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How to: Factory Reset a Chromecast

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The Chromecast, Google’s new HDMI dongle, is largely thought to be nothing short of a bundle of awesome, especially at its $35 price point. But there still may be times when it has issues and needs troubleshooting. Since there isn’t much of an interface outside of a “Ready to Cast” screen and the help of an Android app, performing tasks like a factory data reset could be somewhat confusing. So if you ever run into a point of no return and are completely frustrated, this is how you can start over from the beginning. 

According to official Google Support documents, there are two ways to Factory Data Reset (FDR) your Chromecast:

  1. Factory Data Reset your Chromecast from the Chromecast app. You will find the option to FDR under ‘Settings’ or ‘Menu’
  2. Physically hold down the button on your Chromecast for at least 25 seconds or until the solid light begins flashing.

There you have it. And if you haven’t already, be sure you check out our entire overview and guide to the Chromecast.

Via: Google Support

  • ebrizz

    After the update that rolled out a few days ago, my chromecast gives me the message: “ChromecastXXXX connected to, but can’t access the internet” it advised that I run the Chromecast app to choose a different network.

    Problem is, if the chromecast isn’t connected to your network, the app cant find it. Since the Chromecast device isn’t showing up in my wireless devices on my router, I assume this means the device has connected to a neighbor’s internet. The factory reset(holding button down for 25 seconds) just changes the number on the chromecast ID, but brings me back to the same problem.

    Anyone have any idea how to completely wipe the device? Or how to contact google support via Email? The Chromecast page only has a ‘feedback for the developers’ area. I’ll never get an answer.

    Thanks!

    • lilmad101

      Use another computer to set it up. it worked for me. For some reason the setup app remembers the castid during everyset up.

  • bogy25

    I wish I ordered more than one as they are currently selling on Ebay for around $80!!!!!! Doh!

  • wmsco1

    Has anyone Heard when the next shipment will be? From Google

  • EC8CH

    I think chromecast proves that “smart” TV’s should be as dumb as possible. There should be no 10 foot UI, no entering of text or clicking of icons, no TV optimized apps.

    The smartest TV is a big blank screen waiting for links to be sent to it.

    • Jason Downing

      True; however, I was able to put some of those apps to good use over the past 1-2 years. When I bought my TV, I originally bought it for the picture quality. All the other stuff was just kind of a bonus and now goes out the door with my Chromecast showing up tomorrow

      • EC8CH

        someone should post a video comparing the experience of watching a Youtube video using a smart tv’s youtube app and using chromecast.

        It would be hilarious how bad the smart tv’s app would look. I know the one on my Sony bluray player is abysmal.

        • Jason Downing

          what’s weird is the samsung TV I originally bought had a controller with a full blown keyboard on the back which was really helpful with stuff like this. I had a few problems with the display so they gave me the next years model for free, but no more keyboard. Instead of that, it came with a 2nd controller that has more of a built in mouse/trackpad

          • EC8CH

            All those input methods make 10 foot smart TV UI’s better, but if you just accept that people have touchscreen devices on their couch anyway, chromecast is an even better solution because it eliminates the 10 foot UI entirely.

            Basically you should never have to look up at your TV until the content you’re trying to get to appears on the TV’s screen.

          • Jason Downing

            Just in case there was some confusion, I definitely agree with you. That’s why when mine arrives tomorrow, that UI won’t be seen anymore

          • EC8CH

            Oh no… we’re on the same page. Smart TV’s were are useful bridge, but technology like chromecast show how laughably obsolete and clunky they are now that tablets and smartphones are common place.

        • Jason Downing
  • EC8CH

    Chromecast is great.

    Issues I’ve had:

    1. My LG 39LN5300 tv does not recognize it as a Simplink device (their term for CEC). It will turn the TV on but not switch inputs. My much older Sony TV recognizes it and CEC control works perfectly.

    2. When casting tabs through chrome, the video freezes after only a couple of seconds but audio continues to stream. According to the chromecast support page this is a known issue that is being worked on. Since it’s a beta feature it’s understandable.

    • TJWaterskier

      Mine did that when I had “audio mode” checked.. I un-did that and then it started streaming perfectly, with audio..
      (Does anyone know what audio mode does from the chrome extension? other than make the device unusable?)

      • EC8CH

        I’ll have to check that option. My guess is that it is designed to save bandwidth to ensure smooth audio streaming when you just want to stream music.

      • blackjaguar25

        Where is “audio mode?”

        Edit: Found it.

  • ddh819

    once it’s set up with your wifi network, is the chromecast’s own ap still active, so that your neighbor could change the configuration on it?

    • EC8CH

      I think the last step of the setup process is entering in your wifi’s password. I assumed this is to prevent what you are talking about. Otherwise after it is setup it stops broadcasting its own wifi signal and the only way to access it is through your wifi which again would require knowing the password.

  • Morbid138

    Has anyone gotten a shipping date for their Chromecast ordered on a Amazon after they sold out?

    • steve james

      Monday by 8 pm. Don’t know if they will give me the free Netflix. They should & I’ll raise heck if they don’t

  • EC8CH

    If you press the button three time it also allows the chromecast to be powered over HDMI and you don’t need to plug in the usb power

    :-P

  • aye_winchell

    got mine last night, continued with my re-watching of Archer with 10 minutes of receiving it, was quick to set up, worked flawlessly (admittedly i didn’t try to do a whole lot last night, just watched some netflix), ill see what i can do with over the next few days but so far, with just what it does, and what was in the box, easily worth it, even without the netflix promo (i got it thought, so even more worth it.). It did turn my tv on, and it worked fine moving it from tv to tv. Oh and the ability to control it from my N7 was nice, can control it pre lock screen and from the notification bar, so that was nice. The netflix app was a little weird when an episode ended and i tried to get back to the netflix app, i essentially had to reload it to get it too come up, it wouldn’t come up from from list of apps in mem. it was like it would open, then close right away, but i’m sure this will be fixed in the future.

  • LoganLopez

    Things missing from Chromecast that would make it amazing:

    -Ability to turn off TV: It can turn the TV on and put it to the correct output, but not turn the TV off?
    -Go back to previous output: I watched a movie on netflix through Chromecast and was ready to watch TV (Cable) again. Would be nice to be able to turn Chromecast off and send it back to the previous input it was at.
    -Netflix App needs work: If you are like me, you turn off your screen when you start watching. When you turn the screen, you are given options on the lock screen (Awesome). Unlock the phone and you are back in the app, but with only 3 options. You then have to hit the back button to get the rest of the options. Why can’t that be the default screen. I get the idea, the 3 buttons are bigger and easier to access, but i want everything (This is for the phone, haven’t tried tablet yet.)

    Loving the Chromecast and haven’t had an issue. Greatest thing to come out of Google yet!

    • Taylor Wayne

      It’s not your chromecast that switches your input, your tv detects a signal from the hdmi and switches to that input. If you wanted your tv to turn off when the chromecast does, your tv would have to be programmed to turn off when input is lost.

      • LoganLopez

        Is there a way to turn Chromecast off? Thanks for the info.

  • viewthis66

    Is there an off switch or do i just unplug the USB? maybe this was covered in Kellex’s review… i may have glossed over that part.

    • Kie

      No off switch

      • viewthis66

        10/4… thanks.

  • sc0rch3d

    set mine up and watched 2 hours worth of FAIL Compilations on YouTube followed by Beverly Hillbillies Movie on Netflix

    I cannot get my laptop to recognize the device, so I set it up using my phone. Weird…

    • Eric Lega-c Smith

      did you download the chromecast extentsion to chrome?

      • sc0rch3d

        Yup….when you click the extension…shows no Chromecast devices on the network. Also, (for the heck of it) I went to the setup website and downloaded the setup executable…couldn’t find it either. Phone set it up in less than 30 seconds.

        • jbegs

          What type of laptop do you have? Mine won’t see a casting device (Intel Core 2 Duo) but my wife’s will (i3).

          Minimum requirements from Google: https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/3209990?hl=en&ref_topic=3210038

          • sc0rch3d

            Core i7 and SSD – starting to think it may be the firewall software

          • BroRob

            Could also be your wireless on the laptop is set at 5GHz and the Chromecast only recognizes 2.4GHz.

          • sc0rch3d

            thought about that last night. the router is A/B/G capable and right now it’s on “G-Only.” Laptop does have N capability but looking at the properties, it is connecting on G. I did notice that Chromecast does act as a temporary AP during setup, so yes, theoretically this could still be part of my problem.

          • EC8CH

            Doesn’t the stream pass through the wifi router though?

          • Paul Reid

            I had this problem. To get it set up, I had to connect to the 2.4GHz network. After setup, I changed back and it still works.

    • no-google-support

      i have the same issue. On one laptop (MS surface Pro, running windows 8), chrome can not find the chromecast device (empty list after clicking the extension icon). however, the setup application does see it from the same laptop, but this doesn’t help much :)
      Opened a case with google chromecast customer support, still didn’t hear anything back from them after 3 days.

      Other laptop that we have works fine and chrome can find the device.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Speaking of Chromecast …Just got my NETFLIX 3 month code yesterday! Woo!….

    • C-Law

      I canceled my Amazon order when I found out my local best buy had them last friday. I got a code from best buy that I used right away and now I just got a code from Amazon too even though I canceled the order before it shipped.

      • KleenDroid

        You should have kept the second order also.

        So far I love mine and wish I had a few more. I’d like to get one for my son also.

        • steve james

          That is a thought for my daughter also. I have a question. You can run this as the sole input to the TV right? So you don’t need another Joey & I could give my girl my OG Droid running just on the home WiFi & have it locked to the kids & family Netflix for her in her room?

        • C-Law

          Trust me, I agree already. Lol

  • Eric Lega-c Smith

    It has a button?

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      It does. It’s kind of flush but it’s there.

      • Eric Lega-c Smith

        I set mine up and didnt even notice

    • sagisarius

      yes, though I have no idea what it does, pressing it was never involved in the setup process

      • sirmeili

        apparently it is for doing factory resets, though I think if you hold it for less time, it will just do a “restart” (I don’t know how long that is though)

    • Ian

      On the right side of the micro usb port in the pic above.

    • Matt Lindsay

      I didnt know either lol. Set it up and didnt notice