How to Remove User Profiles from One or Several Chromebooks


By default a Chromebook will remember multiple accounts or user profiles. These profiles are shown on the Chromebook’s sign on screen.

There are times when a new student or group of students will be assigned the Chromebook.  You may get an error saying your Chromebook profile could not be opened correctly and it needs to be removed.

Sometimes you just need to remove just one user account. Other times you need to remove the accounts from 500 or more Chromebooks.

 Here are ways to delete a profile account from a Chromebook.

Reset a Chromebook

Resetting a Chromebook, also known as powerwashing, can often help clear up any “weirdness” a Chromebook may be having. The process also removes all of the profile accounts. If you have just a few user profiles cached, this would not be faster than the manual removal way. However, if you have 12+ user profiles, it may be faster.

Tip: If you have a lot of user profiles on your Chromebooks, you may not want to cache user profiles going forward. I’ll explain how to configure this in option 3.

The process of resetting a Chromebook returns it to its out-of-the-box state with two exceptions:

  • It will still be running its current Chrome OS version
  • If your Google Admin has enabled Forced Re-enrollment (and they should), the Chromebook will re-enroll in your domain the next time a domain user logs on. This is both a convenience and theft deterrent.

I explain how to reset a Chromebook in my post cleverly entitled How To Wipe or Factory Reset a Chromebook.

Manually remove a user profile from a Chromebook

Manually removing user profiles on a Chromebook is easy to do, but can be time consuming if it has to be done on a lot of Chromebooks. One quick option is to have students remove them from the Chromebook they are using right before they turn it in. This would be one of the easiest ways in a 1:1 environment.

To remove a profile:

  1. Logout of the Chromebook
  2. Click the on the profile you want to remove
  3. Click the down arrow next to the profile name
  4. Click Remove account
  5. Click Remove account again

Repeat these steps until all of the user profiles are removed. If the Chromebooks are not managed in the Google Admin Console, there will be one profile that cannot be removed. It is considered the owner. This is the first account to login into the Chromebook. To remove the owner you have to Powerwash the Chromebook.

If your school system has your Chromebooks enrolled in their Google domain (manages them) there will not be an owner account.

Users will not lose any files saved in their Google Drive by removing their profile. If your Google Admin is not forcing users to save to Google Drive, they may have files saved in their Chromebook’s Downloads folder. These need to move if the user wants to keep them, before removing the profile.

Tip: You never know when a Chromebook may be misplaced or broken. Also, another student could delete profiles. Therefore, I recommend teaching students to always save in Google Drive and never rely on the Chromebook’s local storage.

Remove account profiles from a Chromebook using the Google Admin Console

Google now allows Google admins to remove account profiles from Chromebooks remotely using the Google Admin Console. This is extremely helpful when you are trying to remove profiles from Chromebooks you don’t have in front of you.

Removing the profiles does not affect any devices settings. For example, if you have pushed out settings for connecting to your WiFi, the Chromebook will retain those settings.

Follow these setups to remove a account from a Chromebook remotely.

  1. Log into the Google Admin Console
  2. Click on Devices
  1. Click on Chrome Devices
  1. Click Search or add a filter
  2. Search for the serial number of the Chromebook you want to remove the account profile from.
  1. Click on the serial number of the device. It should be listed in blue.

If you do not see your device, try changing the search status from provisioned to all. You may be dealing with a disabled Chromebook.

  1. Click the Reset button on the left side of the screen

If you do not have the reset button option, it means the Chromebook has not been updated to a Chrome OS version that supports remotely removing profiles.

  1. Select the Clear User Profiles option
  2. Click the box next to I understand this will remove data from the device and cannot be undone.
  3. Click Reset

Google will then try to remove the the profiles from the Chromebook. If the user is logged on the Chromebook at the time, they will be logged off.

After the profiles are removed, any allowed user can log on. The Chromebook will setup the user’s profile like it did the first time they signed into it.

Remove account profiles from multiple Chromebooks using the Google Admin Console

For schools it is common to remove all the profiles off of Chromebooks in preparation for a new student using it next year or next semester. You can do this manually, but for Chromebooks running Chrome OS 85 or higher, it is much easier task if you use the Google Admin Console.

Removing the profiles does not affect any devices settings. For example, if you have pushed out settings for connecting to your WiFi, the Chromebook will retain those settings.

Follow these setups to remove an account from multiple Chromebooks remotely at the same time.

  1. Log into the Google Admin Console
  2. Click on Devices
  1. Click on Chrome Devices
  1. Browse to the OU that contains the Chromebooks you want to reset.
  2. You can now click the boxes next to the Chromebooks you want to remove profiles from. If you want to select all of the Chromebooks on the screen, click the checkbox next to Serial Number.

If you do not see some of your device, try changing the search status from provisioned to all. You may be have some disabled Chromebooks.

You can select up to 50 Chromebooks at a time depending on the number of rows per page you have chosen.

  1. Click the Reset Selected Devices button as shown in the image below

If you do not have the reset button option, it means one or more selected Chromebooks have not been updated to a Chrome OS version that supports remotely removing profiles.

  1. Select the Clear User Profiles option
  2. Click the box next to I understand this will remove data from the device and cannot be undone.
  3. Click Reset

Google will then try to remove the the profiles from the Chromebooks. If there are users logged on the Chromebook at the time, they will be logged off.

Configure Chromebooks to not save user profile information

In some cases, students not assign Chromebooks to users and/or students do not use the same Chromebooks each time. In these cases you can program your managed Chromebooks to to forget the logged on profile when the user logs off. This is done using the Google Admin Console.

This has to be done by someone with Google Admin Console rights to modify Device Settings for the OU in which the Chromebooks are located.

Follow these setups to remove a account from a Chromebook remotely.

  1. Log into the Google Admin Console
  2. Click on Devices
  1. Click on Chrome Devices
  1. Change the drop down shown before to Settings
  1. Click on the Device Settings tab
  1. Scroll down the section
  2. Find the User data section
  3. Change the option to Erase all local user data
  1. Click Save

Now every time a user logs out of a Chromebook, their profile will be forgotten. All of the apps, extensions, and settings applied to the user are installed each time they login.

Dave Carty

K12 district technology administrator, Google domain admin, Certified Google Trainer.

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