How to Remove All Data from Chromebooks
Has some “spring cleaning” at work involved an upgrade to the computer systems? If your organization is replacing its Chromebooks with newer models, make sure the process outlines a step to clean up the computers. With the amount of personal and essential data that each computer stores, failing to remove all data before selling or disposing of old Chromebooks could leave your organization vulnerable to severe data breaches.
For your own security, it is important to properly remove all data from your Chromebook by resetting your device back to its factory settings. If you’re unsure of how to do this, follow these steps.
Backup Your Files
Step 1: Make sure your Chromebook is powered on and connect it to an external hard drive.
Step 2: Launch Files App to manage your files, documents and photos. Once you have the Files app open on your desktop, the backup process can begin.
Step 3: Find your connected external hard drive in the menu on the left-hand side.
Step 4: Choose all of the files you’d like to back up, and start transferring your files to your external hard drive by dragging and dropping. Your files will start to transfer over instantly.
Step 5: Once all your files have been transferred, safely eject your hard drive. Your device’s data and documents have now been backed up properly.
Check To See If You’re the Chromebook’s Owner
Chances are that if you’re using your Chromebook at work or at school, your device administrator will be the owner. Before you start the rest process of your Chromebook, check to see if your Google account is the owner or not by following these steps:
Step 1: Sign in to your Chromebook and navigate to Settings.
Step 2: In the “People” section, select Manage other people.
Step 3: If your account is the owner, you can turn these settings on or off, but if another account is the owner, these messages will appear: “These settings may only be modified by the owner” or “These settings are controlled by enterprise policy”
Step 4: Since it is not possible to transfer owner permissions to another account on your Chromebook, resetting your Chromebook to its factory settings will not only erase all data and files, but the accounts linked to your Chromebook as well. Follow the next set of instructions to perform a factory reset below:
How to Factory Reset your Chromebook
Step 1: Make sure your power cord is plugged into your Chromebook.
Step 2: Shut off your Chromebook.
Step3: Restart by pressing and holding Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R. A recovery screen will appear that says “Reset This Chrome Device.”
Step 4: In the bottom right corner of your screen, you’ll select Powerwash > Continue. After pressing Continue, your Chromebook will start to reset your device and will restart itself multiple times. This could take a few minutes.
Step 5: Once the welcome screen appears, prompting you to sign in to your Google account/ choose your wifi network, you’ll know your device has been reset successfully to factory settings, and will be ready to dispose of or re-sell!
It can be a time consuming process to wipe Chromebooks or other Google-Android based devices in large quantities during a system refresh, but it’s still essential to keep your data safe with a secure removal. If you need to wipe these devices in bulk, or want extra security measures to make your data not only inaccessible but destroyed, consider going to Greentec! Following the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) IT Media Sanitization standards, our certified methods to go one step further in wiping devices to ensure that they end up as fresh as a brand new computer.
Contact us for more information about how we can help your organization collect and store, recycle or dispose of electronic devices at end-of-life. Make sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to learn more about our services and stay up to date with our mission.