Chromebook Won’t Turn On? Fix It with These 8 (Easy) Steps – 2021

Is your Chromebook not turning on? Are you just getting a blank screen even after charging it? Or are you opening the lid and the screen stays blank?

Well, you came to the right place.

There are a few different reasons why this happens, but there hasn’t been a clear reason for what causes this issue.

So talking about why your Chromebook isn’t turning on is a moot point. That’s not the topic of this article.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably tried many different ways to get your laptop working again to no avail.

In this guide, I’ll cover the most common methods you can use to fix it, going from the easiest to do to the most drastic.

So, here’s a list of solutions to fix your Chromebook and get it to turn on again.

Note that these fixes work regardless of the brand. If you have a Lenovo, HP, Dell, Toshiba, Samsung, or even Acer that won’t turn on, you can apply these methods to any of them.

Let’s get started.

Last updated: 1/17/21. Updated with accurate directions for newer releases of Chrome OS.

Before we start, make sure your version of Chrome OS is up-to-date.

Some users said that once they updated their laptop, the problem went away. So be sure to update your Chromebook.

A note of warning: Note that this list of solutions is a mix. Some may apply to you while others don’t. Some methods fix a Chromebook that doesn’t turn on whereas others fix the blank screen with lid open issue.

Use your best judgment to decide what you should try. Do everything here at your own risk. I take no responsibility for any damages of any kind. Again, use your own best judgment before attempting anything.

Don’t be scared. Everything on this list shouldn’t blow up your computer.

Ready? Let’s get your laptop fixed.

Method #1: Charge it

This may seem obvious, but your laptop may need a charge.

Don’t go off the battery status indicator as it can be very inaccurate if you don’t calibrate it. And most people don’t.

Give a full 3.5-hour charge and try turning it back on. If it doesn’t work, the issue can be fixed by trying another method.

Did your laptop suddenly stop working out of nowhere and you haven’t done anything different? Sometimes, the battery percentage indicator slowly becomes more and more inaccurate over time.

This is why power-cycling is important!

Even though you may see 20% battery remaining, there could only be 1%. Depending on how you use your device, certain actions may speed up this inaccuracy in battery percentage.

If you think it’s related to your battery, you may want to replace your battery or learn how to maximize your Chromebook’s battery life.

Method #2: Hold the power button for 30 seconds and do a hard reset

Press and hold the power button to do a hard reset.
Power down your Chromebook by doing a hard reset.

This is the first thing you should do and should fix the majority of cases where the Chromebook doesn’t power on.

Assuming your laptop still has a battery charge left (check the indicator lights), go ahead and press the Power button down and hold it for 30 seconds.

If you don’t know how to read your battery status, here’s a brief rundown though it varies between brands:

  • If you see a slowly pulsing orange light, it’s in sleep mode.
  • If you see a solid blue light, the Chromebook is on.
  • If you see both a solid blue and orange light, it’s charging.
  • If you see no lights, it’s off or is out of battery.

If your laptop isn’t completely locked down, it should power down. Press the button again to power back on and show the Chrome logo and splash screen.

If there’s no more power left, go ahead and charge it first before you do this. You don’t need a full charge, just a quick charge should be enough.

This isn’t the best solution, but it’s a good place to start. You’d be surprised at how many users forget their laptop is out of batter and just needs a full charge to get going again.

That’s why I suggest you start here.

Forcing shutdown will also clear your Chromebook’s hardware, like the RAM and other caches that may store data causing it to not start.

If the device powers down, you can reboot it again and see if it fixes the problem. Sometimes, data is caught in the RAM and doing a hard reset will clear the cache from any software that could be freezing up your system.

Method #3: Try removing any connected USB devices

Remove USB devices and open the lid to see if it turns on your laptop.
Unplug all your USB devices and try seeing if your Chromebook will turn on.

This one’s kind of weird.

Try taking out any connected peripherals to the laptop and see if it fixes the issue. Some users reported that if they unplugged USB devices and then tried powering it down by holding the Power button followed by turning it back on, it worked.

If it works, plug them all back in and see if the laptop still doesn’t function properly when you lift the lid. If it does, congrats.

If not, unplug them one-by-one to see which USB device was the culprit. If you have none, skip this step.

Method #4: Remove apps from Chrome Web Browser

If you get the blank screen issue intermittently, you may want to try disabling your apps that you’ve installed from the Chrome Web Store.

Some users have reported that they only sometimes get the blank screen problem or their Chromebook fails to start, but not all the time.

If you happen to get it started randomly (or from any of the previous methods), you may want to try the following techniques to fix your laptop for good.

Some apps don’t get updated and get incompatible or cause bugs straight from the start. Try uninstalling them and see if the problem still happens. If not, then it was caused by an app.

If you don’t want to uninstall everything, then try uninstalling the apps that aren’t too popular or well-supported. Shady apps are generally troublemakers.

Also, check for recently updated apps. You can see this information on the app’s store page on the Chrome Web Store. Any updates can cause compatibility problems, even with popular and reputable apps. You might want to try uninstalling those too.

“Bad apps” were a common user issue for the black screen on Chromebooks. It’s worth a shot to see if it’ll fix your issue without too much work. This technique is quick and easy to check.

Method #5: Sign in as a different user

Again, if you only sometimes get the problem, you can try signing in as a different user by adding another Google Account.

If this works, there may have been an issue with your previous account, such as apps integration, corrupted apps, or a sync error between your laptop and your Google Account.

Sometimes you have syncing or app problems that make your laptop malfunction, so using a different account may help. Syncing issues are a common culprit. They cause Chrome OS to act weirdly.

Method #6: Use a Guest account

Use a Guest account to troubleshoot Chromebook problems.
Try using a Guest account instead of your regular Google Account to log in.

If you’ve tried using different Google Accounts and your Chromebook still has a blank screen, try using a different account as a Guest.

This is just a last-ditch attempt to try the whole “account switching” method.

As a Guest, you can just browse the Internet using Chrome but no extensions nor apps will be installed. So it’s kind of like using your laptop without any Google Account attached it that could be causing any syncing issues and whatnot.

You can log into your Chromebook as a Guest by doing the following:

Step 1: Log out of any account if you’re currently logged on.

Step 2: Look at the bottom of the screen for the “Guest” icon.

Step 3: Click it and you’ll be logged into your laptop as a Guest.

This will give you a clean slate to log in to your laptop from and see if it fixes anything. If it does, it’s probably a sync problem between Google’s servers and your device. Or it can just be a “bad app.”

Method #7: Do a complete Powerwash

If you’ve tried different accounts and the issue still isn’t fixed, try doing a Powerwash.

This will completely restore your Chromebook to factory settings.

Note that this will completely delete your personal data, so make sure you backup your stuff before you do a Powerwash. The guide linked above demonstrates the steps to save your data. This will restore your device back to factory settings like you just bought it.

This should be your last-ditch attempt to fix it up. If this still doesn’t work, you should try calling the manufacturer for an exchange. You may have a defective Chromebook if you’ve gone this far and it still doesn’t turn on.

Some other common issues are Chromebooks freezing, becoming unresponsive, or crashing.

These are also often signs of a needed Powerwash.

Method #8: Remove the battery

This may void your warranty and is the most desperate option available.

If you’ve tried everything to no avail, you can try to pull the battery.

You’ll have to unscrew the screws and then unhinge the cover from the keyboard. You’ll have to pry it open with a butter knife or your fingers.

Then you’ll have to find the battery. It’s a large black rectangular block with a cable connected to it. The trick is the unplug the cable, then plug it back in after a few minutes.

This is the general overview, but you may want to search for how to disassemble your specific model on Google watch a video on YouTube if one should exist.

If you determine that the battery is the culprit, you can actually order a replacement battery and install it.

Doing this can be dangerous, even if your battery is completely drained. You’ll have to drain it all the way, and then let it drain more by holding the Power button and letting it sit.

Be cautious and only do this if you’re comfortable with it. This should fix the issue when done properly.

All batteries lose their charge and efficiency over time. Depending on your usage habits, you may be able to squeeze more juice out of each charge, as there are ways to make your battery last longer.

But for dated device, you’ll have to replace the battery eventually. Most laptops are made to last just long enough for the warranty to expire and assume the user will upgrade or replace the device (before the battery starts to diminish).

For those of us that like our electronics to last a long time, we need to exercise good practices and habits!

This video only serves for demonstration purposes and may not apply to your Chromebook model so you get a rough idea of what’s involved in the process.

If you’re not comfortable, go ahead and contact your manufacturer whether it be HP, Dell, Acer, or other.

Contact them and let them know about the situation for customer service. They may send you a replacement or repair it for you if it’s under warranty.

Don’t forget to check the brightness settings

If your brightness settings are too dim, your screen will shut off completely. Be sure to turn it up all the way just to rule this one out. If it’s at 0%, your screen is basically OFF.

Check the power LED status indicators to make sure that they’re ON. The solid blue light should be lit up when your Chromebook’s lid is flipped open. And it should be amber when you’re charging it (blinking).

If you don’t see any lights turn on when you plug it into the charger, it’s a sign of the battery having issues. It could need a battery swap or it could be a loose battery cable.

Both of these will keep your Chromebook at 0% charge and keep it off. If you have a device that works intermittently, it could be a battery that’s about to fail. Thankfully, you can swap out the battery quite easily (and for cheap).

Use the warranty!

A lot of users don’t utilize the warranty that comes with the purchase of a new Chromebook.

They typically come with 1 or 2-year warranties depending on the manufacture of the laptop. if you bought it within that time frame, use it! If it should break down, malfunction, or otherwise become defective during the warranty period, you can often get it fixed or replaced free of charge.

Some may charge shipping fees that are ridiculously high, so be sure that it’s worth it before you ship it in. Since they’re already pretty cheap, sometimes it’s better to just upgrade to a new one- especially if you have an older Chromebook since they’ve come a long way.

Some readers reported that their laptop just stops charging one day and this is typically due to the battery. If the battery should fail within the warranty period, you can often get it replaced at no charge.

Always use the warranty when possible. It doesn’t matter if the Chromebook doesn’t turn on, doesn’t light up, charging indicators don’t work, or any other problem. If it’s a defect, they’ll often replace it for you. So it’s worth giving whoever built your laptop a call. Use their hotline and get more details!

Warranties are the only thing that come included with no extra charge. If you purchased a protection plan from a store, that’s a different story.

Is your Chromebook turning on?

Well, there you have it.

If you do these methods, one of the should work to wake up your Chromebook from sleep mode, or if it’s simply not turning on.

If you need help, just leave a comment. If you had this issue before and you fixed it using another method, let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

If this has helped you, consider telling a Chromie in need. Or bookmark this in case you need to reference it. Chrome on.

Thanks for reading.

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).
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