Whether you’ve received a Chromebook from a friend or family member, have created a new, preferred Google account, or for whatever reason you may have, if you need to change the primary account on a Google Chromebook, you can do so simply by following our easy step-by-step guide.
For any additional information, or if you have any other queries, please see our FAQs at the end of this article.
Note: In order to change your primary account on a Chromebook, you have to perform a Powerwash of the machine. Doing so erases all user data, info, and files. As such, we strongly recommend you to perform a backup of all of your files, data, and info either onto an external hard drive and/or onto the Google cloud, known as Google Drive. Make sure you perform a backup before proceeding.
Table of Contents
How to change your primary account on a Google Chromebook
- Power up your Google Chromebook and log in using the current Primary Account credentials
- From the homepage, click the Time and Date box in the bottom-right to bring up the menu
- Locate the cog-shaped Settings icon and click on it
- From Settings, click ‘Advanced’
- From Advanced Settings, click ‘Reset settings’
- Next, click ‘Powerwash’ (Google Chromebooks’ term for a factory reset)
- Click ‘Restart’ to confirm the Powerwash, and follow any further on-screen instructions
- Once the Chromebook has successfully ‘Powerwashed’ and restarts, you will be asked to log in again. Whatever Google account you log in with at this point will become the primary account on the Chromebook, so make sure you enter your chosen account’s credentials correctly
- Once you’ve logged in with your new Google account for the first time on the ‘Powerwashed’ Chromebook, you’ll have successfully changed the primary account to this one.
Note: Only the primary account holder can change the primary account. If your Chromebook was given to you by a work or school administrator, the chances are that the administrator is the primary account holder, and you will need to receive permission and access from them before you can perform the above.
And there you have it! Whatever your reasoning, if you’re looking to change your primary account on a Google Chromebook, you can do so in less than 10 steps, simply by following the guide above.
For any additional queries or information, see the FAQs below.
Frequently asked questions
Why would I want to change my primary account?
When you first start up your Google Chromebook, you’re asked to sign into (or create) a Google account. Once you’ve signed into it, this account becomes what’s known as the ‘primary account’ for this Chromebook. The primary account is the account that owns the Chromebook and thus has administrator privileges.
However, it’s quite possible that you might need to change this primary account. Perhaps you’re passing your Chromebook on to a friend or family member, who needs to make theirs the primary account, or perhaps you’ve created a new Google account that you wish to make primary.
Whatever your reasoning, it’s not a simple process with Google Chromebooks, and so that’s where we come in. Follow our step-by-step guide to learn how to change your primary account.
What happens when I change my primary account?
When you change your primary account on your Google Chromebook, the new primary account is granted full administrator privileges and becomes the ‘owner’ of the Chromebook (in the eyes of Google).
Furthermore, because you have to reset/Powerwash your Google Chromebook in order to establish a new primary account holder, there will be some necessary setup steps you’ll have to take when you change the primary account. Thankfully, these steps are pretty quick and straightforward to complete.
How often can I change my Chromebook’s primary account?
Technically, you can change your Chromebook’s primary account as often as you should like. However, since the only method of effectively doing so is to Powerwash (or reset) your Google Chromebook – thus erasing all and any data, files, and information from the Chromebook – we don’t recommend doing so unless you absolutely have to.
Can I delete unwanted accounts?
You most certainly can. If you’ve changed your primary account, then you’ll know that you have to reset the Chromebook in order to do so. Once this is complete, you can ensure that previously unwanted (or the old primary) accounts are removed from the Chromebook simply by not reconnecting them to it.
However, if you’ve got additional accounts connected to your Chromebook, and you’re happy with the primary account, but simply wish to remove them, you can of course do this too. To do so, at the sign-in screen (you may have to log out first to navigate to it), click the downward-facing arrow next to the profile/account you wish to remove from the computer. Next, from the drop-down menu, select ‘Remove this user’. Confirm the removal in the box that appears by selecting ‘Remove this user’ one last time. Repeat as necessary.