen light up, release the refresh button and wait for the normal boot cycle to finish. Log into your Chromebook and check to see if your bug has been squashed.
If that alleviates your problem, you’re good to go. Hopefully, it was a one-time issue that will no longer affect you or your device. If the problem has not been fixed or the issue continues to appear in the future, it may be time to do a full powerwash of your Chromebook. For more on that, check out the video below on exactly how to restore your Chromebook to like-new, factory settings. Keep in mind, this will completely wipe your device. If you are able, be sure to back up any files you do not wish to lose.
If you have tried all of these methods and can’t seem to fix the problem, it’s time to contact the manufacturer and see if they can guide you through some troubleshooting. For hardware issues on a device that’s still in warranty, I’d push to get a replacement as Chromebook repairs aren’t always as successful as one would hope. If your issue is software related, you can always submit feedback to the Chromium developers. This may give them a look at an undisclosed problem that they could address and fix in a future update. You can submit feedback with system logs and even screenshots by pressing Alt+Shift+i on your keyboard.
Hope that helps. Hardware issues can be frustrating but the solution can often be simple. Be sure to check back for more tips and how-twos on making the most out of your ChromeOS devices. See you next time.