Open, save, or delete files

You can open and save many types of files on your Chromebook, like documents, PDFs, images, and media. Learn which types of files are supported on your Chromebook.

Your Chromebook's hard drive has limited space, so your Chromebook will sometimes delete downloaded files to free up space. Learn how to store your downloads.

Find and open a file

  1. In the corner of your screen, click the Launcher Launcher and then Up arrow Up arrow.
  2. Open Files Files app.
  3. On the left, choose the place where your file is saved.
  4. Find your file and double-click it to open.

If you're opening a file on an external storage device, remove the device safely when you're done by clicking Eject Eject.

Save a file

To save the page, image, or document you're viewing:

  1. Press Ctrl + s.
  2. At the bottom, type a name for your file.
  3. Optional: To the left of the file name, change the file type.
  4. In the left column, choose where you'd like to save your file, such as My Drive.
  5. Click Save.
Rename a file

You can rename files, folders, or external devices.

  1. In the corner of your screen, click the Launcher Launcher and then Up arrow Up arrow.
  2. Open Files Files app.
  3. Click the file or folder name.
  4. Press Ctrl + Enter.
  5. Type in a new name, then press Enter.
Move files to another cloud file system

Chromebooks work with cloud file systems, like Google Drive, Box, or SMB. To connect to a system that isn't Google Drive:

  1. In the corner of your screen, click the Launcher Launcher and then Up arrow Up arrow.
  2. Open Files Files app.
  3. On the left, click Add new services and then Install new from the webstore.
  4. Follow the steps on the screen.
  5. After installing, move files into your new cloud file system by clicking and dragging them.
Change where your files are saved

By default, your files are saved to your Downloads folder, a temporary folder on your Chromebook's hard drive.

To change your default folder:

  1. Click your account photo.
  2. Click Settings Settings.
  3. At the bottom, click Advanced.
  4. In the "Downloads" section, next to "Location," click Change.
  5. Pick where you'd like your files to save.
  6. Click Open.

Delete a file

  1. In the corner of your screen, click the Launcher Launcher and then Up arrow Up arrow.
  2. Open Files Files app.
  3. Click the file or folder you want to delete. Note: You can delete files in the Downloads folder, but deleting a file from your Downloads folder is permanent.
  4. Click Delete Delete and then Delete.

Note: Files in the Recent, Images, Videos, and Audio folders are viewable only and can’t be deleted directly in those folders.

Delete a file from an Android app

If you are having trouble deleting an image, video, or audio file, it may have been created in one of your Android apps. You can delete the file in the Android app or follow these steps:

  1. Click your account photo
  2. Click Settings Settings.
  3. Under "Device," click Storage management.
  4. Click Android storage.
  5. Choose the type of file you want to delete: images, videos, or audio.
  6. Open the folder with your file, then click the file.
  7. Click Delete Delete and then OK

Zip a file

To bundle files or folders together into a single file, you can zip them.

  1. In the corner of your screen, click the Launcher Launcher and then Up arrow Up arrow.
  2. Open Files Files app.
  3. On the left, click the folder or files you want to zip.
  4. To select all the files you’d like to zip, press Ctrl and click each file one at a time.
  5. Optional: To put all of your files in a new folder, press Ctrl + e.
  6. Right-click your selected files or folder, then click Zip selection.

Unzip a file

You can view each of the individual files in your zip file.

  1. In the corner of your screen, click the Launcher Launcher and then Up arrow Up arrow.
  2. Open Files Files app.
  3. Double-click the zipped file. On the left, you’ll see the zip file.
  4. To open an individual file, double-click it.
  5. Optional: To remove the zip file from the list of folders on the left, click Eject Eject.

Fix problems opening files

Choose the error message you see:

"Unknown file type"

"Google Drive can’t be reached at this time"

Make sure your Chromebook is connected to the internet. Learn how to connect to Wi-Fi or fix problems connecting to Wi-Fi.

"Sorry, your external storage device is not supported at this time"

You can also use Google Drive to view the files on your storage device:

  1. Plug your storage device into another computer.
  2. Open Google Drive. If you haven't signed in, make sure to sign in using the same Google Account you have on your Chromebook.
  3. Upload the files from the device. Learn how to upload files to Google Drive.
  4. Open your Chromebook and sign in.
  5. In the corner of your screen, click the Launcher Launcher and then Up arrow Up arrow.
  6. Open Google Drive.

"Sorry, your device was not recognized" or "Sorry, at least one partition on your device could not be mounted"

You'll need to reformat your external storage device:

  1. Back up your files somewhere else before erasing. The following steps will erase all files on the storage device.
  2. In the corner of your screen, click the Launcher Launcher and then Up arrow Up arrow.
  3. Open Files Files app.
  4. On the left, right-click the storage device.
  5. Click Format device.

Do more with your files

Mel is a Chromebook expert and author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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