What is Chromebook Powerwash: When and How to Use It

Learn when a Chromebook Powerwash outweighs a simple reset option.

Sometimes, a fresh start is required to breathe new life into your Chromebook, improving its performance. But should you Powerwash or Reset? This decision can be confusing since these two features often serve similar purposes, yet they come with distinct advantages. To fully understand these processes, we will explain the differences between Powerwash vs Reset for your Chromebook.

Chromebook Powerwash vs Reset: When to Use Them?

Chromebook Powerwash vs Reset: When to Use Them?

A Powerwash and a Reset are both factory resets for Chromebooks, but they have different effects. A Powerwash erases all data, including settings, apps, and files. However, a Reset restores your Chromebook to its original settings without erasing your data. So, if you want to learn when to use each feature, keep reading!

When Should You Powerwash Chromebook?

Powerwash is useful if you are experiencing problems with your Chromebook, such as a virus infection or a software glitch, that cannot be fixed by other means.

Specifically, it would be recommended in the following scenarios:

  • Selling the Chromebook
  • Changing the owner
  • Witnessing a major glitch

Whenever there’s a situation that remains unsolved even after implementing solutions that are available online, it would be best to Powerwash your Chromebook. It is also a good idea to Powerwash your Chromebook periodically, such as once a year, to remove any unnecessary files and keep your device running smoothly.

How to Powerwash a Chromebook?

You can Powerwash or factory reset if nothing else solves your issue. Just follow the steps mentioned below.

Note: Performing a factory reset can erase your Chromebook’s data; therefore, always make sure you have backups of your important files.

1. Click on the Quick Settings panel at the bottom right.

2. Click on the Settings gear icon.

Quick Settings panel - Settings gear icon

3. From the left pane, click on Advanced.

Under ChromeOS settings, click on Advanced. | Chromebook Powerwash vs Reset: When to Use Them

4. Click on Reset settings.

5. From the Powerwash section, click on the Reset option.

Under Powerwash, click on Reset.

6. Follow the onscreen instructions to finish Powerwashing your device.

Also Read: Quickly Fix Chromebook Powerwash Not Working

Is Powerwash Good for Chromebook?

Yes. While Chrome OS is pretty lightweight on most processors and devices, there’s a chance that your device might slow down after some years. In such a situation or in situations where every other solution seems to go downhill, Powerwashing is indeed good for Chromebooks.

When Should You Powerwash a Managed Chromebook?

Note: The following two sections are only for legal and educational purposes – with consent. Since Powerwashing a managed Chromebook will unenroll the device from any managed domain and unlock it from its own network, it is illegal to do the mentioned without proper consent from your school, business, or enterprise. We are not responsible for any repercussions that would follow.

Before learning how to Powerwash a managed Chromebook, there could be a few legitimate scenarios in which there could be an actual need to do so. These possible reasons could be:

  • If you bought a used Chromebook that was previously managed by a school district or locked in an enterprise enrollment but is not unenrolled.
  • If you bought a used or refurbished Chromebook, but it was not unenrolled properly.
  • You got an enrolled device that was sold as manufactured refurbished or used.

So, always keep in mind that it’s illegal to perform such tweaks on managed Chromebooks, and you should do everything at your own risk.

Does Powerwashing a Chromebook Remove an Administrator?

Yes. Since Powerwashing cleans up literally everything on a device and reverts it to its original factory state, along with the process, it also wipes off the administrator of that device.

Can You Reset a Locked Chromebook?

Yes, it is possible to reset a locked Chromebook, and surprisingly, the process is very easy.

How to Powerwash a Managed Chromebook?

Note: Performing a Powerwash will wipe everything on your laptop, including but not limited to:

  • Downloaded files from the Internet
  • The specific Chromebook’s Chrome OS settings
  • All files, images, videos, and other media are saved in the Downloads folder
  • Saved passwords and wireless networks
  • Files that are saved in custom folders created by you

Also, make sure to back up data before Powerwashing your device.

It is possible to reset a managed Chromebook in just a few steps. Here’s how:

Note: Powerwashing a Chromebook will wipe all data, and reset it to factory settings. Hence, make sure to keep a backup before you proceed.

1. Press the Esc + Refresh + Power key combination to switch to Developer Mode.

Note: Kindly read and acknowledge the text in the screen that follows to understand the possible risks of switching to Developer Mode.

Press the Esc + Refresh + Power key combination to switch to Developer Mode
Pic Credit: Acer.com

2. Press the Ctrl + D key combination and press the Enter key.

Note: Read and acknowledge all the warning text that follows to understand what will happen next.

Press the Ctrl + D key combination and press the Enter key
Pic Credit: Acer.com

3. Press the Ctrl + D key combination again.

Now, your Chromebook will automatically begin to Powerwash.

Before we dive into the next section of this guide on Chromebook Powerwash vs Reset, there’s a chance you might want to re-enroll your device to the previous or a newly managed domain. So let’s have a look at the steps for the same.

Also Read: How to Bypass Administrator on School Chromebook

How to Re-enroll a Chromebook to a Managed Domain?

If you’re planning to re-enroll your Chromebook, here are the steps you need to implement.

Note: The following method applies only to admins who manage Google Accounts for a company, school, or any other group.

Step I: Accept Terms of Service (TOS) Agreement

But first, you are required to accept the Terms of Service (TOS) agreement by following these steps:

1. Access your Google Admin account.

2. Enter the email address for your admin account.

Note: The email of an admin account does not end in @gmail.com.

3. Click on Next.

Enter email address for your admin account - Click on Next | Chromebook Powerwash vs Reset: When to Use Them

4. Enter your account password.

5. Click on Next.

6. Go to the Admin console home page.

7. Click on Devices.

Click on Devices

8. Click on Chrome.

9. Click on Devices.

10. Under the TOS pop-up that follows, click on I Accept.

That’s all you need to do to accept the TOS. In this guide explaining Chromebook Powerwash vs Reset, let’s see how to re-enroll your enterprise Chromebook device.

Step II: Re-enroll Chromebook

Now, follow these steps to enroll your enterprise Chromebook device once again.

1. Turn on the Chromebook device.

2. Execute the onscreen instructions until the sign-in screen appears.

3. Click on Enterprise Enrollment from the bottom.

Note: If you’re doing Chrome Enterprise Upgrade or Chrome Education Upgrade, press the Ctrl + Alt + E key combination.

4. Enter your email address.

5. Click on Next.

email address - Next | Chromebook Powerwash vs Reset: When to Use Them

6. Enter the password and click on Next.

7. Enter asset ID and location if asked.

8. If you have a device with ChromeOS version 103 or earlier, click on Next.

9. If your device has ChromeOS version 104 or later:

  • Click on Enroll enterprise device for Chrome Enterprise Upgrade or Chrome Education Upgrade.
  • Click on Enroll kiosk or signage device for Kiosk & Signage Upgrade.

10. Click on Confirm.

11. Click on Done once you see a confirmation message indicating that the device is successfully enrolled.

So as you can now see, the work required to Powerwash a managed device or to re-enroll a Chromebook is pretty straightforward and easy.

Also Read: How to Get TikTok Unblocked on My School Computer

When Should You Hard Reset Your Chromebook?

This section of our guide, Chromebook Powerwash vs Reset comparison, is about the hard reset. Unlike Powerwash Chromebook, both hardware and software are reset to factory settings in a hard reset. This means that in nearly all situations, a hard reset will erase all your data and settings.

Under certain circumstances, you can consider hard resetting your Chromebook:

  • To remove user data
  • Chromebook is malfunctioning or stuck
  • Returning the device to the manufacturer
  • Disposing of the device
  • Chromebook is lagging

How to Hard Reset a Chromebook?

When it comes to hard resetting a given Chromebook device, you need to do the same via the Recovery mode of that Chromebook. So, let’s see the steps to go to Recovery mode, and then to reset.

Note: Performing a hard reset will delete all user data from your Chromebook. Hence, make sure to save a backup of your data that you’ll need later.

1. Use the Power Button to turn off the Chromebook completely.

2. Press and hold the Refresh + Power keys simultaneously.

Press and hold the Refresh + Power keys simultaneously
Pic Credit: Acer.com

3. Release all the keys once you see the following text on the screen: Chrome OS is missing or damaged.

4. Press the Ctrl + D keys to open the Chrome OS Recovery Screen.

5. As the final steps to hard reset your Chromebook, follow the onscreen instructions.

Once everything is done well, your Chromebook will be clean like it’s brand new, and you can begin setting it up from scratch.

We hope you have understood the differences between the two reset types, Chromebook Powerwash vs Reset a, and how to use it. Now, it’s your turn to explore these options and choose the one that best suits your needs. If you have any doubts or suggestions, feel free to drop your comments below. Also, stay updated with our website for more informative content!

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