How To Turn On Developer Mode On A Google Chromebook

Whatever your reason for wanting to put your Google Chromebook into Developer Mode, it is imperative that you first make a system and file backup, because enabling Developer Mode will wipe your Chromebook clean (essentially performing a factory reset). 

To learn how to turn on Developer Mode on your Google Chromebook, simply follow our tutorials below. To read the full list of risks associated with Developer Mode, see the FAQs at the end of this article.

How to enable Developer Mode on a Google Chromebook

  1. Turn on your Chromebook and sign into your account
  2. Perform a full backup of your files and data (if necessary)
  3. Now, press ESC, REFRESH, and POWER on your keyboard/computer at the same time
  4. Then, when the following message appears – “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” – press CTRL + D together
  5. If necessary, then press ‘Enter’ (according to on-screen instructions)
  6. Your device will perform a ‘Powerwash’ reset (a factory reset) and when it powers back up, you’ll see a message stating that OS verification has been turned off.
    1. Note: This screen will appear every time you boot up from now on, you can disable Developer Mode at this point by pressing SPACEBAR, however note that this will factory reset/Powerwash your Chromebook all over again, so make sure to perform a full backup first!
  7. Finally, press CTRL + D again to finalise the restart into Developer Mode

And there you have it! It’s pretty simple to enter in and exit out of Developer Mode once you get the hang of it, however, it’s also imperative you take the right precautions before you do so. 

For additional information, see our FAQs below.

Frequently asked questions

What is Developer Mode on a Google Chromebook?

Google Chromebooks are fast becoming more and more popular. They’re lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and yet still run super fast and are compatible with a wide range of other devices, all thanks to their cloud-backed Chrome OS.

However, there are still many limitations to Chromebooks. They can only run Chrome OS, for one, and there are plenty of apps you simply can’t install (like Android apps) due to the factory settings.

Developer mode is like the Chromebook’s backroom; it’s what you’d enable if you were a developer looking to play with code and develop additional software for your Chromebook. Developer Mode is essentially the underbelly of your PC, where any of its settings, programs, software, and even the very operating system itself can be manipulated.

Why would I want to turn on Developer Mode on my Google Chromebook?

Enabling Developer Mode is not for the faint of heart, since it does come with disadvantages and dangers (as we’ll discuss in a second). Certainly, enabling Developer Mode requires a good bit of tech-savvy, and confidence in your abilities.

However, it shouldn’t be shied away from, given all that it can provide access to. Only through enabling Developer Mode can you install a different OS desktop – Linux-based, for example. Similarly, only through Developer Mode can you install certain apps and tweak the system’s settings to suit you just right

Whatever your reasons, we’re here to help you learn how to turn on Developer Mode on a Google Chromebook. Simply follow the step-by-step tutorials above and you’ll master the art in no time.

Are there any risks to putting my Chromebook into developer mode?

As we’ve said, there are indeed risks involved in putting your Chromebook into developer mode.

  1. Since Chrome does not support users enabling Developer Mode, you may be voiding your warranty if you do so.
  2. Enabling and disabling developer mode effectively factory resets your Chromebook, meaning that all of your data, files and settings will be completely and permanently erased. As such, it is imperative you make regular system and file backups before entering Developer Mode, whilst using it, and before disabling it.
  3. The speed at which you’ll have experienced your Chromebook booting up will be drastically reduced when in Developer Mode
  4. Lastly, all security features are disabled when in Developer Mode, opening you up to the potential of cyber attacks and malware or viruses