How To Transfer Ownership Admin Rights on a Chromebook Laptop

As an IT professional with over 10 years of experience managing Chromebooks, I will provide a detailed guide on how to transfer device ownership and admin rights on a Chromebook.


Chromebooks use a different permission model compared to traditional computers. The first Google account used to set up a Chromebook becomes the “owner” account, which has extra privileges over device settings that other accounts don’t have.

It’s important to properly transfer ownership when giving a Chromebook to a new user, to prevent them from accessing your personal files and settings. However, there is no direct way to transfer admin rights to another account on the same Chromebook.

In this guide, I will cover:

  • The owner account and its privileges
  • How to identify the current owner
  • Backing up your data before changing owners
  • Resetting your Chromebook to factory settings
  • Logging in with the new owner account

The Owner Account and its Privileges

The owner account on a Chromebook can:

  • Enable/disable guest browsing
  • Manage WiFi networks
  • Change the timezone
  • View system crash reports
  • Control sign-in permissions for other accounts

In contrast, standard users only have access to their own files and account settings.

If your Chromebook is managed by an organization, the admin there is considered the owner instead.

Identifying the Current Owner

To check if your account is the owner:

  1. Sign in to your Chromebook
  2. Go to Settings > Advanced > Manage other people
  3. If your account shows options to control guest browsing, WiFi networks etc., then you are the owner
  4. If instead you see a message like “Only the owner can modify these settings”, then another account is the owner

Backing Up Your Data

Before changing owners, make sure to:

  • Backup any important local files to Google Drive or external storage
  • Enable syncing in settings, to restore Chrome extensions and bookmarks later
  • Note down WiFi passwords saved on that device

This will allow you to restore your apps, settings and critical data once you login again as the new owner.

Resetting Your Chromebook

The only way to change owners on a Chromebook is by factory resetting it:

  1. Login with current owner account
  2. Go to Settings > Advanced > Powerwash
  3. Click “Reset” to confirm and restart your Chromebook
  4. The device will boot up like new and prompt you to setup a new owner

This will erase all local data on the Chromebook. So remember to backup your files first.

Adding New Owner Account

After resetting your Chromebook:

  1. Follow the on-screen steps for initial setup
  2. Login with the Google account that will be the new owner
  3. This account now has full admin access to the Chromebook
  4. Other standard users can still be added later

And you have successfully changed owners on your Chromebook!

Alternative: Setup New User with Limited Rights

If you don’t want to reset your device, another option is to:

  1. Add a restricted supervised user account
  2. Use family link to prevent access to sensitive info
  3. Set allowed websites and time limits

However this still keeps your account as the main device owner.


  • The first account used to setup a Chromebook becomes the owner
  • Only owners can manage certain system-wide privileges
  • Backup locally saved files before changing device owner
  • Do a factory reset, then login with the new owner account
  • Alternative is to add restricted child user with family linking

I hope this detailed guide gives you a good understanding of how Chromebook permissions work, and how to properly transfer admin rights to a new owner. Let me know if you have any other questions!