File types and external devices that work on Chromebooks
Chromebooks can use the following file types, external devices, and cloud storage systems.
Note: If you're using your Chromebook at work or school, some devices or files might not work with your Chromebook. For more help, contact your administrator.
- Microsoft Office files: .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt (read-only), .pptx (read-only). Learn more about viewing and editing Office documents.
- Media: .3gp, .avi, .mov, .mp4, .m4v, .m4a, .mp3, .mkv, .ogv, .ogm, .ogg, .oga, .webm, .wav
- Images: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .webp
- Compressed files: .zip, .rar
- Other: .txt, .pdf (read-only; you won't be able to edit these files)
|Container||Video codec||Audio codec|
You can access files on external devices connected to your Chromebook if they use the following types of filesystems:
- FAT (FAT16, FAT32, exFAT)
- HFS+ (read-only on journaled HFS+)
- ISO9660 (read-only)
- UDF (read-only)
- USB hard drives and thumb drives
- USB CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives (read-only)
Remove a storage device safely by clicking Eject .
Chromebooks can connect to the following devices:
- MTP devices (can read & write files)
- USB keyboards (Windows and Mac versions)
- USB mice with the following features: left button, right button, scrollwheel
- USB hubs
- Certain Bluetooth devices
- Monitors with DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, or VGA connections
- USB, DisplayPort, and HDMI audio devices
- Headset with a 3.5 mm jack
- Webcam with a USB cable
- MP3 player or mobile phone with a USB cable (can be used for charging)
- Huawei mobile dongle
Troubleshoot problems with file types and external devices
This error means that this file type isn't working on your Chromebook at this time.
Instead, try saving the file to Google Drive or another web application, then opening it in your browser.
Your Chromebook might not support the external storage device you're trying to use. Make sure your external storage device's format is supported.
If your storage device is supported, make sure your Chromebook is using the latest version of Chrome OS.
If your Chromebook is using the latest version, and no updates are available, try using Google Drive to view the files:
- Plug your storage device into another computer.
- Upload the files from the device to a cloud file system, such as Google Drive.
- Open your Chromebook, then open Google Drive to view the files.
You'll need to reformat your external storage device before you can use it with your Chromebook. Follow the steps below.
Important: These steps will erase all your files stored on the storage device. Make sure to back them up somewhere else before erasing.
- Click the Launcher .
- Select Files .
- On the left, select the external storage device.
- In the window that appears, click Format.
Get more help
Casey is a Chromebook expert and author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.