Chrome OS update locks people out of their Chromebooks

It's often advised to always be on top of updates, especially for critical software like operating systems and web browsers, in order to get the latest security fixes and vulnerability mitigations. That said, that also comes with some risks, especially when the update itself comes with a show-stopping bug. That is the unfortunate scenario that Chrome OS users have suddenly found themselves in after a seemingly small update has locked a good number of them out of the computers.

Chrome OS 91.0.4472.165 was rather silently pushed to users today and wasn't the big release that Chrome M92 has been for the web browser. Unfortunately, the seemingly innocuous update is giving users a very big headache. Many Chromebook owners are now reporting that they are unable to log back into their devices after applying the update.

Google has taken notice of their complaints and has unfortunately confirmed the broken update. It has pulled version 91.0.4472.165 from its servers so that it wouldn't do any further damage. It says that it is also working on a new update that will undo the damage that the previous update had done.

Unfortunately, those already affected by the bug don't have any easy recourse. They can powerwash the Chromebook, which is another term for resetting the device and clearing local data on it. They could also roll back to the previous working version of Chrome OS, but that will require some technical knowledge in recovering from a USB device.

The simplest thing for these users to do is to wait for Google's fixed update, presuming they can wait that long. Once it's available, users can simply keep their Chromebooks in the login screen to let the update download and install in the background or to log into Guest Mode to manually perform the update. Hopefully, this mitigation will come soon, especially with Google pushing Chromebooks as the perfect and most reliable device for work and study these days.