Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular, with 2020 proving to be the most successful year yet for Google's laptop platform. But even with the simplicity and ease of use offered by Chrome OS you might run into a problem from time to time.
Here's how to fix the most common issues found on Chromebooks so that you can be up and running again in no time.
Why is my Chromebook slow?
If your Chromebook has started to slow down or take too long when opening apps and moving between windows, then it could benefit from a restart. The old adage ‘have you tried turning it off and on again?’ can be put to use to quickly sort out performance issues on Chromebooks, PCs, Macs or generally any electronic equipment.
To reboot your Chromebook simply press and hold the power key until you see the screen go dim and a window appears with the option to Power Off. Select this and your Chromebook will be turned off. Next, press the power button again and you should see your machine come back to life, hopefully in a better state than before.
If you're still experiencing problems, then it could be that your Chromebook needs to update its software. To do this go to Settings > About Chrome OS > Check for Updates.
Any available updates should be automatically downloaded, then you'll be prompted to restart your machine to apply them to your system.
How do I hard reset a Chromebook?
If your Chromebook keeps crashing or freezing-up on a regular basis, then there could be something wrong with the software. The quickest way to usually sort this out is to turn the device off and back on again. If this doesn't clear the problem, you can try uninstalling any new apps or extensions that you may have added to the machine recently.
Should you find that one tab in particular is causing the problem then you can try hard resetting that particular page by pressing Control + Shift + R.
If after doing all this, as well as checking for any software updates that might be available, you find that the issues persist then we recommend contacting the manufacturer as there could be a problem with your device.
Chromebook won’t load webpages
If you see the ‘Aw, Snap!’ error message or something similar instead of the web pages you were expecting to land on, then there a few things you can try. The most obvious one is to reload the page itself, which can be done by pressing the reload button that looks like a circular arrow.
Next, you can try turning the Wi-Fi setting on and off to see if that helps re-establish the connection to the network. A shortage of memory is sometimes the problem, so if you have lots of tabs open, try closing a few then reloading the page you're struggling to reach.
Should that not prove successful, then it could be that the cached versions of the website (ones stored in the browser to speed up load times) have gone awry. To fix this, you'll need to empty the browser cache. This is achieved by clicking on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner, then selecting More Tools > Clear browsing data.
You’ll see the Settings split into two tabs – Basic and Advanced – with the former selected by default. On this you’ll see a field marked Time Range in which you’ll want to choose All time. You’ll also want to specify the kind of data that gets removed, so select Cached images and files and Cookies and other site data, while leaving all of the other Advanced options unticked.
Finally, click the Clear Data button to reset your browser. Reload the page you were trying to access and hopefully you’ll now be able to reach it without further issues.
Chromebook can’t connect to Bluetooth or keeps dropping connection
Bluetooth performance can be a bit patchy on any device, but if you're having trouble connecting a speaker or other wireless accessory to your Chromebook via Bluetooth there are a few things you can do to try and rectify the situation. First up, try turning off the Bluetooth setting on your Chromebook then turning it back on again. This can often clear connections that are experiencing some kind of confusion.
- Click on the time at the bottom right
- Click on Bluetooth.
- Click Turn off Bluetooth.
If that doesn't help, try moving the Bluetooth device closer to your Chromebook and also moving any other wireless or Bluetooth devices away so that the signals don't clash.
Should you still have no joy, it's worth turning your Chromebook off and back on again to see if that helps clear the issue. You can also check for any system updates, as the Bluetooth connection problem may be a known issue that’s since been corrected.
Chromebook only connects to Google sites like YouTube and Gmail
A strange problem we've seen from time to time is when the Wi-Fi connection seems only able to find websites owned by Google, such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Drive and others. This isn't an issue that’s only restricted to Chromebooks, as we've also seen it on Windows devices and Macs.
There are technical solutions that involve fiddling with DNS or TCP/IP settings, but for most people the simplest solution seems to be resetting your router. So, try turning it off and unplugging the power, then powering it back on to see if that solves the problem.
'Your username or password cannot be verified on this current network'
A particularly annoying issue is when you can't actually get into your Chromebook at all due to your account details not being verified. Google recommends that if you experience this problem it's most likely down to a weak Internet connection. To try and fix this, ensure but you have the correct login details for the network and, if possible, move closer to the router so that the signal strength increases.
My camera doesn’t work on my Chromebook
With video calls a common fixture in modern life, it's essential that your camera is working properly at all times. If you're finding the certain apps can't access the camera or you see error messages such as ‘No camera found’, here's what you can do.
To check if it's just a problem with a specific app, try opening a different application that also uses the camera. If everything is working fine in that one, it's probably a good idea to delete the troublesome app and reinstall it.
If neither app can open the camera try turning off your Chromebook and powering a back on again to see if that clears the issue. Otherwise, you may need to contact customer support for the manufacturer of your device.