How to reset your Chromecast: Factory restore Google's TV dongle

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Matthew M. White
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The Google Chromecast is great, but every once in a while it needs to be reset. If the device is frozen or you are moving to a new home and you want to restore it to factory settings, you will need to perform what is called a Factory Data Reset (FDR) on the Chromecast.

In this article, we are going to show you how to factory reset your Chromecast device.


Ways to factory reset Chromecast:

There are two ways to reset your Google Chromecast; the first involves accessing the Chromecast app, while the other involves hard resetting the Chromecast dongle itself. The process is slightly different from the 1st generation models to the 2nd and 3rd generation models. Let's break it down.


Resetting the Chromecast (1st gen)

Resetting the Chromecast (Gen 1) dongle is easy, but it requires a bit of patience unless you decide to reset it using the Android or IOS app.

Option #1: Reset Chromecast Gen. 1 via app

  1. Open the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device.
  2. Find the Chromecast device you want to reset.
  3. Go to the Settings gear, located in the upper right corner.
  4. Go to the More option, which looks like three dots stacked on top of each other.
  5. Choose factory reset.
  6. Confirm that you want to reset your device.

Option #2: Reset Chromecast Gen. 1 via dongle

  1. With the Chromecast plugged into the TV, press and hold the side button on the dongle for 25 seconds or more, waiting for the white LED to start flashing red.
  2. Once the light turns white, release and the Chromecast will reboot to complete the reset process.

Resetting the Chromecast (2nd and 3rd generation)

The factory reset options on gen 2 and 3 Chromecast dongles are very similar to resetting gen 1 Chromecast devices. However, you don't need to hold the reset button for 25 seconds and the colors LEDs are different. When using Android or iOS to reset Chromecast, it is almost the same for all versions as it is based on the app, although your OS version may look different.



Option #1: Reset Chromecast Gen. 2, Gen. 3 and Gen. 3 Ultra via app

  1. Open the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device.
  2. Find the Chromecast device you want to reset.
  3. Go to the Settings gear, located in the upper right corner.
  4. Go to the More option, which looks like three dots stacked on top of each other.
  5. Choose factory reset.
  6. Confirm that you want to reset your device.

Option #2: Reset Chromecast Generation 2, 3 and 3 Ultra via dongle

  1. With the Chromecast plugged into the TV, press and hold the button on the side, waiting for the light to start flashing amber.
  2. Once the light turns white, release the button and the Chromecast will reboot to complete the reset process.

What to do when 'Factory Reset' does not appear

If you followed the steps above, you might have noticed that a few menu options are missing from those in the screenshots above. Don't worry, there is a simple solution.


If 'Factory Reset' is missing from the menu, it's because your smartphone is not communicating with the streaming device. There are two reasons for this.

First, make sure your smartphone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast device. If you are not on the same Wi-Fi network, you will miss the option to reset your device along with other options.

Next, make sure the TV your Chromecast is plugged into is also turned on. Turn on the TV and navigate to the input that activates the Chromecast device. Next, open the Home app and follow the instructions above. The 'Factory Reset' option should appear.


Frequently Asked Questions

Should I factory reset my Chromecast?

The most common reason for resetting a Chromecast to factory settings is that you are having connection issues or problems and cannot update your Wi-Fi. Another reason may be that you need to connect to a new Wi-Fi but the old one is not available. Finally, you will need to factory reset your Chromecast if you intend to sell it or let another user have it.


However, there are some basic troubleshooting steps you can take to avoid a factory reset if you are having issues. For example, if you are having connection problems, you can forget the current network and simply re-add it.

Fortunately, the Chromecast has an incredibly simple setup process. So, even if you need to do a factory reset, it's not as complicated as some other tech devices.

As you can see, resetting Google Chromecast is easy whichever way you do it. Remember that a reset erases ALL data, so your customizations and third-party apps will be gone forever. If you need more usage tips, check out our guide to using Google Chromecast.

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