How to Shut Down Chromebook Properly (Even If It’s Frozen)

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How to Shut Down Chromebook

Maybe you’ve just switched from a Windows operated laptop or a MacBook to a brand-new Chromebook. You’ll need some time to familiarize yourself with its basic functionalities, one of which is how to shut it down. Not only will we tell you how to shut down Chromebook. We’ll also go over what to do should you need to reset it. We’ll talk about the reason why we don’t think putting a Chromebook in sleep mode is such a good idea. And how to shut your Chromebook down if it freezes. So, if you’re ready, let’s just go ahead and dive right in.

Easy Methods for Shutting Down Your Chromebook

There are two easy ways to power off a Chromebook:

Hold Down the Power Button

On a Windows-based laptop, this is usually your last resort to force a frozen machine to shut down. But for Chromebooks, a long press of the power button is the only way to power down the machine.

To shut down your Chromebook, press and hold the power button located on the upper right corner of the device for three to five seconds. The system will log out of your Google account, and save the status of your work as you boot out of the system.

If you want to see all the ‘power’ menu options, which include shut down, log off, lock your Chromebook, and Provide Feedback. Hold the power button for one second. This might not work if you’re trying to reboot because of a non-responsive screen, though.

To power the Chromebook up, simply press the power button again.

Regular Shutdown

The standard way to shut down your Chromebook is to go to the notifications area. You can find it on the bottom right corner of the screen where the Wifi and sound options are nested. Tap on it, and you’ll find the ‘Shut Down’ option on top of the pop-up window.

This option also logs you out of your Google account and saves your work and status. So, there’s no need to worry about losing your data here either.

What About the Reset?

Most Chromebooks don’t have a dedicated reset option. To reset, hold the ‘refresh’ button and tap on the power button. Your Chromebook will restart right away.

The issue here is that the reset option restarts your Chromebook’s hardware configuration. Thus, with this feature, you’re prone to losing data, customizations, and the like. Your files are safe, though, except for those with unsaved changes. Sometimes, the ‘Downloads’ folder can be at risk of being cleared out also.

Before you reset, make sure you save your last changes. Log out of your Google account to prevent data loss. To do this, you can use the ‘Sign Out’ option that you’ll find on top of the notifications window section. Or you can use the shortcut (ctrl + shift + Q): Hold the ctrl and shift buttons and press the letter Q twice.

Putting Your Chromebook to Sleep

If you want to put your Chromebook in Sleep mode, simply close the lid. It’s a simple, handy option for leaving your device on standby for some time while saving energy. If your Chromebook is in tablet mode, just press the power button to put it to sleep.

Why We’re Not Big Fans of the ‘Sleep’ Option?

Many of us are used to the ‘sleep mode’ option when using standard laptops. While it’s an easy alternative so we don’t have to completely shut down the machine and boot it back up once we’re ready to use it again. There are potential issues that might harm your PC by doing this all the time.

Apart from the obvious battery life issue (since the battery never shuts off completely, thus, reducing its lifetime). Using the sleep mode in a Chromebook makes the system vulnerable to hidden security issues.

One of the major reasons why users flock to the Chromebook experience is for the security it provides. A Chromebook implements its security measures through multiple layers of protection. But bypassing one of these layers affects the rest of them.

When a Chromebook is powered up, it runs a process called ‘Verified Boot.’ This is a self-checking procedure that inspects the operating system’s code against Google’s latest version. If there are any discrepancies or corruption in the OS file, it’ll repair itself. In other words, the Chromebook works to detect and eliminate any possible malware on the system before it gets the chance to infect the device.

Therefore, leaving a Chromebook in sleep mode basically compromises its security, which you don’t want to do. Another major feature of a Chromebook that make them so enticing is that they’re much faster when it comes to booting up compared to regular laptops; they can go from completely shut down, to fully ready for action in as little as ten seconds. So, there’s really no need to leave it in sleep mode.

What to Do If You’re Chromebook Freezes and You Need to Shut It Down Manually

Whether it’s a Chromebook, a Windows PC, or MacBook. You’ll inevitably encounter a situation wherein your laptop will freeze, and you need to shut it down or reboot manually. Here’s how to do this in Chromebook.

Step 1

Unplug all external devices connected to your Chromebook to isolate the issue causing the problem. This includes USB flash drives, external hard disks, headphones, and the like. Sometimes peripherals are the root cause for sudden freezes.

Step 2

Run the task manager (if you can) and close all other unnecessary running applications. Try (shift + Esc) to run the task manager if you’re experiencing issues with Chromebook’s mouse. Find out how much memory is allocated to each app. If you find an app or program utilizing a large chunk memory. Right-click on it, then press ‘End Task.’

Step 3

Look up any error messages displayed on the screen. These messages usually have codes. You can search the message code on Google. There, you’ll get a diagnosis, and possibly some suggested solutions. Give them a shot in turn.

Step 4

If the previous steps didn’t work, then it’s time to perform a manual reboot. Press and hold the power button for three to five seconds until the device shuts down. Then, reboot by pressing the power button again to turn on the device.

Once the Chromebook is on, revisit step 3 and check for the allocated memory resources via the task manager. Try to isolate the program(s) hogging more memory than it should. If you find such a program or application, it’s likely the cause of the freeze.

Step 5

At this point, you have two options. One last resort is to drain the battery. You can do this by physically removing the battery from the Chromebook. Then hold the power button down for about 15 seconds to drain all the power from the machine. After that, reconnect the battery and turn the Chromebook on again.

If this doesn’t work, there’s the factory reset option, or powerwash, which works to return the Chromebook to its original settings. But at this point, we recommend you go to a specialized technician who can inspect your Chromebook.

Wrap Up

Shutting down a Chromebook is rather straight-forward process. The thing to remember if you’re coming from a different kind of laptop is that Chromebooks are a little different. And you have to handle them accordingly in order to prolong longevity. Like all laptops, Chromebook system freezes happen. It can be especially scary if it happens during an important project you’re working on. But following the steps we’ve outlined above should get you up and running again soon (barring any catastrophic system issues). If all else fails, we recommend taking your Chromebook to professional.