Disable Chromebook Developer Mode (After Other Way Failed)

Disable Chromebook Developer Mode (After Other Way Failed)

We all know that having Linux on our Chromebook (either by dual-boot or alongside using crouton) is a luxury we all can afford with a very small effort. But, what if we got bored? Or want to hand it over to someone else? There are some ways to restore it back to factory made and I highly suggest you try them first.

My Chromebook has survived (among others): Ubuntu 17.10, Pop OS, Deepin, Elementary OS and even run Android games.

These are the known way to disable Chromebook developer mode:

  1. Powerwash
  2. Three Fingers salute
  3. Using recovery button

Prepare a USB Installation disk by creating it using Chromebook Recovery Utility available here.

1. PowerWash

You can do powerwash by going to your Chromebook setting and then type “Powerwash” on the search bar. You will then offered to reset or do powerwash. Choose according to your need. You will then get a fresh installation.

2. Three Fingers Salute

Turn off your Chromebook and then hold Esc + Refresh + Power button once (don’t hold). Then follow the on-screen instruction.

3. Using recovery Button

I can’t give you the direct suggestion since every model has its own recovery button. Look for the documentation of your Chromebook.


I have tried those three casual ways but failed.

My condition was:

  • I have bad Linux installation. So every time my Chromebook restarts, it will by default loading to a black screen after the “Decompressing Linux blah blah blah”.
  • I upgraded the Linux on my Crouton and the result was a blank desktop with a crosshair as my cursor. So I presume it was a failure too.
  • My Chrome OS was in developer mode, of course.

So This Is What I do (and I think you should too)…

I remember that I removed my Chromebook’s write protection screw.So, the first step I did was looking for that damn screw. Aaaand… it’s gone. I guess I’m screwed.

But, worry not. I used one screw from my Chromebook, and I didn’t take it from the risky movable area. Such as monitor lid and USB joints.

If you also want to do this, make sure that you don’t screw it too deep. I just made my Keyboard’s O and P floating because of that. :_(

After that, I followed the live saver instruction I found here.

Enable BIOS Write Protect:

Program the flags to restore default.

  1. Boot the Chromebook – On Chrome OS screen, press Ctrl + Alt + -> keys to get the root shell.
  2. Log in as user “chronos” without the password.
  3. Run “sudo /usr/share/vboot/bin/set_gbb_flags.sh 0x0
  4. Run “sudo reboot” to reboot the Chromebook or Shutdown.

Then I did the Three Fingers Salute I mentioned above. Taraaa… My Chromebook is as good as new! Well, sort of… I’m still screwed. 😀

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