Chrome OS Developer Mode: How To Turn Enable And Disable It

Here is a step by step guide on how to turn on Chrome OS Developer Mode on Chromebook along with instructions to disable Chromebook OS Developer Mode if you no longer need to use the OS developer mode. Turning on Chrome OS Developer Mode unlocks advanced functionalities that help you access the full power of your Chromebook. But before you enable Developer Mode Chrome OS, there are a few caveats that are critical to bear in mind, which we will get to later. So keep reading to enter Chromebook Developer Mode at your own risk!

ChromeOS comes preinstalled on Chromebooks, an operating system from Google. Basically, Developer Mode Chromebook is a Google experimental feature that provides you root access to the Chromium OS on your device.

With Chrome OS Developer Mode turned on, previously disabled hidden setting on your Chromebook becomes accessible without restrictions. After removing built-in Chrome protections you gain open access to different features that typically fall under the domain of IT professionals and developers.

However, if you turn on Chrome OS Developer Mode to install apps or use it to install APK on Chrome OS, it may void your warranty in addition to making your computer vulnerable to malware and other threats such as ransomware.

That said, if you want to explore the full potential of Chrome OS, then you might want to know how to turn on Chrome OS Developer Mode.

But first, let me walk you through the Chrome OS Developer Apk description, overview, pros, cons, data safeguarding concerns, and finally how you turn on Chrome OS Developer Mode on Chrombooks.

developer mode chrome os

What Is Chrome OS Developer Mode?

Chromebooks come with plenty of power packed inside their relatively compact form factor. And Developer Mode configuration in Chrome enables root access in Chromebook so you can exploit that power to its maximum.

Contrary to a misconception that Chromebooks offer just the simple browsing experience, there’s is much more you can do with it. Although a bit underpowered by design, some power users can use it to install apps from third-party sources other than Play Store, replace the operating system, and perform other customization tasks.

Like iOS jailbreak, entering developer mode in Chromebook allows you to install Android apps from any source while bypassing system security checks built into the firmware.

Still, as those familiar with root access on Android mobile devices would attest, Developer Mode, as its name implies, is intended for developers and advanced users.

Since developers are the only people who are familiar with the intricate technical details of handling complex computational tasks, only they should enable and use it.

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Developer Mode Chrome OS Overview:

As mentioned earlier, Chrome OS Developer Mode is a feature that allows users to access more advanced system functions, sideload Android apps using APKs, and install custom software on their Chromebooks.

Here’s some key information about Chrome OS Developer Mode:


Developer Mode is primarily intended for developers and advanced users who want more control over their Chromebook’s system and the ability to install applications that are not available on the Chrome Web Store.

Benefits (Pros)

Enabling Developer Mode allows you to access the Chrome OS shell (crosh) and install Linux applications via the Crostini feature. It also provides the option to sideload Android apps and use the Chromebook in a more traditional Linux environment.

Moreover, hobbyists and professional developers would like to do some coding on Chromebooks. Developer Mode allows that as well.

Disadvantages (Cons)

Developer Mode reduces the security of the Chromebook because it disables some of Chrome OS’s security features, such as Verified Boot. This makes the device more vulnerable to potential security risks.

Other cons include:

  • Voids Chrome OS device’s warranty
  • Files on your device become inaccessible when in Developer Mode
  • Less secure operating system
  • Slower boot screen


Before enabling Developer Mode, it’s essential to understand the risks involved and the potential impact on your device’s security and warranty. Proceed with caution, and only enable Developer Mode if you have a specific need for it.

Please note that the specific steps and features related to Chrome OS Developer Mode may vary slightly depending on the Chromebook model and the version of Chrome OS in use. Always refer to the official Chrome OS documentation or your device’s manufacturer for detailed instructions and guidance.

chromebook developer mode

How To Turn On Chrome OS Developer Mode:

To enable Developer Mode on a Chromebook, you typically need to press a specific key combination during the boot-up process. This combination usually involves holding down the Esc and Refresh (F3) keys and then pressing the Power button. Keep in mind that enabling Developer Mode will erase all data on the device, so it’s important to back up your data first.

Enabling Developer Mode:

To turn on Developer Mode on a Chromebook, follow these steps:

  1. Power off your Chromebook completely.
  2. Press and hold the Esc key and the Refresh key (the circular arrow key usually located at the top row) simultaneously.
  3. While holding these keys, press the Power button.
  4. Release all three keys when a screen with a yellow exclamation mark appears. This is the recovery screen.
  5. Press Ctrl + D on your keyboard. A prompt will appear asking if you want to enable Developer Mode.
  6. Press Enter to proceed.
  7. Another screen will appear with a warning about the risks of enabling Developer Mode. Read the warning carefully.
  8. Press Ctrl + D again to continue and enable Developer Mode. Your Chromebook will take a few moments to switch to Developer Mode. It will then reboot.
  9. After the reboot, you’ll see a screen showing a red exclamation mark. This indicates that Developer Mode is enabled.
  10. Wait for your Chromebook to finish booting up. It may take a little longer than usual since it’s now in Developer Mode.
  11. You will be greeted with a welcome screen asking you to select your language and network settings. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your Chromebook.

After enabling Developer Mode, you will need to manually copy existing data from the regular account into the Developer Mode to access files and apps.

It is important to note that Developer Mode is intended for advanced users and may expose your device to security risks. Exercise caution when using Developer Mode and be aware of the potential consequences.

How To Disable Chrome OS Developer Mode:

To exit Developer Mode and return your Chromebook to its default state, you can use the `chromeos-setdevpasswd` command in the Chrome OS shell and set a developer mode password.

Exiting Developer Mode:

To turn off Developer Mode on a Chromebook, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your Chromebook and press the power button to power it back on or reboot it if it’s already on.
  2. Press the spacebar when the “OS verification is off” message pops up on the screen.
  3. Chromebook will perform a factory data reset and wipe the laptop clean before completing the regular setup process.
  4. Now go through the setup process again to finish setting up your device.

There it is. Your Chromebook should now be back to its normal functioning state.

chrome os developer mode


Can I Still Use My Chromebook Normally In Developer Mode?

When you enable developer mode on your Chromebook, it opens up advanced features and allows you to access the Chrome OS shell. However, it’s important to note that enabling developer mode will also wipe all data from your Chromebook, so make sure to back up any important files before proceeding.

Once in developer mode, you can still use your Chromebook normally, but there are some differences. For example, you may see a warning screen every time you boot up your device, and you’ll need to press a key combination to bypass it. Additionally, some security features may be disabled, which could potentially put your device at risk.

It’s also worth noting that some apps and features may not work properly in developer mode, as they may not be compatible with the advanced settings and changes you’ve made to your device. So while you can still use your Chromebook normally in developer mode, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and limitations.

What Kind Of Changes Can I Make In Developer Mode?

In developer mode on a Chrome OS device, you can make a variety of changes that are not possible in normal mode. Some of these changes include:

  • Installing and running Linux applications and software
  • Accessing the Chrome OS command shell
  • Modifying system files and settings
  • Installing custom firmware or operating systems
  • Running custom scripts and programs

It is important to note that enabling developer mode can potentially void your device’s warranty and may also make it more vulnerable to security risks. Therefore, it is recommended to only enable developer mode if you have a good understanding of what you are doing and the potential risks involved.