How to Forcibly Reboot and Restart a Frozen Chromebook Device

A Chromebook freezing or becoming unresponsive can be frustrating. However, there are a few methods you can try to forcibly reboot your Chromebook to get it working again. This article outlines step-by-step instructions for hard resetting a frozen Chromebook using keyboard shortcuts and the power button.

Force Restart Using Keyboard Shortcuts

The easiest way to reboot a frozen Chromebook is by using a keyboard shortcut. This forces the device to restart without having to remove the battery or unplug it.

Step 1: Press and Hold the Power and Refresh Buttons

  • Locate the power button and refresh button on your Chromebook model. The power button is usually in the upper-right corner. The refresh button has a circular arrow icon and is often next to the power button.
  • Press and hold both the power and refresh buttons together for 10-15 seconds.

Step 2: Wait for Chromebook to Restart

  • Keep holding the keys until your Chromebook screen turns off and you see the device restart.
  • As soon as you see the initial boot screen, you can release the buttons.
  • This will completely reboot your Chromebook, powering down all processes and starting fresh. Give it a few minutes to go through the reboot process.
  • If your Chromebook is accessible, save any work before attempting a forced restart.

Hard Reset Using Just the Power Button

You can also restart a frozen Chromebook by just holding down the power button continuously for 6-10 seconds. This method also forces your device to shut down its processes and restart.

Step 1: Press and Hold the Power Button

  • Locate the power button on the upper-right corner of your Chromebook.
  • Firmly press and hold the power button for 6-10 seconds (count slowly in your head).

Step 2: Wait for Restart

  • Keep holding down the power button until your Chromebook screen goes blank.
  • Once the screen shuts off, release the power button.
  • The device will automatically turn back on and reboot itself.
  • Give it a few minutes to restart normally.

Reset Chromebook Using Recovery Mode

If your Chromebook is completely frozen and unresponsive, you may need to perform a hard reset from recovery mode. This is done by opening the back case to unplug and reconnect the battery.

Step 1: Flip Chromebook Over and Remove Bottom Case

  • Make sure your Chromebook is powered off if possible (hold down power button).
  • Place the device upside down on a flat surface and locate the screws securing the bottom plate.
  • Using a Phillips-head screwdriver, remove all screws from the bottom cover.
  • Lift off the bottom case to expose inner components.

Step 2: Locate Internal Battery and Disconnect

  • Identify the small lithium battery attached to the motherboard. This is the CMOS battery that allows your Chromebook to store system date/time settings.
  • Gently unplug the battery cable or remove the coin battery from its slot.

Step 3: Wait 30 Seconds and Reconnect Battery

  • With battery disconnected, wait at least 30 seconds before reattaching it.
  • This gives components time to fully discharge and resets all internal processes.
  • Once reconnected, put back the bottom case and screws.

Step 4: Power on Chromebook

  • With the battery reset, press the power button to turn your Chromebook back on.
  • It will boot up normally as if recovering from a full shutdown.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If your Chromebook is still having issues booting up, you may need to reinstall the operating system using recovery media.
  • Check if your device is charged. Attempt reboot procedures again while plugged into AC power.
  • Make sure you give the device enough time to fully reboot and load the OS after each forced restart.
  • If you recently installed updates, they may be causing system instability issues. Power wash Chromebook to factory settings.
  • Contact Chromebook support if restart attempts do not resolve your frozen device. A hardware issue may require repair or replacement.