Fix unresponsive, frozen, or slow Chromebook with Chrome's Task Manager.

Hot Top #1: How to fix an unresponsive or frozen Chromebook

Did your Chromebook ever freeze on you? Did it ever get caught into a loading loop? Did it ever become unresponsive? Did it ever just go blank with a white, transparent overlay and just freeze up?

On Windows, you can simply open up the Task Manager by doing the good old “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” trick. From there, you can just find the program or application that holding up your computer and force close it. And that should fix it- most of the time.

On Mac, you can easily Force Quit any application by pressing “Command + Option + Escape” and shut down whatever is holding up your computer resources.

How to fix an unresponsive, frozen, or slow Chromebook

But, what about on a Chromebook? How do you force close unresponsive apps? Or what about a frozen Chromebook?

Fix unresponsive, frozen, or slow Chromebook with Chrome's Task Manager.
To fix an unresponsive or frozen Chromebook, use the keyboard shortcut to bring up the Chrome Task Manager.

Here’s a quick tip for Chromebook users. There’s also a keyboard shortcut just like Windows and Mac, so you’re in good hands. Whenever your laptop freezes up or becomes unresponsive, just press the following keyboard hotkeys:

 

“Shift + Escape.”

 

This will bring up Chrome OS’s Task Manager, just like Windows. It’s actually easier since it’s one less key to press, if you want to be nitpicky about it. It’s just a weird key combination to remember since many of us are used to Windows.

Anyway, after you bring up Chrome’s Task Manager, you can see a small window that lists all running Chrome applications. It’ll also give you detailed information like Memory (RAM) usage, CPU usage, Network Usage, and more. It’s basically Window’s Task Manager on Chrome. Nothing special.

After you bring it up, you can scan through the apps and see what’s taking up all your resources. If the app that’s making your Chromebook isn’t a resource hog, but is still freezing up your laptop, you’ll need to make some educated guesses and find it.

If you’re new to this, here are some tips to find the right process to force quit:

  • Try looking for any app (or apps) that are new to your Chromebook (chances are that your trusted apps that you’re used to aren’t causing the issue)
  • Look for apps that are using a lot of Memory or CPU usage (you can sort by clicking on the column headers)
  • Look for apps that you don’t recognize

 

A note of warning: Don’t force quit “Browser.” This is Chrome OS. And if you quit this app,  you’ll basically shut down your Chromebook. This is the computer itself (pretty much). So don’t quit it.

After you find it, click on it, and click on the “End Process” button in the lower right-hand corner. This will force quit the application on your Chromebook. If you chose the right one, your laptop will start chugging along again. This should fix the issue if your Chromebook is frozen, unresponsive, or slow. If not, we have more options following below. Check ’em out.

Also, consider uninstalling the app if you don’t need it so it doesn’t screw up your Chromebook again. Untrusted apps are typically the cause of these issues.

 

Is your Chromebook still unresponsive?

Is your Chromebook frozen? Kill the apps using the Task Manager.
Is your Chromebook frozen? Kill the pages. Do the same for apps using the Task Manager.

If you end up closing a whole bunch of apps and your Chromebook is still unresponsive, then you’ll have to shut it down and restart it. Simply click on the system status area in the bottom-right corner of your screen (where the time, battery, and account information is) and then click on the Power icon. This will shut down your laptop and you’ll have to restart it.

If you can’t even get it to shut down, then you’ll have to do a hard reset. Press and hold the Power button (it should be the very top-right button on your keyboard for most Chromebooks) for 3 seconds and it’ll force shut down. After it’s completely off, simply just press it again to turn it back on and go from there. It should fix your frozen or unresponsive Chromebook.

Still not fixed? Backup your personal files and do a Powerwash.

Well, that should solve your issues. Most unresponsive issues can be fixed simply through the Chrome Task Manager and killing the process that’s freezing up your Chromebook and making it not respond to your commands. If not, then move up the chain and take more drastic measures such as restarting your laptop.

That’s it. If this has helped you, consider telling a fellow Chromie about it. If you have any other tips, feel free to leave a comment.

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (platy@platypusplatypus.com).

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