Chrome OS is Missing or Damaged? Here’s the Fix

Unlike Windows, Google’s Chrome OS is rather lightweight and snappy, but sometimes, it can also encounter some strange errors out of the blue. Recently, several users have been reporting that their Chromebook is not turning on at all. Further, users also reported that their Chromebook is showing the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” error, akin to the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) error on Windows 10/ 11 systems. If you are facing this issue on your Chromebook, there is no simple way to go back, and you are likely to lose the local files on your laptop. Nevertheless, let’s learn how to recover your Chromebook and fix the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” error in this guide.

Fix “Chrome OS is Missing or Damaged” Error (Updated March 2023)

If your Chromebook is showing the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” error, fret not. We have added two simple methods to restore Chromebook to a working state. You can expand the table below and move to the instructions right away.

Force Restart Your Chromebook

Fix Chrome OS is Missing or Damaged Error (Updated February 2023)

If you are seeing the “Chrome is missing or damaged” error on the screen, you need to press and hold the power button to shut down the Chromebook. After it’s powered off, press the power button again and check if your Chromebook boots normally. If you are still facing the error, move to the next method.

Install a Fresh Copy of ChromeOS

1. If you are still stuck at the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” screen, do not worry. To resolve this issue, you need to create a recovery media on another computer. You can use any system, be it Windows, macOS, or Chrome OS itself to create the recovery media. All you have to do is install this Chromebook recovery utility app in the Chrome browser. Keep in mind, this process will delete all your local files.

chromebook recovery utility

2. After that, insert a thumb drive or SD card on the computer you have installed the recovery utility. Now, launch the app and click on “Get Started”.

recovery media

3. Here, you need to select the Chromebook model so that it can download the specific Chrome OS image for your device. After that, click on the “Continue” button.

Fix Chrome OS is Missing or Damaged Error 5

4. On the next screen, choose the removable device (thumb drive or SD card) you have inserted and click on the “Continue” button. Finally, it will download the image and will also create the recovery media automatically.

chromebook recovery

5. Once it’s done, insert the thumb drive or SD card into your broken Chromebook while the “Chrome OS damaged/missing” screen is active. It will automatically detect the recovery media and then reinstall ChromeOS right away. Finally, “Chrome is missing or damaged” error will be gone. Also, keep in mind, the local storage will be completely wiped during this process.

Fix Chrome OS is Missing or Damaged Error 1

Resolve “Chrome OS is Missing or Damaged” Error Right Now

So that is how you can fix missing or damaged error on Chrome OS. If you are wondering what causes Chrome OS is missing or damaged error, well, mostly it happens due to Input/Output glitches and corruption of system files. The disappointing part is that, once it occurs, you can’t get your files back. So, it’s advised to always sync your local files and folders with Google Drive. Apart from that, to learn how to factory reset your Chromebook, follow our linked tutorial. Anyway, that is all from us. If you are still facing the issue, do comment down below and let us know.

comment Comments 19
  • Hi Guys I am stock with “chrome OS missing or damaged” screen. I have tried many times the recovery image that google recovery utility creates for my CB315-1ht Chromebook, none worked (SD card USB 2 and USB 3.0 (C), battery replacement, leaving device without battery power button push for 2 minute. Os verification ON or OFF does not make a difference. I can not get into terminal CROSH, I can cannot power wash or factory reset to default, Please, please HELP. Is there any App to get into Chromebook BIOS like DOS shell and reset the BIOS if it existed. There is a CHIP 25Q128FW, on the motherboard I think it is the BIOS chip but I do not know how to reset it to factory default. Any help is greatly appreciated. Please, help thank you in advance and the best.

  • every time i make a new recovery usb it makes my usb have like 6 – 10 differnt disk parts useing 8gb usb tryed with new one still same im even useing my new pc to try n sort this problem

  • Also it says service worker (inactive)
    Under inspect views
    Won’t make recovery USB says it don’t have enough space and it has 32GB. HELP!!!!

  • Very good ten minutes I was up and running.but why does my chrome book do this so often was running Netflix then it shut down I powered down power Ed up then it says cofile missing

  • Having this issue on a school issued chromebook, no after school tech support, or options due to it being school issued and homework to be done.

  • [Need Help] RW Legacy/Boot Mode/Shell Mode not working nor Chromebook Recovery at Dell Chromebook 3380

    Trying to install GalliumOS:

    I removed the Write Protected Screw from the back of the Chromebook.

    I tried ESC+Refresh+Power key to Enable Developer Mode then I pressed CTRL+D then pressed Enter to turn off the OS verification.

    Enable USB boot:

    Pressed Ctrl+D at the initial startup screen to load Chrome OS.

    Pressed Ctrl+Alt+F2 at the Chrome OS login screen.

    Login using the password ‘chronos’

    At the terminal prompt, type: sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1 dev_boot_legacy=1

    Powered off the Chromebook by typing in ‘sudo poweroff’

    Now on startup, pressed Ctrl+L, got the BIOS screen instead of Chrome OS.

    2. Install Gallium OS:

    Used this website to install the Gallium OS through ISO USB install: https://wiki.galliumos.org/Installing

    3. Post Installation:

    Chromebook rebooted and I saw the screen where it was written “Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Please remove all connected devices and start recovery”.

    4. Recovery:

    Later on I tried Google’s recovery tool using this site ‘https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/chromebook-recovery-utili/pocpnlppkickgojjlmhdmidojbmbodfm’ and added that extension into chrome.

    I used model number ASUKA D2S-A3C-J4N-W6W-G3K-A72 mentioned in recovery mode. So created USB recovery drive and connected that USB drive in Chromebook getting message “the device you inserted does not contain Chrome OS”.

    Same tried with 4 USB drives as I thought that it might be the issue with USB also tried Linux as well for creating the recovery disc. Same thing I am getting over and over.

    5. Wanted to re-install OS

    Tried to perform the same steps as I did earlier but Chromebook was not able to boot via USB. After that I saw that CTRL+L command is not working getting 2 beeps on OS verification Off page and then it went to that page where it was asking to perform recovery.

    When I am pressing CTRL+U then I am getting “booting from external media (usb/sd) not enabled.” at top of the screen.

    Nor I am able to open shell mode again as not able to pass recovery mode or that page where it says “Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Please remove all connected devices and start recovery”.

    I think I made one mistake that when I enable the RW legacy mode that time I didn’t upgrade the BIOS firmware (I guess that is my mistake)

    I am stuck at Chrome OS Recovery mode. Please help me to get it resolved guys. I tried 2 computers and 3 laptops in both Windows and Linux OS to create this recovery USB stick but no luck. I am screwed here.

    Please help me on this. Please help guys.

    • Try enabling os verification and see if it rewrites firmware and bios to default if it doesn’t work you bricked the thing

  • Great article! I was done in ten minutes. So simple a cave man could do it. Thank you thumbs up in

  • no computer i try will download the recovery extention they all say “failed-Network error”

  • I’ve done it thrice with a new USB Thumb drives but still no luck. I got refered to google.com/chromeos/recovery everytime.

    • me too what did you do? i’ve tried it multiple times and asked people for help it wont work

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