Skip to main content

How to factory reset Google Chromecast

Update June 27: A new update from Google has apparently led to select Chromecasts not working. Google is suggesting users reboot their devices, and notes that an upcoming fix will solve the problem if a reset doesn't work.

Sometimes, even the best devices hit irreparable snags. But before you hurl your Google Chromecast into the nearest star (or send it back for a replacement), you may want to try restoring the device to factory settings and redoing the setup process from scratch. The process takes only a few minutes, and you can do it even if your computer doesn't recognize your Chromecast.

To start, your Chromecast should be hooked up to your TV and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer.

For Modern Chromecasts

1. Open the Home app on your smartphone. This is the app that controls your Chromecast.

Credit: Marshall Honorof/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Marshall Honorof/Tom's Guide)

Credit: Marshall Honorof/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Marshall Honorof/Tom's Guide)

3. Select Factory reset from the menu. Once again, tap the vertical ellipses in the upper-right, and you'll see the option.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. Confirm your choice. Once you select OK, the Chromecast will reset, and you can try setting it up again from scratch. Hopefully, that will solve any problems you've been having.

Credit: Marshall Honorof/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Marshall Honorof/Tom's Guide)

For Older Chromecasts

1. Open the Chromecast app on your computer. The location of the Chromecast app can vary, but if you installed the program recently, it's probably on your desktop. If not, check the Start menu, Applications or the directory where you installed it (depending on whether you are using Windows, Mac, ChromeOS or Linux).

2. Click Settings. If you have multiple Chromecasts on your network, be sure to select the one you want to format, and leave the other ones alone.

3. Click on Factory Reset. Don't click on this unless you're absolutely certain you want to go through the Chromecast's initial setup process again.

4. Click on Reset. The Chromecast will now reset to factory settings, and you'll be able to restart the setup process. If problems persist, contact Google, as your machine may be defective. If this process worked, you're done. If not, read on for one final step.

5. Press and hold the black button, if all else fails.If you can't get your computer to connect to the Chromecast, you can still factory reset the device manually. Right below the microUSB port, there is a small black button. While the Chromecast is hooked up to the TV, press and hold the button for 25 seconds. When the light next to it begins blinking, you can let go. After a minute or two, the device will be reset, and you can try the initial setup process again.

Marshall Honorof
Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi. 

  • michaeldhiggins
    The manual reset instructions saved me, thanks!
  • justinionn
    My Chromecast updated its software when I turned-on my bedroom TV earlier today. My Google Home app now fails to locate it as a discoverable device.

    I've uninstalled and reinstalled the Google Home app. I've also performed the hard reset by pressing the button on the actual Chromecast.

    When I went through the setup again, it all worked fine. Once I completed the setup, the Chromecast isn't discoverable again.

    No third-party Chromecast-enabled apps can see the device.

    Weirdly, the YouTube app CAN locate the Chromecast and cast to it. That's the only app that can find it.