How To Create a Restart Button in Chrome OS

While Chrome OS is very efficient at managing memory and processes, it, like everyone Operating System, needs to be restarted from time-to-time.  For Chromebook users that has meant that you have to power down your device completely then fire things back up.  Doing so empties cached items in memory and kills off PIDs (Process Identifiers) so things run smoothly again.

But there are times when you are in the middle of working on things where a quick restart button would be handy.  Natively, there is not such a button in Chrome OS but in this How To, I’ll show you how you can quickly create one and have it in your browser favorites bar for quick access.

First, let me explain what this restart button does exactly.  It leverages a Chrome flag, chrome://restart, which you can type in the browser bar and perform the restart function.  What the restart does is clear your cached memory (RAM) and kills off any dead or unused processes.  The net result of this is that you get your Chromebook back to a memory state that it was when you physically booted it up.  It is essentially a physical reboot of your Chromebook without the physical reboot bit.

To create the bookmark, open up the browser then go to any page.  It doesn’t really matter.  Now tap on the Bookmarks button (the star icon) in the omnibar to open up the dialog box to create a new bookmark.  Once this is open, tap the Edit button.  This allows you to change the name and the URL of this new bookmark.  Name it Restart and in the URL field, put chrome://restart.  Now save this to your bookmarks bar or another place where you can easily access it in the browser.

Creating a Restart Bookmark in Chrome OS
Creating a Restart Bookmark in Chrome OS

Once you are done, tap save and you should have a button that looks like this on your bookmarks bar.

Restart Bookmark in Chrome OS
Restart Bookmark in Chrome OS

That’s it.  Now you can test it by clicking the button.  Your screen on your Chromebook will go black and after a few seconds, you will get a new browser and all of your extension will fire up – just like you physically restarted your Chromebook.

Pretty slick eh?  It is a big time saver for those times when things get sluggish on your Chromebook.

A big thanks to Brent Sullivan who provided the tip in a recent conversation in the Chromebook Community on Google+

For more How To, tips and tricks, be sure to hit up the Tips & Tricks pages on the site.

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