Chromebook Won’t Download Files – What to Do

Chromebook Wont Download Files

Your Chromebook may occasionally refuse to download a file. There are many possible reasons for this, ranging from minor bugs and glitches to system corruption. Luckily, there are numerous solutions and fixes. In this article, we’ll go over the most common solutions to this problem.

Check Network Connectivity

There are many reasons your Chromebook might refuse to download a file. One of the most common problems is an unstable internet connection. It happens more often than people might think, even in areas known for fast and reliable internet.

If your Chromebook refuses to download a file or two, you should check your connection. First, restart it on the device itself. If the problem persists, you should restart your router. Turn it off and leave it to cool down for a few minutes. Turn it back on and check whether the problem persists once your device connects to the network. If the problem is still there, you should move to the next troubleshooting method.

Clear Cache and Cookies

Next, you should try to delete the cache memory and cookies from Chrome on your device. Cache memory, when it fills up, might cause your device to reject further downloads. Here’s how to clear your cache and cookies.

  1. Launch Chrome on your device.
  2. Click or tap on the More button (the three dots at the upper-right corner of the browser screen).
  3. Select the More Tools option from the drop-down menu.
  4. Select the Clear Browsing Data option in the side menu.
  5. Click on the Clear Browsing Data link on the left side of the screen.
  6. When the pop-up window opens, check the “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files” boxes.
    Clear Cached Images and Cookies
  7. Click or tap on the Clear Data button.

If you’d want to, you can also delete your browsing history. If you go to the Advanced tab, you will see the exact number of visited pages, downloaded files, saved passwords, cached images, and other info Chrome keeps track of.


If clearing the browser cache and cookies didn’t solve the problem, you might want to reboot your Chromebook. Follow these steps to perform the reboot.

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press together and hold the Power and Refresh buttons.
  3. Keep pressing the Refresh button until the device boots up completely.

To restart a Chromebook tablet, follow these steps.

  1. Press together the Power and Volume Up buttons.
  2. Keep holding them for 10 seconds or longer, if necessary.
  3. When the device starts rebooting, release the keys.

If your Chromebook has a reset button, you can press that instead. Some models need to be unplugged from the power source when turned off. To check whether your Chromebook has special reboot requirements, refer to the “Other ways” section of this page.

Correct Browser Settings

Chrome’s settings, if they’re poorly configured, might prevent you from downloading files. In this section, we’ll examine two ways to correct your browser settings on a Chromebook device. The first will reset your Chrome settings while the latter will clear local data.

Reset Chrome Settings

Follow these steps to reset your browser’s settings back to their default state.

  1. Launch Chrome on your device.
  2. When the browser opens, click or tap on the address bar and type the following: chrome://settings/resetProfileSettings.
  3. Press Enter or tap on the Go button.
  4. A pop-up window named Reset settings will appear. Click or tap on the Reset Settings button.
    Reset Factory Settings

Clear Local Data

Clearing local data might take a step or two more than the previous method, but it is just as simple to do. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Launch Chrome on your device.
  2. Click or tap on the address bar and type in the following address: chrome://drive-internals. Press Enter or tap Go.
  3. On the next page, scroll all the way down to the Local Metadata section. Click or tap on “Clear local data.”

Make sure that the important local files are available on Google Drive or that you’ve copied them to an external disk.

Factory Reset

If the problem with downloads still persists, it is time to call in the cavalry and perform a factory reset. Have in mind that the factory reset will wipe all data, files, apps, and settings you have on your device. Therefore, it is recommended to back them all up. You can copy all the things you need to an external hard drive or to your Google Drive. Make sure to sync your account settings, as well.

Back up

Here’s how to back up your Chromebook before the factory reset.

  1. Go to Home screen and tap or click on the time at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  2. A menu will pop up. Select Settings from the menu, it is the bottom option.
  3. Next, go to the People section.
  4. Select the Sync tab.
  5. In the Sync tab, pick what you want to synchronize with the Google account you’re using for your Chromebook. In case you’d like to sync your settings, data, and files, choose the Sync Everything option.
  6. Chromebook also allows you to encrypt your data with a password. You can find the encryption settings in the Encryption Options tab.

If you’re not the administrator of the Chromebook, you might not be able to sync data. If you’d like to save files to Google Drive, browse your local storage and find the file you’d like to save. Press together the Ctrl and S keys, name your file, choose the file type (optionally), and pick Google Drive as the destination. Select Save and your file will be uploaded to the drive.

Factory Reset

Here’s one of the ways you can perform a factory reset:

  1. If you’re still signed in, log out of the Chromebook.
  2. Click or tap on the time at the bottom-right corner of the Home screen.
  3. Tap on the Settings option.
  4. Next, select the Advanced option.
  5. Select the Reset Settings tab.
  6. Select Powerwash.
  7. Next, pick Restart.
  8. After that, click or tap on the Powerwash option in the dialog box that appears.
  9. Click or tap Continue.
  10. When the factory reset is done and the device boots up, sign in to your Google account.
    Follow the Setup Wizard
  11. Follow the setup wizard.
  12. Check whether you can download files.

Free Your Chromebook

In case none of these options helped, you might want to try to reinstall the system. Alternatively, you might want to contact Google Support.

Has your Chromebook rejected a download in the past? How did you deal with it? If we’ve missed a good troubleshooting method, share it in the comments section below.

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