Widespread Chromebook Issues, and How one can Repair Them

Chromebooks are a great, budget-friendly laptop option, but they're not perfect. Every laptop has to have bugs, and some of the most common problems that Chromebook users face can feel difficult or even impossible if you solve them yourself.

Troubleshoot Internet connectivity updates don't have to ruin your day by troubleshooting common Chromebook issues. Read on to find simple solutions to the most common problems Chromebook users face.

System-wide problems

Your Chromebook is running very slowly

If your Chromebook feels sluggish, it’s best to just restart and see if the performance problem is resolved.

If not, check for a system update. Something may have gone wrong that Google had to fix on the software side. In most cases, a Chromebook should automatically check for and download the latest updates when connected to a wireless network.

You can also check this manually by doing the following:

Step 1: Click the system clock in the lower right corner.

Step 2: Click the gear icon in the pop-up menu. You get to the settings.

Step 3: Click About Chrome OS on the left.

Step 4: Click the Check for Updates button. This will search for the latest version and install the update if available.

Step 5: When your Chromebook has been updated, click the Restart button when finished.

Your Chromebook keeps restarting

This is a serious error that indicates a problem with the operating system. In this case, you need to do a full recovery to save as much data as possible.

To restore, you need the Chromebook, a separate computer with access to the Chrome browser and a portable SD or USB drive with at least 4 GB of storage space for storing data.

Step 1: Install and launch the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension in Chrome on a separate computer.

Step 2: In the pop-up window, click the Get Started button.

Step 3: Enter your Chromebook’s model number and click Next.

Step 4: Select the recovery media type and click Next.

Step 5: Click the Create Now button.

Use your storage device to move settings to the recovery utility and completely reset your Chromebook while keeping as much data as possible safe.

To use your flash drive or card again, you need to return to the Recovery Utility app and do the following:

Step 1: Click the gear icon at the top.

Step 2: Select the Erase Recovery Media option listed in the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Click the arrows next to Select and choose your storage device.

Step 4: Click on Continue.

Step 5: Check that the data you want to delete is correct and click Delete Now.

The Google app clears the memory so you can use it for other purposes.

I tried to update my Chromebook but received an error message

To fix this, first check your internet connection. Ideally, you want a strong Wi-Fi connection or an Ethernet connection. Don't use your data connection for updates because it uses your monthly allotment and often causes these error messages.

You can also restart your Chromebook to troubleshoot connection issues:

Step 1: Press and hold the on / off button.

Step 2: The screen darkens and a popup appears. Click the Turn Off button.

Step 3: Press the power button on your Chromebook to restart the computer.

I'm trying to download an important update but it doesn't work

If you try to download the same update multiple times, restart your Chromebook:

Step 1: Press and hold the on / off button.

Step 2: The screen darkens and a popup appears. Click the Turn Off button.

Step 3: Press the power button on your Chromebook to restart the computer.

If a restart doesn't work, you should sign out of your account and reset your Chromebook. This will delete your settings and hard drive. So make sure everything is stored in the cloud before you start.

Step 1: Sign out of your account.

Step 2: Hold down Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R.

Step 3: Choose Restart.

Step 4: Choose Powerwash> Next.

I can't sign in to my Chromebook without a bug

There are many different error messages that appear when you sign in to a Chromebook. We recommend that you use Google’s walkthroughs to fix these errors individually.

In general, we recommend that you check your password, username, and Google account to make sure everyone is up to date and working as expected, as the problem is usually one of these three.

Your Chromebook screen went blank

Here are the things you can do:

Start with the basics.

Is your battery empty? Did your Chromebook crash unexpectedly and had to be turned on again? Did you accidentally reduce the screen brightness completely? These are all simple fixes that could fix the problem.

Reset your Chromebook

If you seem to have a hardware problem, do the following:

Step 1: Force shutdown your Chromebook.

Step 2: Press and hold both Update + On / Off buttons.

Step 3: When your Chromebook restarts, stop pressing the Refresh button.

This will do a hardware reset that can fix your screen. However, this process may vary slightly depending on the Chromebook, as some models may have a special reset button or may ask you to remove the battery.

Let it wait

If none of these work and you can see from your noise and indicator lights that your Chromebook is still working, it's time to review your warranty and send your Chromebook in for service.

Your microphone suddenly stops working

This is a problem if your speakers are working properly, but no one can hear you speaking during a conference call and other situations – or everything they hear is static.

This is a growing problem in 2020 and appears to be related to a Chrome bug that affects hardware interaction with popular web conferencing apps. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an easy solution at the moment. Try to reset your Chromebook and make sure Chrome OS is fully updated.

You may also be luckier if you switch your meetings to Google Meet.

Browser problems

HP Chromebook x2 review

My open browser tabs are constantly reloaded and make everything slow

Chrome occasionally encounters an issue where browser tabs keep reloading, which slows everything else down. The poor performance is due to the low system memory that is normally installed in Chromebooks and the high memory load of Chrome, so that little is left for other programs and apps. Close any browser tabs you don't need to see if performance increases.

If you're still having trouble, you can use Task Manager to disable tabs and other apps and programs:

Step 1: Press the Search + Esc keys (formerly Shift + Esc). This will open the Task Manager.

Step 2: Select an app or program from the list – especially those you don't know – that use a lot of memory. Click the End Process button.

However, do not close any entries labeled "System" as they are part of the operating system.

My Chromebook often crashes for no reason

If you're surfing the Internet and your Chromebook crashes for no reason, it's best to turn off your Chromebook. Leave it off for a moment (this clears the memory) and then restart it.

If this fails, a website you use frequently can be the problem. Extensions or apps can also cause crashes and must be removed. To remove a Chromebook app:

Step 1: Click the Launcher button in the lower left corner.

Step 2: Click the Up icon to expand the app bar.

Step 3: Right-click on the app you think is problematic and select Uninstall (or Remove from Chrome) from the pop-up menu.

To remove an extension:

Step 1: Open the Chrome browser.

Step 2: Click the three-dot more icon in the upper right corner.

Step 3: Select the More Tools option from the drop-down list.

Step 4: From the rollout menu, choose Extensions.

Step 5: Click the Remove button on each expansion card you want to delete. If you only want to temporarily disable the extension, click the switch instead. Blue is "on" and gray is "off".

Instead of loading web pages, I get strange error messages

If Chrome can't load a webpage properly, a strange "Aw snap!" Error. If this error occurs constantly, something is wrong with your operating system or your settings. One of the simplest and most effective solutions is to close unnecessary browser tabs and windows.

If you can finally open a new one by closing some tabs, system memory is your problem. Chromebooks usually have a low storage capacity due to their web-based roots. In the meantime, Chrome tabs can occupy this limited space. When you put the two together, you need to regulate the use of tabs.

Incorrect extensions can also be a problem. Follow these steps to fix or remove the problem:

Step 1: Open the Chrome browser.

Step 2: Click the three-dot more icon in the upper right corner.

Step 3: Select the More Tools option from the drop-down list.

Step 4: From the rollout menu, choose Extensions.

Step 5: Click the Remove button on each expansion card you want to delete. If you only want to temporarily disable the extension, click the switch instead. Blue is "on" and gray is "off".

If everything else fails, check your internet connection, clear your browser cache or try to open a website in an incognito window.

Chrome keeps telling me, "This website is not available."

Assuming you have the correct web address, this error is often caused by cookie or proxy problems. On the cookie side, it's probably time to delete them all. Be sure to save your online passwords before deleting data:

Step 1: Open Chrome and click the three-dot "More" button in the upper right corner.

Step 2: Check the More Tools option in the drop-down list.

Step 3: In the following rollout menu, select the option Delete browser data. Alternatively, you can press the Ctrl + Shift + Backspace keys to achieve this setting.

Step 4: A pop-up window will appear on your screen. The Basic tab offers three options, while Advanced expands the list to five. Select the data you want to delete. Click the Clear Data button.

The problem can also be your proxy settings (sometimes indicated by a proxy problem message). You can change the proxy settings, but only if you know what you are doing:

Step 1: Click the system clock in the lower right corner.

Step 2: Click the gear icon in the pop-up menu. You get to the settings.

Step 3: Under Network, click your current connection.

Step 4: Click it again on the following page.

Step 5: Click here to expand the proxy setting.

Step 6: Activate (blue) the setting Allow proxies for shared networks.

Using a guest profile on a Chromebook will likely solve your problem. However, you must enter the correct proxy settings when prompted after selecting the check box.

I can't use my Word documents on my Chromebook

If you've recently switched to a Chromebook and are having trouble accessing your old documents, there are several workarounds. Google's first suggestion is of course to use Google Docs. This can solve your problem and Google Docs can display many Word files. However, due to tools, formatting, compatibility, etc., this is not always practical.

The best option – if your Chromebook allows it – is to download the Microsoft Word Android app from Google Play. This app works the same as on Android or iOS, so you should feel at home.

Another option is to switch to Word Online. This is a special, well-tested Chrome extension that specializes in allowing you to use Office features on your Chromebook and with different applications. If you have online office functions, this web-based solution is ideal.

Zoom doesn't work on my Chromebook

Here are some suggestions if you can't get Zoom to work:

Make sure your zoom app is updated

Zoom releases Chrome OS updates that regularly fix bugs and possibly fix the problem you have.

Check the Family Link settings

Sometimes Google Family Link's parental controls can interfere with zoom meetings, which can cause problems for students trying to use zoom for classes. The easiest short-term solution is to switch to a parent account for the zoom video.

For repeated zoom sessions, however, there is something else you can try: download the zoom app and let the student manually enter the zoom room number to join a session instead of clicking the invitation link. By manually entering the room number, Family Link's problems with the process are avoided.

Note that some features of Zoom may still be limited due to some inherent compatibility issues with Chrome OS. For example, you may not be able to record videos directly in zoom.

Connection problems

Google Pixelbook with Adobe Lightroom CC

I cannot connect to a strong Wi-Fi network

Check the system clock to make sure the WiFi icon is full. If it appears empty (hollow), your WLAN is switched off. Here is the update:

Step 1: Click the system clock in the lower right corner.

Step 2: Click the WiFi icon again in the pop-up menu.

Step 3: The Wi-Fi switch should turn blue when your Chromebook connects to the local network. A list of available networks is also displayed.

Legacy wireless networks may not work with your Chromebook. This is unusual, but if your router is several years old, you may want to try a different network to see if you get a better connection. In this case, it's time to upgrade your router.

If in doubt, you can also restart your Chromebook. Here's how:

Step 1: Press and hold the on / off button.

Step 2: The screen darkens and a popup appears. Click the Turn Off button.

Step 3: Press the power button on your Chromebook to restart the computer.

Check your wireless connection to see if the restart worked.

I can't connect to a second screen

If you have problems with a secondary screen, you can check the settings as follows:

Step 1: Click the system clock in the lower right corner.

Step 2: Click the gear icon in the pop-up menu. This will open Settings.

Step 3: Select Connected Devices on the left.

Step 4: Click the Show option listed under Devices.

Here you will see various options to rotate your picture, center the picture, check the orientation of the TV and send the picture to multiple screens. Check to see if any of these problems can help solve your problem.

If you are using a USB-based dock to connect an external display, disconnect the dock, wait a few moments, and then reconnect. If you continue to have problems, the problem may be in the DisplayLink drivers and may need to be reinstalled.

I can't hear anything on my Chromebook

First, check for obvious but sometimes unnoticed problems, e.g. B. Headphones that you must disconnect before playing sound through the speakers. If you are using an audio device such as external speakers, make sure they are working properly.

If the problem appears to be on the Chromebook, do the following:

Step 1: Click the system clock in the lower right corner.

Step 2: Adjust the volume control shown in the pop-up menu. Make sure the volume is high enough to hear.

You can also try changing the sound input or output:

Step 1: Click the system clock in the lower right corner.

Step 2: In the pop-up menu, click the arrow next to the volume control. This icon won't appear if you don't have any external audio devices connected to your Chromebook.

Step 3: In the pop-up menu below, make sure that you have set the correct audio device as the output.

If this doesn't work, you'll need to reset your Chromebook according to the steps above.

Bluetooth does not connect

First, keep in mind that not all Chromebooks contain Bluetooth. Therefore, check the product specifications. If available, the icon appears in the pop-up menu when you click the system clock. A blue symbol means that the Bluetooth component is activated, while a gray symbol means that it is deactivated. Click the gray icon if Bluetooth is turned off.

If you have problems with the Bluetooth connection, the connections are reset by switching them off and on. Just make sure that all Bluetooth codes are still correct and the devices are properly paired. Also, never forget your physical space as objects and distances can cause connection problems.

I can't get my printer to work with my Chromebook

This can be your obstacle to success: you need Google Cloud Print to print successfully. This isn't a problem for Chromebooks, but cloud-enabled printers are a hit or miss. Find a cloud-ready printer for the best results.

If you're stuck with an old, less compatible printer, Google has a somewhat cumbersome workaround. If you're signed in to the same Google Account on another computer (not a Chromebook), you should be able to connect to Google Cloud Print wirelessly. Then use your Chromebook – again under the same account – to route and print a document or image through the cloud.

Search for Google’s knowledge

Whether it's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, audio, or other errors, this guide hopefully helped you solve some of your most common Chromebook problems. If all else fails, go to Google’s help page, which has helpful videos and instructions for resolving other Chromebook issues that are not mentioned here.

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