How to restart a Chromebook when frozen?

Chromebooks are known for their fast boot-up times and efficient performance, making them a popular choice among students and businesses.

However, like any electronic device, they can become frozen or unresponsive at times, causing frustration and inconvenience.

If you find yourself in this situation, do not worry. In this guide, we will discuss three ways to restart your Chromebook when it becomes frozen.

3 Easy ways to restart a Chromebook when it is frozen

Here are three easy ways you can follow to restart your Chromebook when it becomes unresponsive:

3 ways to restart a Chromebook when frozen
3 ways to restart a Chromebook when frozen

Method 1: Force restart using keyboard shortcuts

The first and easiest way to restart a frozen Chromebook is by using keyboard shortcuts. Depending on the model of your Chromebook, the key combination may vary, but the most common ones are:

  • Press and hold the Refresh button (usually located above the number 4 key) + Power button for 5 seconds. This will force the Chromebook to shut down and reboot.
  • On some models, you may need to press and hold the Power button + Volume Up button for 5 seconds to restart it.
restart Chromebook using keyboard shortcuts
restart Chromebook using keyboard shortcuts

If your Chromebook has a removable battery, you can also try removing it and then putting it back in before restarting.

Method 2: Force quit unresponsive applications

If your Chromebook is not completely frozen and you can still move the cursor, try force quitting any unresponsive applications. Follow these steps:

  • Press Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
  • Select the application that is causing the issue and click on End process.
  • If this does not work, try clicking on Restart in the Task Manager to restart your Chromebook.
quit unresponsive applications using task manager
Closing unresponsive applications using task manager

Method 3: Powerwash your Chromebook

If none of the above methods work, you can try powerwashing your Chromebook. This will reset the Chromebook to its factory settings and erase all data. Therefore, it is recommended to backup important files before proceeding with this method.

powerwash the chromebook

To perform a powerwash, follow these steps:

  • Click on the time in the bottom right corner of your Chromebook’s screen.
  • Select Settings from the drop-down menu.
  • Under Advanced, click on Powerwash.
  • Follow the instructions to complete the process and restart your Chromebook.

5 Potential causes of Chromebook freezing

Chromebooks are known for their lightning-fast, smooth performance. But sometimes the device can get frozen due to certain technical issues. Here are some common causes of Chromebook freezing:

What Causes Chromebook Freezing?
Info graphics: What Causes Chromebook Freezing?

1. Overheating:

Like many electronic devices, a Chromebook may become sluggish or freeze if it overheats due to prolonged use or inadequate ventilation.

Keeping the Chromebook on a flat surface and away from direct sunlight or heat can help prevent overheating.

2. Low RAM or Storage:

Chromebooks are notorious for having limited storage, so if you’re running out of space in your device it could be causing freezing issues.

Try clearing some files you don’t need to free up space.

3. Outdated Software:

Is your Chromebook running an outdated version of the Chrome OS? If so, it could be causing freezing issues.

To ensure that your device is always running the latest version of the software, turn on auto-update in your settings menu.

4. Too Many Extensions:

Since most of us rely heavily on the internet for work and leisure, chances are you have quite a few browser extensions installed in your Chromebook.

While these can be incredibly helpful tools, having too many can slow down your device or even cause it to freeze occasionally. Try disabling or deleting any unnecessary extensions and see if that helps!

5. Malware Infection:

A malware infection can cause all sorts of issues, including freezing. If you suspect that your Chromebook is infected with a virus or other malicious software, it’s best to get it checked out by an expert right away.

Precautions to avoid Chromebook freezing:

To prevent your Chromebook from freezing in the future, here are some precautions you can take:

  • Avoid having too many tabs or applications open at once.
  • Keep your software and operating system up to date.
  • Do not block the air vents of your Chromebook and make sure it is not overheating during use.
  • Avoid using your Chromebook on soft surfaces such as blankets or pillows that can block the air vents.
  • Close unused tabs and applications regularly to free up memory space.
  • Use a cooling pad if you use your Chromebook for prolonged periods of time.
  • Do not install unfamiliar or suspicious extensions.
  • Clear browsing history, cache, and cookies regularly.
  • Avoid visiting websites that are known to cause freezing or crashes.
  • If using external storage devices, safely eject them before removing them from the Chromebook.


In conclusion, a frozen Chromebook can be easily restarted using the methods discussed in this guide. By understanding the reasons for freezing and taking precautions, you can minimize the chances of it happening again.

If the problem persists, it is recommended to seek professional help or contact the manufacturer for further assistance. With these tips, you can enjoy smooth and uninterrupted use of your Chromebook.


Why is my Chromebook screen not responding?

It is likely that your Chromebook is frozen and needs to be restarted. Try following the steps listed above to restart your device.

Why isn’t my Chromebook turning on after being frozen?

If your Chromebook is not turning on after being frozen, try unplugging the device from its power source and then plugging it back in again. This should reset any issues you were experiencing with freezing.

What can I do to prevent my Chromebook from freezing?

To help keep your Chromebook from freezing, make sure it is running the most up-to-date version of Chrome OS.

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