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Dustin, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 13450
Experience:  I speak PC fluently, so you dont have to! Worked in The US Army as A Network Switching Systems Operator/Controller
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I have a new HP chromebook and I cannot get it to sync

Customer Question

HI, I have a new HP chromebook and I cannot get it to sync anything besides my google drive to it... I had another chromebook prior to this as well. I have tried everything I could find about doing this online, except the one process of going onto a Non-chromebook pc and logging into chrome there, then saving the bookmarks, extensions, passwords, etc.. on a USB stick and then manually importing them to my chromebook. What are the actual steps in doing this?
JA: Just to clarify, what's the exact model of your HP? And what operating system are you running?
Customer: its the 14" Hp chromebook, so there is only one operating system for this... Chrome OS
JA: What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: I have gone into the settings and tried sync everything as I normally would on any other computer that I have logged into with chrome, I have logged out then re-logged in, I have gone to the dashboard to try and sync it there, all of the tricks I have found over very many sites. This is the only one I have not tried.
JA: The computer expert can solve this for you. Anything else you want him to know before I connect you two?
Customer: no, that's it thanks
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Computer Technician about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to assist you.

Question, the google account you are using when you sign into chrome, and then go into the chrome browser settings and then enable sync.

Is it the same google address you are using on your PC with chrome? Does the PC with chrome also have sync turned on?

And as far as the google address itself, you dont have two step verification turned on do you? As that would interfere with the sync process.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have another computer. I just had read about manually moving the files from a regular pc, and it seems like the only way to get them onto this new chromebook. I haven't looked yet, but I have been told that all of the settings should still show up if I get on a pc/mac. I am just asking the method of how to do this... how do i load these files from a mac specifically onto a USB, then load them onto the chromebook?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have two step verification. I was working fine on my old chromebook, which then broke. The next day I bought this one, and have not been able to get those settings onto it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it was working fine
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no way of knowing if this is actually working? Is anyone there?
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Question.. Have you tried logging into google sync on the new chrome book, using the same exact google account as you had on your previous chromebook. And seeing if theres anything there to sync in the first place?

If you check this page

Does it show you have anything to sync, and if so when does it show the last time you synced?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
AH, I thought you had dissapeared, haha! I have tried logging into google sync on the new chromebook with the exact same account, yes. Nothing shows up when I try syncing everything, so there is no way that I can know if there is anything to synch, but I literally was using my old chromebook one night before it completely failed ( someone sat on it!!! and crunched the screen so it is impossible to see anything) and everything was there, and then nothing transferred onto the new one besides the stuff on the google drive. I have many years of bookmarks on there which have information very important for projects I am working on.... plus then extensions and so forth.
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Out of curiosity, whats the name brand and model of your old chromebook with the crushed screen?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
same model
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

do you know if its the hp chromebook 11, 12, 14 etc ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are bothe Chromebook 14s.
What I have read, but have not had the opportunity to try yet, is that this is something that happens, but if I get a chance to log into Chrome on a regular laptop, I should see all of my settings/bookmarks/extensions. I will try that next, but just want to know the process. I had found a site that explained it but cannot find it now...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it said that I could mail the files to myself, or use a USB stick to do so... just wanted to get the entire process so I can try it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
maybe I should just try again to find that instruction online...
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

On this specific page..

You can access that from your current chromebook. When you go to that page, does it show anything in the categories, or just slashes?

Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Another possibility is this, if you have an HDMI cable and a HDMI tv or computer monitor. You could connect your old chromebook to a HDMI monitor as it supports external monitors. Once youve done that.. You could then check to see if you had google sync set up and turned on in the other chromebook.

I ask because, this is all done for the most part automatically online. As long as sync is turned on on device a, when device b signs into the same account and turns on sync, device B will sync.

Most likely, you didnt have sync turned on on the broken chromebook. Using an external monitor would be a quick way to check.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand that Dustin, but that doesn't work, and I was told about this other way....
I was told that sometimes it is not possible to get that info from a chromebook, but it Will show up when logging into chrome on a regular laptop.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Lets just assume for a second that it does... what are the steps needed to take the files from a Mac, and then load them onto a USB stick and then bring them to my chromebook?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
because, like I mentioned... at least from what I can tell, the google drive has synced. Why would everything else disappear?
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Thats not possible. Heres why.. Chrome OS, wont recognize the way chrome stores files on a mac or a pc. While it would be possible to move your data folders from pc to pc or mac t o mac. You cant move browser data from Mac to chrome or PC to chrome. They are entirely different operating systems altogether. And use completely different file formats.

One reason that could happen, is if you chose reset sync at some point from within chrome.. T hat would wipe out your synced data. ( but wouldnt wipe out google drive since thats not part of the chrome sync service itself. )

Another reason could be if on the new chromebook you dont have the right options turned on in advanced sync settings.

again.. Most likely this is one of two issues. On the broken chromebook you didnt have all your settings set to sync.. ( if you only had one chromebook and no other pcs or phones, that would make sense as what would you sync with?)

Or B, at some point when setting up your new chromebook you went into the chrome options and selected reset sync. Which would delete your info from the server, but not from the broken chromebook itself.

The only way to really know for certain what has happened is to use an HDMI cord and connect an external monitor to your broken chromebook so youll have a way to actually see whats on it..

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
one last thing. I did notice that there WAS a sync error in the old computer... I figured that it would still import my stuff from the old computer from the cloud ( at least to a certain point in time). I tried to fix that when the computer was still working, but the advanced synch settings were greyed out, so I could not access them.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I never reset the sync on the new computer. I don't have another computer and at the moment not synced to a phone. I do have access to another monitor, so I can get to the old computer that way, but was having troubles with the sync error and inability to access the advanced sync settings.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
its interesting that you say I can't do it and it totally makes sense. I don't know why that was an option listed on a Chromebook site.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Now how do I work around that sync error?
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Is the sync error on the broken machine, or the new machine?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the old machine
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can get over to a place to use an external monitor. The only way to fix that error is to do a powerwash correct?
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

T he sync error? Lets not power wash the old machine.. As it may be the o nly surviving source of your data..

Powerwashing the new machine if its having a sync error wouldnt hurt.. Since it doesnt have your data on it anyways, and a power wash wont touch google drive. ( online )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
right. No sync errors on the new machine.
I thought that was the problem when I first got a new one, and exchanged it for another to find the same anyway... the power wash was what I read was suggested.... BUT, since I don't need the old machine besides for getting the info, and I would want to back up everything even if I did a powerwash anyway, the main question I need to ask is how I back up everything on the old computer ( onto an exernal drive) and then import it to the new on ON Chrome OS? what are the actual steps. I only have a little USB stick that has about 6 or 7 free gigs on it.... But I don't imagine I need that much memory for this... I don't have a bunch of movies or music, mostly just the bookmarks and settings... Now I need to go to another place to get access to the other monitor so if you give me the steps I can try it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hope you are still there with me!
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

The only thing even remotely close to what you are asking, is being able to create a recovery image from your broken chromebook, and then restoring that image to your working chromebook..

Other then that, chromebooks ship with extremely small hard drives for a reason. Its meant to be a cloud storage device. Not an internal storage device for your data. But, if you wanted to make a complete image of what you had on your old machine, then the above link would help you.

And then you could restore that image to your new machine..

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry, is that just an "image" or the actual files? And, if like you say it is a cloud device, then why am I not able to access these things from the cloud, even without the old computer sync on. From what I am reading it is advising, if one was to do a powerwash ( when there is a sync problem) to back up the os... her are a few things I am reading:"Powerwash takes only a few minutes to copy any local files to external media, Powerwash, and copy them back. The only thing you lose is passwords for connections. " That would be fine with me, I am concerned with bookmarks mostly
Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Id still make a system image before powerwashing.. As if something goes wrong.. Theres no going back.

Whereas with a system image you get a complete image of everything on the chromebook.