How to Make a Chrome OS Recovery Disk

Nobody with a computer should be without a way to recover it. Operating systems fail all the time (some more than others), so it’s important to be prepared. Chrome OS is no exception. If you own a Chromebook (or have installed Chrome OS on your laptop), here’s how you can make a Chrome OS recovery disk.

Note: For this tutorial, you will need a USB flash drive with minimum 4GB of free space. You can use a SD card, too, if you don’t have a flash drive.

In the past, you would need to burn the image file onto a CD/DVD in order to create a recovery disk. Recently, Google released a better tool that allows you to make a recovery image not only on Chrome OS itself, but on Windows (and soon Mac and Linux), too. This new tool is vastly superior in basically every way.

Making the disk

1. To get started, first download the recovery tool on your Chromebook.

2. Insert your flash drive or SD card (remember to back up its data, as it will be formatted) and open the Chromebook Recovery Utility app. Once open, you’ll see a window exactly like the one below.


3. Click the “Get started” button to move on to the next window. It’ll bring you to the “Identify your Chromebook” page. In some cases, the tool will automatically select your Chromebook. Other times, you’ll have to do this manually. When the application fails to detect your machine, it often means that your Chromebook isn’t in the database.

If that’s the case, just type out the brand of Chromebook you have (model number, brand, etc.) and the tool will help you find the right recovery image. Your model number may be in the list. If it’s not, look for the product number on the bottom of machine, and type it in to identify it.


4. Select your Chromebook model and press the “Continue” button to move on to the next window.


5. The step two page involves selecting the USB flash drive (or SD card) to write to. Select from the drop-down list and press the “Continue” button to begin. It’s not a short process, so be patient. When the process is finished, you’ll have a failsafe for your computer. Sometimes bad things happen, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared.

Where to find help

So you have made yourself a recovery image, but are you not exactly sure what to do with it? Google can help! They have a really great Chromebook product forum filled with posts from people who may be experiencing the same issues that you are. It’s a great place to ask questions and get answers.


Chrome OS is very user friendly, even in the recovery department. Not many operating systems make it this easy to create a complete restore disk. Unlike Windows repair disk, this restore disk is a complete installation medium. It’ll fix your Chromebook and get it back to working order in the fastest way possible.

It’s quite apparent that user accessibility is part of the draw that Chromebooks have. Everything is well thought out and easy for the consumer, as it should be. There’s no question that more operating systems should be following Google’s lead in this area.

Derrik Diener
Derrik Diener

Derrik Diener is a freelance technology blogger.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox