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How to restart a Chromebook when frozen?

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  • 5 min read

When you use a Chromebook, you are using a mini-laptop with a Chrome operating system that is mainly dependent on web activity, Google, Android, and Linux apps. With all applications available online, a Chromebook, be it by Lenovo, Acer, Asus, or HP has limited space and the ability to work faster. They all have the same software as well, so whether you are facing an issue with the Asus Chromebook or the Acer Chromebook, you will find that it is a ‘one solution fits all’ situation.

In this article, we will be learning about the various ways you can try to restart your Chromebook when it is frozen.

Why is your Chromebook freezing?

If you find that your Chromebook is locked up, frozen and not responding sometimes then it could be due to the issues in ChromeOS or there could be a problem with the Chromebook hardware. Another reason could be that an external device is causing a strain or releasing a bug in your Chromebook. If your Chromebook is running a program, then it could be a load on the laptop.

Regardless of the reason, if you are shown an error message on your screen, then write down the message and search for it on the internet to find a solution.

Also read: Why is my Chromebook so slow?

6 ways to unfreeze and restart your Chromebook

To unfreeze your Chromebook and resume smooth operations, follow the various fixes given below:

Restart and reset Chromebook

Restarting your Chromebook can be the best way to get rid of any glitches. All you have to do is press the power button on your keyboard and Chromebook will shut down. Now press the power button again to power it back. You can also restart your Chromebook in the following way:

  • Head to the quick settings in the bottom-right corner of your Chromebook screen. Check if there is any downloaded update, if there is one then your Chromebook will show a button that says Restart to Update. Upon clicking on this button, your Chromebook will restart and show you the updated software.
  • You can also press the power button and the refresh key (fourth button from the top left) simultaneously to perform a hard reset. Let go of the refresh button after the Chromebook is open. This will clear any unnecessary cache.

Refresh Chromebook

You can refresh any current tabs open on your Chromebook by pressing Ctrl+Shift+R on your keyboard to remove any temporary glitches. You can also press the refresh button which is the fourth button in the top-left row.

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Shut down all tabs and apps

If you see any ‘He’s Dead, Jim’ error messages on your screen then it is a clear indication that your system is running low on memory. Closing any open tabs and apps can free up memory space. You can press Shift+Esc to open Task Manager. Scan through the list of currently running apps or websites and see which process is consuming a lot of memory as well as those which are not responding. Click on them and select the End Task option. You can also uninstall any recent applications or extensions that might be causing glitches.

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Also read: How to delete images on Chromebook?

Remove all external devices

You should remove any external devices linked to your Chromebook one by one to check if you can figure out which device is causing the freezing or slow response issues. If you see a message that says your ChromeOS is missing or damaged then you should insert a recovery USB stick to perform a system recovery.

Drain battery

If you are unable to power off your Chromebook, then you can let the Chromebook stay that way until all the battery is drained and the Chromebook shuts down by itself. Of course, make sure that it is not connected to any power source until two or three hours after shutdown. Only then let it completely recharge and switch on your Chromebook.

Powerwash your Chromebook

Powerwashing is the term used when you want to perform a factory reset on your Chromebook. All of your files will be erased and your saved accounts will be deleted to renew your device to its original state. Beneficial to you, a powerwash will remove any software problems as well as remaining bugs.

You can perform a powerwash by following the steps given as follows:

Step 1: Head to Chrombook’s settings by clicking on the notification menu and then on the gear icon symbolic for Settings.

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Step 2: Click on the Advanced option located at the lower left corner in the given options.

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Step 3: From the option shown in Advanced, click on Accessibility. Now click on the Reset button in front of the Powerwash option.

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Also read: How to use the camera on Chromebook?

Sania Usmani

Sania Usmani

Always curious, calm, and a little crazy, you can find me daydreaming or studying. An avid reader, traveler, and graduate of Aviation Science, I love gaining new experiences in life and star gazing. You can contact her here: