Technology Services » Tech Support for Families

Tech Support for Families

Chromebook Maintenance & Troubleshooting

 

Here are some things you can do to assure that your Chromebook will provide the best performance possible:

 

Location:

  • Sit close to your home router for best wifi connectivity
  • Lagging and freezing usually indicate a problem with your internet connection. Move to an area with a more stable connection to see if this helps. 
  • Check the speed of your Internet connection
 

Exterior of the Chromebook

  • Make sure nothing is covering the microphone or camera such as a piece of tape or paper.
    • The Microphone is a small hole located on the top of your screen, next to your camera.
  • Removing any stickers on or around your camera may help as well

During the School Week

  • Restart your chromebook daily
    • his means turn the Chromebook off and back on at least once every 24 hours.  This can help ensure your cache is cleared on a regular basis and can ensure configuration updates are kept up to date.
  • Regularly close unneeded tabs, applications, and extensions.  
    • These actions  can take more bandwidth or power demand and it is very common for these to cause issues during Video conferencing. It is best to only keep tabs open that are needed, especially while in a video conference.  Most software players are constantly working to improve the efficiency of their programs and therefore previously needed extensions may not be needed any longer.  These no longer needed extensions running in the background can slow down your system and impact overall device performance.
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Clearing the Chromebook’s cache/cookies:

  • On the Chromebook, open Google Chrome.
  • At the top-right, click the 3 Dots > More tools > Clear Browsing Data.
  • In the box that appears, select Time Range > All time.
  • Next to 'Cookies and other site data' and 'Cached images and files', tick the boxes.
  • Click Clear data.
    • What happens after you clear this info?
      • Some settings on sites get deleted. For example, if you were signed in, you’ll need to sign in again.
      • If you turn on sync in Chrome, you’ll stay signed into the Google Account that you’re syncing to in order to delete your data across all your devices.
      • Some sites may seem slower because content, such as images, will need to be downloaded again.
 

Troubleshooting your Camera:

  1. If your camera is not functioning properly, check to see if it turns on by opening the camera application on your Chromebook. If the camera does not come on, nor a small white light on the side of the camera, then there’s likely a problem with the device. If you are having issues with a school-owned loaner Chromebook, you can request a replacement.

Test your Microphone and Webcam

 

Updating Google Chrome:
  • Type chrome://help on the Chromebook’s browser bar and clicking enter. It will open up the About Chrome page.
  • From there, follow the directions that say “To see if your device is up to date, go to Chrome OS Settings”.
  • In the next box that pops up, click on Check for Updates.
  • Your Chromebook will then look for updates and ask to restart to apply them.
    • Here’s the link with the information from Google as well.
  • If you continue having problems, you can remove the account from the Chromebook and re-add it.
  • Minimizing the number of devices that are performing bandwidth intensive activities on your home network
 
 

Here are some things that will affect the performance of a Chromebook

 

  • Network Connection
    • Hotspot
      • Hotspots require a strong cellular signal to function properly. If there are not “full bars” of cellular service due to environmental issues or the coverage area of the carrier, there will be a decrease in bandwidth or the hotspot just won’t function at all.
      • Hotspots can conflict with home WIFI and make both systems (home and hotspot) less functional
        • Moving close to a window, door or even outside can often help with improving the cellular signal and may increase the network speed and connection.
    • Home Networks
      • Router: Many families will purchase the least expensive router available for their home connection. The quality and age of a router can have an effect on the reliability and speed of a WIFI home network.
        • Router settings can become corrupted and may need to be reset (speak with your Internet Service provider for support). This can lead to slowdowns, outages and general network failures.
          • How close or far someone is from their home router can have an effect on the speed of the network connection. Even with many bars of WIFI connectivity, the actual download and upload speed may be decreased significantly if the device is far from the router.
  • Chromebooks
    • Chromebooks are inexpensive devices (compared to a full computer) so the components are “low end” in general.
    • The processor of a $250 Chromebook was not initially designed for streaming multiple video streams at the same time, such as in a Zoom meeting
    • Age - The age of a Chromebook can have an effect on it’s processor speed and performance with Zoom
      • If you stop sharing your video (when appropriate) it will decrease bandwidth requirements and often helps with the zoom meetings.
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP) and services like Zoom, Google, Clever, etc.
    • Service providers are being overwhelmed by the large increase in usage of their service. There are unplanned outages, both short and long in duration, and slowdowns of all types.
      • There is not much anyone can do about service outages and slowdowns, other than be aware of them and keep trying.
    • You can see what online services are having current outages by accessing DownDetector
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Chromebook Loaner Request Form
Hotspot Request Form
 
Other Resources