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PSA: Chrome OS update locked someone outside of Chromebook

The latest Chrome OS update causes some people to be locked out of their Chromebook accounts and not be able to access their files.

Chrome OS has had a bad luck with bad luck in recent weeks, since the release of version 91. It was first noticed that the Chromebook had poorer performance with the update, which caused Google to roll it back. As a result, Chromebooks were unable to install Chrome OS Linux app support until Google finally rolled out another update that reportedly fixed the issue.

Chrome OS 91 now has another, far more critical problem, as reported by Android Central, which causes the Chromebook not to recognize the password for your Google Account. For some, the update also causes boot looping issues on devices, with at least one report of the issue occurring on Pixelbook.

In particular, the issues seem to be limited to version 91

.0.4472.165, which has only recently begun rolling out to Chromebook owners. If you are still using the previous version, 91.0.4472.147, you are safe. Be sure not to accept updates, and do not restart your Chromebook until the problem is completely resolved.

According to the Reddit thread that discusses password issues, Google is aware of the issue and is working on a solution. From what we can tell, the update may have already been pulled, since their update chart shows no sign of the offensive version number, although it is not clear if Google has started a full rollback process yet.

Update 7/21: As of today, Google has started releasing a new update to Chrome OS 91, specifically version 91.0.4472.167. Based on Google’s official update chart, almost all Chromebooks receive updates at once.

As mentioned below, if you are on the affected version of Chrome OS and are unable to sign in to your Chromebook, you can use the built-in guest mode to receive this update without losing your files. Or if you previously prevented your Chromebook from updating, you can now safely update.

The Chrome OS community on Reddit notes that some people faced more serious issues than not being able to sign in, instead of finding that the Chromebook would restart repeatedly and without success – a problem known as bootlooping. Unfortunately, if this happens to your device, you will have to wipe it out completely and lose your files permanently.

According to Android Police, these recent issues may be due to a single typo in the Chrome OS code base, using “&” bitwise operator instead of “&&” logical operator, undoubtedly a common error.

Unfortunately, in case your Chromebook has been updated to the affected version and it no longer accepts your account password, there are only two options available to you. The most immediate solution is to reset the device, but this has the obvious consequence of losing your data. According to several reports, recently added accounts appear to be working after a reset.

Alternatively, once a formal rollback process has started, you should be able to update your Chromebook to resolve the issue, but not in the way you normally would. Instead of trying to sign in to your account, click on the sign in screen.Browse as a guest”Button at the bottom left. Then open Settings app, and then click About Chrome OS. You should be able to check for an update here and install it without any problems.

We will keep an eye on this issue as it develops and will keep you updated.

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