- On the Chromebook sign-in screen.
- Select the profile you want to remove.
- Next to the profile name.
- Select Remove this user.
In the past, I have written about how you can convert a Chromebook into a developer machine . But what if you want to remove that developer mode and go back to just running Chrome? It’s pretty simple.
You will need to:
Boot the machine from a USB Drive with Linux on it Run this script as root Remove your developer keys Reboot the Chromebook using the USB drive (or internal media) Enjoy!
Run these steps in order for them to work correctly. There are some packages that require their dependencies to be installed first before they run, so we do not try and force those steps here because there is no way of telling which ones are needed without noting them as partial installs. The end result will be removal of the developer keys and redoing the firmware update.
Remember, this will wipe all your local data off the Chromebook, so ensure you have any files you want to keep backed up before you continue on with this process. If you are connected to an ethernet cable or wireless network while running these steps, they should work just fine without needing a connection at boot time as long as you have setup whatever package writes required for that step during install of the image on your USB drive (see partitions above).
Partitioning The USB Drive You Will Boot Off Of
If I am going to be removing my owner from my machine, I like having two partitions on any media: One partition is bigger than what we need and We will need to setup a few partitions on our USB drive. This script assumes that the device you are using is /dev/sdb, but it may be different in your case if you have invalidated your Chromebook’s hard drive and reinstalled Linux onto another media like a SD card or something else. The commands below assume a 32GB USB Drive with 3GB available for booting into Ubuntu from, the rest used for our swap partition and two data partitions. If yours is bigger or smaller, feel free to adjust these values. You can determine what size of devices you have by looking at whatever partitioning tool was used when you installed Linux originally and seeing how much space was allocated when it told you about partition sizes.
This procedure completely wipes everything from your Chromebook and returns it to the state it was in when you first purchased it. You should be aware of this before proceeding: It’s not easy to get things back if you do something wrong or go down a rabbit hole someplace.
If your Chromebook is in maintenance mode, you can safely skip this step (unless you want to erase all personal information from the ChromeOS system while doing so). If the Chromebook is fully booted into ChromeOS and on, proceed with these steps:
Power off/reboot the ChromeBook as usual Select Settings > Show advanced settings At the bottom of the page that appears select Recovery Press Ctrl+D (again, it’s not obvious that this is what you need to do) When asked “Are you sure?” (or a similar question), answer with a decisive and/or confident “YES!” Follow the prompts Reboot normally
The first time your Chromebook starts up after performing this procedure it will be in an unconfigured state. It takes about 30-60 seconds to go through initial system configuration. You may see some errors during the process, but they should not stop the process from completing. If they do, just wait for things to settle down and try again if needed. Do not interrupt the setup process by rebooting or attempting to start ChromeOS manually — let it finish before doing anything else other than waiting patiently.
If you have a Google account associated with the device (you should), you will be prompted to sign in. If not, fill out the form as appropriate and things should proceed normally after that point.
If you’re taking ownership of somebody else’s Chromebook, it may still prompt for a password — just keep entering incorrect passwords until it tells you they are all incorrect. Ideally this is most easily accomplished from another ChromeOS machine or tablet — if not, then try another computer or virtual machine on the same network. It seems unlikely that entering an incorrect password would cause any problems since ChromeOS will wipe itself completely anyway… right?
Once the Chromebook completes initialization you can begin your browser-based setup using any web browser you like (not just Chrome). The Chromebook fully reboots and restarts itself — it’s normal to see a white screen with the ChromeOS logo for a few minutes at that point. You’re almost there!
Now you just need to remove all personal information from the system: Go to Settings > Show advanced settings > Privacy Select “Manage your cloud data” link Click on each item in the list and click Remove Go back one page (click the left arrow) and enter Recovery Mode as described above Re-run setup, logging in with your Google account, this time selecting “Restore” when prompted Completely erase all user data
When you get done with those steps, you’ll have a brand new, fresh, clean Chromebook that is ready for use.
If your case is urgent, you can do this in about an hour (assuming the Chromebook isn’t being difficult). If you have more time, let it sit overnight — that way if something goes wrong and setup fails, you won’t be too disappointed or upset… all of your work to get here will not have been for naught.
If you are a nosy sort and want to know more about what’s going on behind the scenes as you do this, continue reading. If not, close your browser and go read a book. Your time will be better spent.
Partition Sizes: You’ll notice the option in ChromeOS to wipe all data is for just 8GB of space (and some change). But how much space do you get when installing Ubuntu? The initial partition size is 16GB — but that would leave no room at all for ChromeOS… so you have two choices — keep both operating systems or shrink one of them down significantly (or add another disk to use for storing files outside of your limited partitioning scheme)… In my case I’m keeping ChromeOS, but I did end up with a lot of free space (15GB according to ‘df’) which is more than I expected. So if you are OCD and want to keep ChromeOS intact… all the power to you; but chances are you’ll be better off deleting it.
Partition Format: Another thing that is curious about this process is the choice of filesystem type for your new Linux partition — ChromeOS gives us ext2 by default. That’s really old school since ext4 has been around forever and is the most common filesystem available on desktops/laptops these days. But understandably Google don’t want people messing around with their storage, so they’re making things hard for non-experts.
Partition Type: In the instructions above I’ve left things in a non-encrypted state. Whether to encrypt is up to each individual user as there are pros and cons both ways — but this guide isn’t about encryption… it’s about installing Ubuntu. But you may want to read “Encrypting Your Ubuntu Chromebook” if that interests you.
The admin user on a Chromebook is not easily changed without completely resetting the device. Benchmark: One of the few benefits to having an administrator account on your Chromebook? You can change it anytime, as long as you have a password for your current one and remember what it was.
From the Admin console Home page, go to Admin roles on the left. Check boxes to select each privilege you want users with this role to have Chrome OS.
1. On the Chromebook sign-in screen.
2. Select the profile you want to remove.
3. Next to the profile name.
4. Select Remove this user.