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How to back up and wipe your Chromebook

Chromebook in a pink circle against a yellow background with small icons.
Image: Samar Haddad / The Verge

When Chromebooks first appeared on the scene back in 2011, they were criticized for how limited they were compared to Windows and macOS systems. Since then, some of the original limitations have been tweaked and the simplicity of the OS has been much more widely accepted. And it turns out, sometimes the old adage that less is more is right.

One of the key advantages of using a Chromebook is the way (almost) everything is instantly backed up: with a small number of exceptions, all of your apps and files live online. If you lose your laptop or drop it into a lake, all you need to do is sign in to another Chromebook with your Google account, and you’re right back where you started.

Wiping a Chromebook is quick and easy, too, if you’re…

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