Open, save or delete files

You can open and save many types of files on your Chromebook, such as 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. At the corner of your screen, select the Launcher and then Up arrow .
  2. Open Files .
  3. On the left, choose where your file is saved.
    • For files that you’ve just used, select Recent.
    • For a list of files by type, select Image, Video or Audio.
    • For Android app files, select My files and then Play files. To show more folders, at the top right, select More  and then Show all Play folders.
    • For files in your cloud, select the folder, such as Google Drive. You can also add another cloud file system.
  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've finished by clicking Eject .

Save a file

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

  1. Press Ctrl + s.
  2. At the bottom, enter 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 Google Drive and then My Drive.
  5. Select Save.

Note: If you’re using your Chromebook at school or work, you can save files in your Shared drives folder. Select Google Drive and then Shared drives.

Rename a file

You can rename files, folders or external devices.

  1. At the corner of your screen, select the Launcher and then Up arrow .
  2. Open Files .
  3. Select the file or folder name.
  4. Press Ctrl + Enter.
  5. Type in a new name, then press Enter.
Add another cloud file system
  1. At the corner of your screen, select the Launcher and then Up arrow .
  2. Open Files .
  3. At the top right, select More .
  4. Select Add new service and then SMB Shares.
  5. A window will open. Select Add File Share. Fill in your info.
  6. Select Add.

Note: Your Chromebook supports third-party file systems that use DocumentsProvider APIs. If you download one of these Android file apps from the Play Store, it will appear on the left-hand side of your Files .

To connect to other cloud file systems:

  1. At the corner of your screen, select the Launcher and then Up arrow .
  2. Open Files .
  3. At the top right, select More .
  4. Select Install new service.
  5. To install a new cloud file system, choose a system and follow the on-screen steps.
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. You can change where downloads are saved by default or select a specific folder for each download.

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, select More More and then Settings.
  3. At the bottom, select Advanced.
  4. Under 'Downloads', change your download settings:
    • To change the default folder: select Change, and choose where you want to save your files.
    • To choose a specific folder for each download: turn on Ask where to save each file before downloading.

Delete a file

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

Zip a file

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

  1. At the corner of your screen, click the Launcher and then Up arrow .
  2. Open Files .
  3. On the left, select the folder or files that you want to zip.
  4. To select all the files that 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. At the corner of your screen, select the Launcher and then Up arrow .
  2. Open Files .
  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 .

Fix problems opening files

'Unknown file type'

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

Make sure that 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 that you have on your Chromebook.
  3. Upload the files from the device. Find out how to upload files to Google Drive.
  4. Open your Chromebook and sign in.
  5. At the corner of your screen, select the Launcher and then Up arrow .
  6. Open Google Drive.

'Sorry, your device was not recognised' 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. At the corner of your screen, select the Launcher and then Up arrow .
  3. Open Files .
  4. On the left, right-click the storage device.
  5. Select Format device.
Let your apps access external drives

You can allow apps from Google Play to read and write files on external storage devices. Files and folders created on the device are visible to anyone who uses the external drive.

  1. At the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings .
  3. Select Storage management and then External storage preference.
  4. Turn storage device on or off to allow access.

Do more with your files

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