How to Turn on Chrome OS Developer Mode?

How to Turn on Chrome OS Developer Mode?

Developer mode on a Chromebook might seem like an arcane subject. But with our handy guide, you’ll be running applications or operating systems that you never thought possible on a Chromebook. While enabling developer mode provides more control and flexibility, it’s worth noting that it comes with certain risks that we’ll outline in the article. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Chromebook Developer Mode

Enabling developer mode on your Chromebook gives you root access to the operating system, opening up a world of possibilities. You can sideload Android apps, install Linux, and even replace Chrome OS entirely with a different operating system.

Chromebooks usually run on a locked-down operating system for better security, but developer mode opens up your Chromebook, making it similar to “jailbreaking” an Android device.

How to Enable Developer Mode on Your Chromebook

  • Press and hold the ‘ESC’ and ‘Refresh’ keys at the same time.
  • While holding those keys, press the ‘Power’ button to reboot your Chromebook.
  • You’ll see a screen saying ‘Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Don’t worry – this is normal.
  • Press ‘CTRL + D’ to turn OS Verification off and enable Developer Mode.
  • Press ‘Enter’ to confirm. Your Chromebook will reboot and you’ll see a warning screen stating OS verification is off. Ignore this warning.
  • Your Chromebook will now prepare itself for Developer Mode. This process may take 15-20 minutes.

Using Developer Mode

Once developer mode is enabled, you’ll see a warning screen every time you boot. Press ‘CTRL + D’ to bypass it. You now have access to your Chromebook in a way that was not previously possible. For instance, you can use terminal commands to install applications, which is useful when you want to run Linux on your Chromebook.

Risks and Considerations

While Developer Mode may seem like a powerful feature, it’s worth considering the potential risks. Developer mode wipes all locally stored data and disables the security feature that prevents the installation of malware. This is why it’s essential to backup important data before enabling Developer Mode.

Disabling Developer Mode

If you no longer need the benefits of developer mode or find the warning screen annoying, you can disable developer mode.

  • Reboot your Chromebook.
  • At the ‘OS verification is off’ screen, press ‘Space’ to turn OS Verification on.
  • Confirm by pressing ‘Enter’. Your Chromebook will wipe all local data and return to its original state.

Switching back to Normal Mode

Switching back to Normal Mode

You can easily switch back to regular mode by following the steps to disable developer mode. This will, however, wipe all the data stored on your Chromebook.

Running Linux on Your Chromebook

Developer mode allows you to install Linux distributions on your Chromebook. This feature opens up a whole new world of software and tools that you can use, which is not otherwise available on Chrome OS.

Root Access on your Android Device

Gaining root access on your Android device allows you more control over your device’s functionality, similar to developer mode on a Chromebook.

Sideload Android Apps

With Developer mode, you can sideload APK files, essentially allowing you to download Android apps that are not available on the Google Play Store.

Summary and Conclusion

  • Developer mode grants root access to your Chromebook’s OS, letting you install Linux, sideload Android apps, or even replace Chrome OS entirely.
  • Enabling developer mode involves rebooting your Chromebook and using a keyboard shortcut.
  • Developer mode comes with risks, including the potential for malware and wiping all local data. Back up essential files before enabling developer mode.
  • Disabling developer mode involves another keyboard shortcut, but remember that switching back to regular mode will also delete all locally stored data.
  • With developer mode enabled, you can run Linux on your Chromebook, gain root access on your Android device, and sideload Android apps.

Enabling developer mode on your Chromebook can open up new possibilities. However, it’s crucial to understand the risks involved. If you decide to go ahead, remember to back up your data first, understand the security implications, and enjoy exploring the potential of your Chromebook.


What is Chrome OS developer mode?

Chrome OS developer mode is a feature that allows users to have more control over their Chromebook and install additional software and modify system settings.

How do I turn on Chrome OS developer mode?

To turn on Chrome OS developer mode, follow these steps:

  • Make sure your Chromebook is powered off.
  • Press and hold the power button, esc, and refresh key at the same time.
  • When the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” screen appears, press enter.
  • On the “OS verification is off” screen, press the spacebar to enable developer mode.
  • Wait for your Chromebook to restart and you’ll be in developer mode.