How to Enable Developer Mode on Chromebook – Everything You Need to Know (2023)

Enabling Developer Mode on your Chromebook might have you running circles in your head.

You may have heard that Developer Mode deletes all your data or that it voids the warranty of your Chromebook.

Fear not.

This guide will answer all those questions you may have (and then some!).

And it’ll teach you how to enable it so you can do things like install Linux or run Play Store apps.

You need to enable it because Chrome OS by itself doesn’t let you install third-party software on it.

Last updated: 3/8/23. This guide will constantly be updated so you get the newest and most accurate information so you can do your stuff without a hitch. If you find any errors, please let me know in the comments and I’ll fix them!

Does it delete all my stuff? Does it void my warranty?

Enabling Developer Mode will void Chromebook warranty.
It may void the warranty of your laptop. But then again, it may be worth it.

Firstly, let’s answer all these common questions and get them out of the way.

Developer Mode erases your Chromebook

Switching to it does indeed delete all your local data.

When you enable it, it basically forces the Chromebook to delete your personal files you have saved on your local disk.

It’ll basically perform a Powerwash on itself.

Although other options like Linux have gotten a Beta feature on Chrome OS, enabling Dev Mode still requires you to go through the steps.

This means you’ll have to back up all your data to an external hard drive. Be sure to do this before proceeding because once you start, there’s no going back.

(Don’t have an external hard drive? Check out some of the best backup storage devices that are compatible with Chromebooks.)

You can use the free cloud storage provided by Google on Google Drive to easily save most (if not all) of it.

Or if you have some other cloud service (like Dropbox or Amazon S3), you can easily stash your stuff there as well.

There have many comments from readers (as you can see on this page) regarding possible workarounds to avoid deleting all your data.

Unfortunately, that’s how Chrome OS is wired. If you want to turn on Dev Mode, it wipes your system completely.

The bad part is that you have to back up everything. The good part is that if you screw up, you can just reset your device over and over since you have nothing important on it.

Plus, your Chromebook will probably run much faster since it’ll be like new.

Note that if you’re using your school’s laptop, this won’t work. The same goes for work Chromebooks. Use yours only. Chances are that they’re using the enrollment system which locks it down so you can’t enable Dev Mode anyway. But if not, your employer or school likely doesn’t want you tinkering with their paid for devices either.

It also semi-voids your Chromebook’s warranty

Enabling it also kinda voids the warranty. But not exactly.

If you break your machine, Google will offer no support for the matter.

This is clearly stated in the many warning prompts you’ll see when going through the process of enabling it.

If you should break or screw up your machine, make sure you disable it before attempting to send it in for repairs (though, this probably will be useless since they can check if the laptop was put into that mode).

The basic warranty doesn’t cover any damages due to you playing with the machine with it enabled.

This mode is intended for power-users, hardcore Chromium fans, or people who know what they’re doing.

If you’re just a regular user and you want to install something that requires root access, consider the pros and cons of doing so.

It’s easy to restore it to the original settings if you screw up

But then again, with a simple Powerwash, you can restore it back to factory settings. This basically makes it like new again as if it was never used before.

Google just doesn’t provide support for the product when you’re in Dev Mode. But when you’re out of it, you get support. Dev Mode just enables a lot of features that are currently in “beta,” so not everything will work properly. This is why they can’t provide support.

But when you Powerwash it, it’ll revert back to the original settings. Most retail stores will also gladly take it back in the event you need to return it as well. With a Powerwash, it’s pretty much impossible to tell if it was ever used (not that you should abuse it).

In fact, if you do decide to return or exchange a Chromebook in general,  you should definitely Powerwash it to clean it up and delete everything tied to your personal data to protect yourself. They’ll probably appreciate it as well since the device will be like new.

If you ever break something, just check out this guide on how to Powerwash your Chromebook.

You shouldn’t be scared to play around

Don’t be afraid to experiment though.

But then again, it’s pretty hard to destroy your laptop. Chrome OS has a lot of built-in features that make it possible to self-repair and go back to factory settings in just a few clicks.

You shouldn’t be that worried about switching modes unless you’re planning to do something drastic.

In other words, stop worrying. I haven’t heard of anyone permanently screwing up their laptop by turning it on. Self repairing is built in to your device!

(Besides, these things can be good paperweights if you brick ’em.)

Chromebooks are very easy to restore back factory settings if you screw one up.

And to be honest, it’s quite fun playing around with it enabled. You can get new updates that are in beta, install third-party software, and even see a whole bunch of techy jargon code that you probably won’t understand. If you break something, just restore it.

As long as you back up all your stuff, you’ll be fine.

(Don’t know how to back up your stuff? I wrote a complete guide about that.)

Still here? OK. Good.

Let’s keep moving.

Why would you want to enable it?

You’ll want to enable it to grant yourself root access so you have the necessary admin privileges to do anything you want on your device.

It’s kind of like “Run as administrator” on Windows (if you’re familiar with it).

This allows you to install kernels like Linux, install popular programs like Steam, play games like Minecraft, Hearthstone, Roblox, RuneScape, and even World of Warcraft, and also get access to Chrome updates that aren’t released yet, just to name a few.

There are a ton of goodies just waiting to be discovered!

Enable Developer Mode

  1. Boot your Chromebook into Recovery Mode by holding “ESC + Refresh” (4th key on the top row) keys, and then pressing the Power button.
  2. You’ll then be promoted with a scary warning that’ll take over your screen. Read it and accept the consequences. This will occur regardless of what you do.
  3. Press “CTRL + D.” This is basically another fail-safe. Google’s way of making sure you really know what you’re doing.
  4. On the next screen, you’ll see another message that states- “To turn OS Verification OFF, press ENTER.” Go ahead and do it. You may hear beeping during this step.
  5. Press “CTRL+ D” again, or just wait for the beeping to stop and your Chromebook will reboot itself.
  6. It’ll take about 15-20 minutes for it to boot into Developer Mode. You’ll see the status of the boot. You only have to go through this process during your first boot after enabling it.
  7. You’re now in Developer Mode!

Congrats! So now that you’ve officially “hacked” your Chromebook, you can do some nifty things that you couldn’t before- like change your browser and even download media players!

But at the same time, there are plenty of risks.

For one, Chrome OS usually verifies the core files during boot. Now it won’t do that anymore.

The security that you previously had is now gone, so be extra careful what you do.

Enable the Chrome OS debugging features

You may see an option to enable debugging features. This is optional, but may be useful when you’re trying to fix something down the line.

If you do this, you get some benefits such as booting from a USB drive, accessing your Chromebook remotely via SSH, and other useful features.

But if you don’t need all the extra functionality, or don’t even know what they do, you don’t have to enable them.

Now you can do things you couldn’t normally do with full reign.

Access the command line

For starters, you can access the root shell by pressing “CTRL + ALT + T” to open a new command terminal window.

In this window, type “shell”, and then press Enter to open a bash shell.

Doing so will let you use “sudo” which is needed to execute many commands.

You’re now in Dev Mode!

This is pretty much all you need to do. You’re now officially in Dev Mode.

It’s now enabled and you can begin installing Linux or doing whatever you plan to do.

Getting errors?

Here are a few of the most common errors you may encounter- and their solutions!

If you get an error that reads:

  • “ERROR: unknown command: sudo”

It means you didn’t type “shell” first. Try typing that in before you start using “sudo.”

  • ERROR: unknown command: shell”

It’s likely because you’re not in Developer Mode.

Chrome OS has a tendency to revert back out of Dev Mode quite often. This happens when you reboot your device or wake it up from hibernate mode.

A warning will pop up on the screen that offers you the option to either stay in Dev Mode or revert back to the normal mode. This is a security measure built into Chrome OS.

If you don’t press the right keyboard combination on the screen to keep your Chromebook in Dev Mode, it’ll automatically revert back to the normal mode. It also works on a timer- if you do nothing, it’ll also automatically switch out of Developer Mode.

When you see the warning come up, you want to keep “OS Verification” off. This is important because if you don’t, you’ll have to start over from the first step again.

  • “Chrome OS is missing or damaged”

Don’t worry too much about this.

This is normal to the process and if you get this error, you can safely ignore it if it lets you proceed with the guide.

You should see this error show up regardless during the process.

If you don’t, it means something went wrong and you may have to restart.

Done playing? Ready to disable it?

When you’re doing playing around and you want to disable Developer Mode, just reboot it.

You’ll get warning screens all over again when it boots up. Just press the spacebar and your Chromebook will reset to factory settings.

This will delete everything you’ve done while it was enabled and switch back to the default mode. It’ll be like turning on your laptop for the first time again.

When it’s done restarting, you’ll have to log into your Google Account again on that familiar splash page.

You’ll be back at where you started- minus your files you started with. (But you backed them up, right?)

Well, there you have it. Easy and straightforward. If you have any issues, leave a comment and I’ll look into it.

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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 (check the "Contact Us" page).

134 thoughts on “How to Enable Developer Mode on Chromebook – Everything You Need to Know (2023)”

  1. Hi, So I just spent 300 bucks on a brand new HP chromebook x360, 2 weeks ago almost. So I turn it on, go to set it up.. really excited .. and Cannot get passed “connecting to wifi” .. OMG. I’m so freakin frustrated. I’ve tried everything i can think of, I’m not a computer nerd, but I know enough to get me by. If i don’t my kids can usually help me with an issue. Welp, not this time. From what I’ve been reading the past two weeks, and you’re step by step guide. (which i have’nt tried yet). Seems like wal-mart, sold me a used chromebook.. without my knowledge! Is that even legal? If this is true, I’m going to be red hot pissed! (excuse my language)!! please say I can fix this without sending it in, waiting weeks, then them sending me a brand new one.. which is BS.

  2. I know it has been a while… but perhaps you still read this thread

    Lenovo 300e 2nd Gen AST (AMD CPU) Chromebook

    Problem: bought chromebook legally (I even have a receipt)… it belonged to a law firm who issued it to employees. It is my chromebook, but the original firm closed and the original Admin is simply unknown.
    When enabling Developer mode I get the “Developer mode is disabled by policy” error (looks out of place, txt writing on the upper left while the white graphics screen with the Exclamation sign is on)

    I have removed the firmware screw… seems useless… I did not see a behavioral difference.

    I just want to install Linux on it. The laptop seems nice enough for a multi purpose little unit. It would be a shame if the only way to get around this is to buy a new motherboard. This seems insane.

  3. So I am trying to enter developer mode on my chromebook to power wash it because it is enterprise enrolled but I bought it second hand from a local school. But the button combinations are not working AT ALL…… WHAT DO I DO? IS THERE A RESET BUTTON ON THE OUTSIDE OR???? PLEASE HELP

  4. chronos@localhost / $ this is what i get when i type in shell and hit enter there are no questions to answer i am stuck please someone help

  5. If I have an adminstrator (my school) managing my chromebook can I enter developer mode. and then go back and still be managed by the school? Im not trying to get in trouble here

  6. ive tried following these instructions a few times and i just get turned around in circles please help

    • Hey King,

      Sadly, there’s no surefire way to unblock or bypass an admin’s restriction on Chrome OS. The only way to is to allow permissions from your school’s admin. Chrome OS is built securely in this fashion so that makes it pretty much bulletproof for bypass methodologies.

      However, if you’re able to get your own personal Chromebook, you’ll be able to do whatever you want on it. But with an enrolled device, it’s up to the school’s restrictions. Sorry about that.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  7. Okay so i take the first step: Esc+refresh+power button
    And then it takes my to a screen and asks me to put in a recovery drive(sd card, etc.)
    What do i do?

    O and is it a problem to put it in developer mode when it is still being managed by an administrator?
    Or will that be removed after i put it in dev mode?

    • Hi, this is very late so I don’t know if you still need this, however once you hit that screen, that’s when you press the ctrl + d button (I was confused too since I didn’t have a mouse on the screen)

  8. When i turn off my laptop it takes me back to regular chrome. And when I ctrl refresh power it system repair.. how do I keep it as Linux and do I have to start over?

  9. Awesome guide, Andy. It was easy to follow and fun to read. I am using an administrated chromebook, with the hopes of signing into a personal account, entering developer mode, running linux, running steam, and then playing some games, because this is the only device I have at the moment, while my other computer is getting fixed. Do you reckon this is a good idea? I’m pretty desperate for some gaming. All my friends have PCs and I’m stuck with an administrated chromebook. I also want to do all this stuff while staying under the radar, if you know what I mean (I don’t particularly want to be getting in trouble with the people who are in charge of my device). I’m a noob when it comes to all this, to be honest, I don’t really understand all the code and what goes on and why to do certain things. I just follow guides and do pretty basic stuff, and from all the guides I’ve read, yours has been the best. I am now only relying on your site for tech inquiries, so thanks! Are there any tips you can give me for making a chromebook feel more like a PC? Are there any tips you can give me in general? Thanks a lot!

  10. Normally me pc is windows I transformed to chromium but I want to go back to windows again somebody helps my keyboard is a window pc/

  11. My laptop says that “chrome OS isn’t working” and “please insert a SD card or Flash drive” what do I do?

  12. If my chromebox has reached “end of life” and I go into developer mode. Will I still be able to reset it (like a powerwash) ?

  13. Hey, I have a lenovo chromebook S330. and attempting to do whatever I need to to download steam to regain the ability to play the over 30 games that I had downloaded on my previous laptop. it’s in dev mode/channel and none of the codes are working. Anything you can do to help?

  14. I’ve tried esc+reload+power button, although it only resets it and doesn’t give me the notification, it only automatically resets my chromebook. Any alternatives?

    • Hey Naomi,

      Do you get any messages when your Chromebook boots up again? Are you using a school or work laptop by chance? If so, your admin team may have disabled the ability to enter Developer Mode.

      If you’re using a personal device, it may be that the device is indeed entering Dev Mode. After you log on, try launching the command prompt (“CTRL + ALT + T”) and then typing “shell” and see if you get an error. If it says “unknown command,” then it’s not currently in Developer Mode.

      If it doesn’t work, reply here and I”ll try to help you out.

  15. Success! Used a Samsung unsupported xe-303 with Chromebook Recovery Utility to make an image as the imageburner is no longer available. Only issue was getting the app to find the usb prior to download. Wiggling it got it to be found. After dl I removed usb then ran the install. Before it started it warned of not using the blue usb port. Installation took about 5 minutes. Works! Thanks for the guide.

    • Hey CJ,

      Awesome! Now that’s taking some initiative =]. Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Thanks for the kind words!

  16. Hi Andy,

    Quick problem I am hoping you can help me with regards to Developer Mode. I am currently living in China and thus cannot access Google servers without the use of a VPN. This means that I cannot access the Playstore as well. While I do have a VPN app installed via the Playstore from before arriving in China, a recent change in how the government handles the Internet has rendered the version of my VPN app useless, and I cannot update it without accessing the Playstore which I cannot access without a working VPN. Thus, I see developer mode as my only option for installing the newest working update of the VPN that I use (I do have the file for it).

    However, I am aware that entering developer mode does wipe all Google login info from Chromebooks. So if this does not work as I am hoping, I am stuck with a Chromebook that cannot install any software or access my (at least offline) google drive (b/c I could then only use it as a guest). The latter is more important to me as I have some work saved offline there, and I cannot convert that work to a different file type as that requires access to Google servers.

    My question then is: Is there a workaround to the usual ‘complete wipe’ you describe here: “This will delete everything you’ve done while it was enabled and switch back to the default mode. It’ll be like turning on your laptop for the first time again.”? I need the VPN to already be installed in order to sign in to my google account again after leaving developer mode. Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope to hear from you soon with some good news.

    • Hey there,

      Seems like this situation is very specific and somewhat of a Catch-22. As far as I know, when you enter Dev Mode, the system goes through a Powerwash which restores it back to factory conditions. So the apps you have installed would be wiped- unless you have them synched to your Chrome Browser. Chrome does have the ability to sync your Chrome Web Store apps across multiple devices, though it doesn’t seem to work 100% of the time from my experience. It’s almost like it chooses which apps to automatically port to the new device (in your case it’d be the same device).

      The issue is that to sync the VPN after you enter Dev Mode would require you to have an active connection to the Internet. Plus you’ll have the off-chance that it doesn’t sync and download the app.

      Since you’re using a VPN on the Play Store, would it be possible to download a Chrome Web Store VPN, check your sync, restore your device, launch that VPN on Chrome, and then access the Play Store through that VPN online to complete the update?

      The other option is Linux. If you download and install Linux on your device, you have a host of VPNs you can use that may accomplish your needs. You can also access Drive and do a lot more than a typical install of Chrome OS.

      It really depends on what you need your Chromebook to do. For your stored documents, is there a way to download or save a local copy of them and back it up on an external drive? If I’m understanding right, you need to get access to your files online via Drive using a VPN? Linux may be able to accomplish this, the issue is that you’ll have to get a copy of Crouton first (whether you download it to an external device or if you’re still able to download it online when you enter Dev Mode). Plus I’m not sure if only specific VPNs work and if there’s one available on Linux. But this may be more work than it’s worth.

      I guess the fast answer is that entering Dev Mode will wipe your device and there’s no way to bypass this. It’s essentially a Powerwash which restores it to factory settings. When you enter or leave Dev Mode, it erases your device both ways.

      You may find these pages helpful:
      VPNs for Chrome
      Linux tutorial
      Linux Beta

      Let me know if you have any other questions. It’s pretty late at night so I apologize if the previous paragraphs were incomprehensive (or if I totally missed the point).


      • Hi Andy,

        Thank you for the response. Unfortunately, the first solution you propose is a no-go because it is not possible for me to download anything without a working VPN as I cannot access google servers without it (this also means I can’t even sync anything). However, the Linux solution does seem promising. I will look more into it in the coming days. Thanks again so much!

  17. I got the message saying OS is missing or damaged. I didn’t know how to proceed to the guide, so I just followed googles instruction and “recovered” the laptop. However, it still displays the message… how should I proceed?

  18. Andy,
    First; thanks for the great guides! Now, my problem… I’m trying to enter Dev mode on a Samsung Series 5 (XE500C21). I slide the hardware switch forward, press the power button, and it goes through the process of transitioning to Developer Mode. It takes a bit over 5 minutes, to run through the
    –“Preparing system for Developer Mode.
    This may take a while.
    Do not turn your computer off until it has restarted”– screen, after which, it reboots into the
    –“Chrome OS verification is turned off”– screen, with the ASCII image, where it sits. And sits… and SITS, doing nothing, and displaying no options or instructions, whatsoever. I’ve manually reset the unit and gone through the procedure again, 3 times, always ending up stuck at that same point. Any ideas? Thanks.

  19. When I try to turn on developer mode it keeps saying the device owner has disabled developer mode and takes me back to the sign in screen. Do you know what I should do to bypass this?

    • Hey Sherry Sisk,

      Are you using a managed Chromebook by your school or work by chance? Or did you buy it secondhand where it may have been previously enrolled?

      If so, this article may help you out:
      Unenroll a managed Chromebook

      If not, what steps have you taken so far to replicate the error? Do you remember what you did (button combinations, error messages, etc.)?

      • Andy, to unenroll a managed Chromebook, developer mode. Kinda hard to unenroll when the only way you can is blocked by the enroller. But if you know any ways to bypass the developer block, it’d be appreciated.

        • I read this back and realized I’ve made an error. What was meant to say was, “to unenroll a managed Chromebook, developer mode is required.”

  20. Ok as soon as I hit ctrl alt T it takes me to the chronos thing and I type shell and then nothing happens I’ve tried this entire thing over and over again for like 7 hours straight and am I playing Minecraft NOPE!

    • Hey there,

      Are you using a school or work Chromebook by chance? They may have disabled the ability to run commands from the command prompt. If this is your personal laptop, did you enable Developer Mode correctly? Do you see a warning when you restart your Chromebook?

      Any details you provide will help solve the issue.


  21. Ok so every time I try to turn on dev mode it shuts of then up pops the warning and whenever I try to hit ctrl d then it just sits there and literally does nothing I have done this stupid procedure literally 30 times plz HELP!!!

  22. I tried to do all you said and now I can’t get out of the chrome OS missing or damaged! Screen. I tried restart several times and it is still showing this message. What do I do?

  23. I keep clicking Enable debugging features and it’s not letting me it says “Something went wrong” with a big red X above it

  24. Hi there. First of all, thank you for this and your other guides. I successfully – and rather easily – entered Dev Mode and installed Linux. When I switched back to ChromeOS to update Linux (typing into the command line), I can’t get back into Dev Mode. Nothing but the power button responds after hitting Esc + Refresh, then the power button. When I hit the power button on the screen that says Chrome OS is missing blah, blah (first scary warning screen) the Chromebook turns off. When I turn it back on, it’s moved back to the next warning message, prompting me to hit the space bar to re-enable OS verification. It quickly reboots, prompting me to log into the Chromebook, and the cycle continues. I suppose I could just start over, but I don’t know what to do differently so as to avoid this.

    • Nevermind. Somehow got it working. Maybe I hit a wrong button. Once again, thank you for these wonderful guides.

      • Hey Ixiaul,

        I’m glad you got it up and running! I think the issue was due to the keyboard “lock” Chrome OS puts on Dev Mode-enabled systems. To bypass it, you’ll need to keep OS Verification off, which is done by hitting “CTRL + D” at the warning prompt (I think- it’s been quite some time since I’ve messed around with Dev Mode). Pressing the spacebar or letting it time out will restart or revert the system back to the default mode.

        Anyway, glad you took the initiative and got it working =]. Let me know if you have any other questions or happen to run into any other problems. And thanks for the kind words.

    • Did you end up signing in to get this to work? I’m stuck on the same step and once I try and type in “ctrl +alt+t” it doesn’t do anything

        • I’m having the same issue. I went through all the scary steps, I got to it asking me to debug (which I decided not to do) but I ended back to asking me to log into my wifi and now log into google.

  25. So… is there any way to stay in dev mode permanently? I’d prefer to be able to switch back and forth between Chrome and Linux, and not have Linux disappear on me.

    I want to install development tools within Linux, and unfortunately I can’t use the VM that is available on the Samsung Chromebook Plus because I bought the higher powered Pro instead.

    • Hey Kaleb,

      If you’re running a Chromebook that’s issued by your school, it’s likely that they’ve blocked the ability to enabled Developer Mode in the first place. If you attempt it, it won’t let you because the admin team disabled it.

      In these cases, it’s best to ask for permission and get to them enable it for you, since they can allow individual Chromebooks to be enabled if needed. There’s no way around it either, so the only way is to get them to approve it.

      Afterward, you can do whatever you want- install games, Linux, Steam, or whatever else. And you likely won’t screw anything up because it’s very easy to go back to factory settings with a Powerwash. In other words, enabling Dev Mode is pretty much 99% safe and you won’t break anything.

      You may also want to see this guide on resetting school/work Chromebooks for more information.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • What would happen if you have something installed DRC insight which is for LEAP testing or state testing would it get rid of that? I don’t wanna destroy my school chrome book but I want to download and play games

  26. Ok, did all of that plus extra. Now I’m stuck at:
    Loading extra module: /usr/share/crosh/dev.d/
    Welcome to crosh, the Chrome OS developer shell.
    If you got here by mistake, don’t panic! Just close this tab and carry on.
    Type ‘help’ for a list of commands.
    If you want to customize the look/behavior, you can use the options page.
    Load it by using Ctrl+Shift+P keyboard shortcut.

    chronos@localhost / $

    (Btw this is such a total dos ripoff it makes my inner nerd cornfuzzled to the point of not knowing wether or not to laugh like a donkey or rip out hair like a stressed out parrot)
    All i wanna do is install steam and get back to playing the sims 3
    So where do i go from here?

    • Hey Rhynian,

      Are you getting an unknown command error? At this step, you can plug in the code for installing Linux, which will then let you install Steam, and finally the Sims 3 assuming it’s compatible with Linux-based systems (haven’t played the game in a long while- stopped at Sims 2!).

      You can refer to these guides for additional steps:
      Installing Linux
      Installing Steam

      BTW, if you have trouble installing Steam, let me know. I think there may be a possible change in code that throws an error, but it’s an easy fix.
      And yes, chrosh is very similar to DOS =]. You either love it or you hate it!


  27. Hi Andy!i did the steps as you told but i still cannot be able to play Roblox.That’s one problem that im struggling. It is also that in want my original account back. For example i want to disable Dev mode now,but when i do the exact steps, it doesn’t let me 🙁 Please help

    • Hey J.J,

      Hmm…what step did you get stuck on? Maybe I can help you out.

      If you’d rather just abort mission, you can easily just do a Powerwash on your device and it’ll revert back to factory settings (like when you first bought it).

      If you don’t know how to do that, here’s a guide you can follow:
      How to do a Powerwash

      Let me know if you still get stuck and I’ll help you out =].


  28. Hi!
    I got a school chromebook that’s owned by the school but would like to have dev mode. Is it a bad idea and could it screw up my computer?

    • Hey Axel,

      If you’re trying to enable Dev Mode on a school Chromebook, it most likely won’t work in the first place because your school enrolled it into their network and Developer Mode is disabled by default.

      The only way to get around this is to actually ask an admin to grant you access. Chrome OS is built for security so it’s pretty tough to enable it without permission. I have another post you may want to check out: getting Developer Mode on a school or work Chromebook.

      If you can get someone to give you access, then you’re all set. If they knowingly give you access and you screw something up, I don’t the repercussions would be that bad because you got permission to do it!

      Turning on Dev Mode won’t really break anything. It just gives you access to more functions and allows you install Linux, try out beta versions of Chrome OS, and even get the Play Store (if you don’t have it already). And if you manage to break something, just do a Powerwash and everything will restore to factory settings- no matter how hard you broke it!

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  29. Hey Andy. Attempting to enable Developer Mode on my Acer Chromebook 13 brought me to the “Preparing system for Developer Mode…” screen, and that’s as far as I’ve got.

    The top left of the screen displays the following message:
    /sbin/clobber-state: 164 /sbin/clobber-state: pv: Input/output error

    I’ve let it run for an hour + now but still no luck; the wheel just keeps spinning. Any ideas?

    • Hey Tarik,

      Are you by chance using a school or work Chromebook? If so, the system admin may have disabled Developer Mode and you’ll have to get in touch with the admin in order to enable it.

      If not, I’d try simply doing a Powerwash and then trying again. It does complete wipe your device though, but from a few other readers’ inputs, it should work.

      Here are some pages you may want to check out:
      Chromebook enrollment in a school network
      How to Powerwash your Chromebook
      How to back up your data on a Chromebook

      Let me know if you’re still stuck!


      • Thanks for the reply, Andy. No, this is my personal Chromebook. I’m actually hoping to play Runescape through Linux, as per your other guide.

        I’ve done as you said and powerwashed it, but that message still appears when I try to enable developer mode. I’ve googled the message but no one else seems to have a solution either. Thoughts?

        • Hey Tarik,

          Sorry that you’re still having issues even after a Powerwash. I’ll look into this and see if I can come up with a solution. Usually, the Powerwash works so it’s strange that the error is still thrown.

          I’ll reply here when I find a solution.


          • Hey Andy, Tarik here again. Any good news on your end? I’ve been trying other methods to get Runescape on my chromebook without Linux but still no luck – nothing seems to work on my Acer chromebook 13 🙁

          • Hey Tarik,

            The issue seems to be an unfamiliar one.

            I’ve already tried scouring the web for a solution, but none of them wouldn’t be fixed with a Powerwash. And since you’ve tried that approach already, it’s definitely a difficult problem to solve!

            And you know what the scary part is? It seems to only happen on Acer Chromebook 13! Yikes.

            I’m still looking. Let’s keep at it! Whatever the solution is, it’s worthy of updating the tutorial to note it when we finally find a working one.

            Thanks for checking in.

          • I might have a solution, but you’ll need to make a recovery USB first. When it stops working press escape, refresh, and the power button to bring you back to the Chrome OS has stopped working screen. Put in the USB and the chromebook will boot up normally, but OS verification will still be off since you never turned it on

          • Hey Jeremiah R.,

            That’s brilliant! I’m gonna have to try this out. If it works, it’ll save the hassle of dealing with repeating steps.

            Thanks again. Keep ’em coming if you have any other tips!

    • I have an Acer CB 13 also, and I somehow got past this issue. Here’s what I remember doing. Hope it helps! 🙂

      On the screen with the input/output error, I did the ESC, refresh and power combination again. I was then brought to the screen saying how the OS verification had been turned off, with a “press enter to continue” request. I then however pressed the power button as, what I can recall, it didn’t register me pressing any other relevant button. I was then brought to a screen stating that a powerwash process had begun. After said process was complete, I was taken back to the “OS V is off, press enter” screen again. This time I then pressed the ctrl+D combination to skip the 30 second process. I then arrived at the Developer mode screen giving the option for debugging features to be enabled.

      I hope this helps you in any way. Also, take into account that my recollection of what I did may not be accurate. But I’m 90% sure this is what I did.

      Good luck!

  30. I have a school Chromebook. how would doing this effect the applications downloaded? I know that they carry over if you log in using the same gmail on a different computer, but would that change?

    • Hey there,

      If you enabled Dev Mode on a school Chromebook, it’ll delete pretty much everything on it and restore it brand-new settings.

      The apps, Chromebook settings, and all user accounts tied to the device will be deleted. It’ll basically be as if no one has ever used it. In other words, it’ll automatically perform a Powerwash on itself.

      If you log in using the same Google Account on a different computer, your settings tied to your Google Account will carry over- but nothing tied to the Chromebook will be carried. Only the stuff tied to your specific Google Account and Chrome Browser data (bookmarks, Chrome Web Store apps, etc.) will be saved. And this is assuming you have Chrome Sync enabled.

      However, if it’s enrolled in a school or work network, it’s likely that your school’s admin IT team has disabled the ability to enable Dev Mode in the first place. This means you’ll have to get permission to enable it first.

      You may want to check out the following pages for additional information:
      What does Powerwashing your Chromebook do?
      Unenrolling a Chromebook from a network
      Chrome Sync and how to enable it

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  31. I haven’t actually tried to do this yet but it seems really in depth and i just want to thank you.

    • Hey there,

      I’m glad you found it useful!

      If you decide to try it and have any questions, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP =]!

      Thanks for the kind words.

    • Hey Swaggycooldragom,

      No, it won’t.

      The data you have saved in your Google Drive account should be completely safe!

      Once you enable Developer Mode, it’ll wipe your entire Chromebook’s hard disk (such as your Chromebook’s settings, appearance, and everything in your “Downloads” folder.)

      But it won’t delete anything stored in your Google Account- including your Google Drive, Gmail, Calendar, etc.). Only stuff saved on your Chromebook itself will be wiped.

      When you turn off Developer Mode, the data that was deleted is gone permanently. Enabling Dev Mode basically forces your Chromebook to perform a Powerwash, which will literally restore it factory conditions like when you first bought it.

      You may find these articles helpful:
      What does a Powerwash do?
      How to back up your Chromebook to Google Drive

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


      • Thanks! One more question. Will the Google Play Store work for my Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-131?

        • Hey Swaggycooldragom,

          No problem! Glad to help =].

          It depends on when it was manufactured. If you look at the bottom panel, you can see a manufacture date.

          As long as it was made in 2017 and beyond, it should already have the Play Store installed!

          If not, the Acer CB3-131 is capable of running the Play Store- all you need to do is “force” it to update.

          I wrote a complete tutorial on getting the Play Store update without waiting if you’re interested.

          Let me know if you have any other questions.


    • Hey there,

      What are you having issues with? I can try to help you out =].

      If you’re trying to do this on a school or work Chromebook, it may not work because Dev Mode may be disabled by default.
      You can read more about enrollment here.


    • Hey Jack,

      It’s always possible to get hacked, viruses, and malware whether or not you’re in Developer Mode.

      By nature, Chrome OS is very, very safe against these kinds of threats though. It’s built on Linux and then locked down with tons of security features which makes the chance of you getting a virus practically impossible.

      If you’re interested, you can see why Chromebooks don’t have antivirus programs.

      Though, it depends on what you do online. If you stay on safe sites, play trusted games, and pretty much stay away from shady sites, you’ll be safe.

      Develop Mode enabled won’t increase your chance of getting malware on your Chromebook. If anything, the only thing you need to be afraid of is new updates that Chrome OS releases because they may not work with your Chrome version so it’ll be kind of buggy. That’s it.

      It’s just like when you play a game in beta. The game itself is safe to play, but since it’s in a testing environment, you can expect bugs. That’s kind of what Developer Mode is like on a Chromebook- it’s a testing environment.

      You should be completely safe enabling it.

      Let me know if you have any other questions =].


  32. cause my enrollment is school how do i get the school enrollment off and the chromebook is a lenovo chromebook

  33. hey when you power-wash the computer and the enrollment how you change the enrollment from a different email to your personal email so your admin

    • Hey John,

      If you’re on a networked chromebook that’s enrolled into a group like a school or work device, it may not be possible to change the admin email even with a Powerwash.

      But it depends on the network. Some schools and workplaces let you change the administrator email and enable Developer Mode, but most don’t. You may have to ask your IT team for permission in order to do so.

      I wrote a tutorial on resetting a school or work Chromebook to disable the enrollment you may find useful.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  34. Hey umm I searched up how to get roblox on Chromebook OS and its showing me the results of some other game I don’t even know about.

    Also, I searched up some stuff and it told me here is the guide and there wasn’t anything there.

    I hope you’ll fix this before I unsubscribe.

    • Hey,

      There should be no problem. Just Powerwash your system before you return it and it’ll look like it was never used (it’s a factor reset).

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


    • Hey Arjya,

      An easy way is to launch the command prompt by pressing “CTRL + ALT + T” and then just type “shell” and see what happens.

      If you get an error that looks like this:
      “ERROR: unknown command: shell”

      Then that means you’re not in Developer Mode.

      Another way to tell is to simply restart your Chromebook. If you see a warning screen asking you if you want to keep “OS verification” off, then yes, you’re still in Dev Mode.But if you get that screen, be sure to press the right keyboard combination it requests in order to stay in Dev Mode.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  35. Honestly freaked out, if I break this it won’t be great but i need steam and it’ll be fine… right?

    • Hey Jazmine,

      Yeah, you should OK =].

      If you break anything, just Powerwash it and it’ll revert to factory settings like when it was brand new.

      Just be sure to back up your stuff before you enable Dev Mode because it’ll wipe your Chromebook. If you don’t know how to do so, I wrote a complete guide on how to make a backup on a Chromebook you can check out.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  36. Sorry about the name, I can’t give it out. There’s is what I think is a flaw where I cannot get to the “scary” screen, so could you be more specific on how to get to the screen. It may be the latest chromebook, it looks and acts a little differently than the older versions. By the way, I have a touchscreen. And, is the top right lock symbol button the power button. I have one on the right that has a key symbol that I think used to be the power button, and the lock symbol was in the onscreen menu.

    • Hey there,

      It should be the button that powers the Chromebook on/off. If the “lock” button is the only one, try pressing it in conjunction with the other keys.

      If you can’t get it working, what specific model do you have? I can help you out.


  37. When I did the first step I saw a page that requested an sd card or USB to be inserted how do I get around that.

    • Hey Blake,

      Hmm…that’s strange. It shouldn’t require any USB/SD card to enable Dev Mode.

      Are you using an enrolled Chromebook managed by your school or work?


      • I am having the same issue Blake described. My Chromebook is personally owned and not affiliated with any organization. My daughter initially linked it to her school Google account (it is actually her Chromebook), which I thought might be the issue. However, I have done a powerwash and still receive the same prompt with no apparent way to bypass. Any suggestions?

      • Actually, just a silly oversight. Disregard the screen and continue the process with “Control + D”
        Thank you!

        • Hey there,

          Heh, it happens. Glad you got it working =]!

          Let me know if you have any other problems.


  38. if you get linux, are you going 2 b stuck in developer mode for as long as you want to keep the linux? Is there a way to leave developer mode but still keep all the stuff you did?

    • Hey there,

      If you install Linux, you’ll have to keep the laptop in Dev Mode in order to run both Linux and Chrome OS.

      But having Dev Mode enabled isn’t necessarily a bad thing- it just gives the admin (you) more control over the device and lets you do a ton more. You’ll have to keep it enabled in order to launch the game.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


    • Hey,

      You need to enable Dev Mode in order to install Linux, which you’ll need Crouton to install.
      By default, Chrome OS doesn’t allow any installations or third-party software, especially when it’s a kernel (Linux). So you’ll need to enable it in order to install it.

      It goes Dev Mode > Crouton > Linux.

      Let me know if you need help.


    • Hey there,

      You can backup and store your stuff using an external drive, SD card, or flash drive.
      You can even use a cloud service like Google Drive to save your stuff.

      I wrote a tutorial about backing up your files– you might want to check it out.

      If you have any other questions, just leave a comment.


        • Hey,

          Your WiFi passwords saved on your Chromebook will be deleted during the process. It’ll basically Powerwash itself– which restores it to factory conditions.
          You’re best off writing down or taking note of your existing WiFi devices’ SSIDs (routers, modems, hotspots, etc.) and passwords, and then typing them in again after you have everything set up.

          Let me know if you have any other questions.



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