I set up my cousin on my Chromebook while he was visiting and would like to remove his access now that he’s no longer staying with us. How can I do that? Running the latest ChromeOS.
The entire idea of Chromebooks is that everything is in the cloud so that you can log in anywhere and access all your files, email, contacts, and more. Your profile? Your favorite apps? Theoretically, that should all be just floating around in “The Internet” so that your Chromebook is just a local access portal and easily swapped out. As they’ve sat on people’s desks and gotten more use over the years, however, that’s proven a bit of a pipe dream because people do want to personalize things and it should be no surprise that over the last 100+ iterations of ChromeOS that it’s become more and more like Windows.
Shortcuts: Delete with Settings | Delete from Login Screen
Your Chromebook does have things downloaded onto it and can now be used without an Internet connection, something that was the exact opposite of the original intention of the system. Less portability, but a considerably better user experience. Nonetheless, since all data files, browsing history, and email interaction are still in the cloud, it turns out that it’s super easy to add new users to your Chromebook – as you learned – and not too difficult to remove them from your Chromebook once you’re done. You do not, of course, remove their Google account, just your little doorway into their account through your device.
Although… it turns out that there are two ways you can delete a guest account from your Chromebook in the latest version of ChromeOS (release 119), it doesn’t seem to matter which you choose as long as you restart the device afterward. Let’s start with what seems the most logical: through Settings.
DELETE A USER THROUGH SETTINGS
Given that Settings has an Accounts entry with a “Remove” feature, that would seem like the logical way to remove the account, right? Let’s start right at the login screen. You can see that my base account has a PIN set up, and I added a second account for my son Gareth:
I can’t log in as Gareth since I don’t know his password (the entire point of separate accounts), but I can log in as me, the owner and main account on the Chromebook, then choose “Settings“.
How do you do that? Click on the time display on the lower right of the Shelf, the click on the gear icon on the lower right of the window that pops up:
Once you’re in Settings, choose “Accounts” from the left side.
You’ll see that you’re current signed in, but you’ll also see that the system is set up with more than just one Google account:
If I click on the “>” triangle adjacent to this information, it will reveal:
There’s Gareth’s account! A click on the “•••” (vertically oriented, not horizontal) icon on the right and there’s exactly one choice:
Choose “Remove this account” (again, remember you’re just removing it from the Chromebook, not Google) and it’ll even confirm that it’s done what you requested:
When I signed out (one of the other buttons on the window that pops up from the time display on the Shelf), however, Gareth was still a sign-in option!
You can restart your device to clean this up (yes, it’s a bug, Google) or you can use the Google approved way of removing an account, and it ain’t through using Settings…
DELETE A USER FROM THE SIGN-IN SCREEN
Turns out that you can delete a guest user right from the sign-in screen. The security seems a bit weak with this solution since you haven’t logged in and proven your own identity at this point, but a click on the tiny “v” adjacent to their account name reveals:
Yes, it shows “Remove account”. Choose it and you’ll get an explanation of what’s about to happen (something that wasn’t shown in the Settings-based account removal):
Google documents this approach, even though it seems less secure than using Settings once you’ve logged in. Either way, problem solved and now the login screen is simplified with just my own login prompted:
That’s it. Two ways to do it, one that’s more effective but less secure, the other that seems the correct way but might not work without a restart! Maybe in version 120… 🙂
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about ChromeOS since it was introduced and have accumulated a LOT of helpful tutorials. Please check out my ChromeOS Help Area while you’re visiting. Thanks!