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File types and external devices that work on Chromebooks

Chromebooks can use the following file types, external devices, and peripherals.

Note: If you're using your Chromebook at work or school, some devices might not work with your Chromebook. For more information, contact your administrator.

File types
  • 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)
Container Video codec Audio codec
ogv Theora --





mp4 H264 --
  MPEG4 --
mov MPEG4 --
  H264 --
avi MPEG4 MP3
3gp H264 AAC

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)
  • MTP
  • NTFS
  • UDF (read-only)
Storage devices
  • USB hard drives and thumb drives
  • USB CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives (read-only)

Remove a storage device safely by clicking Eject Eject.

Cloud storage
In addition to Google Drive, Chromebooks support other cloud storage systems, such as Box or SMB. To add, go to Files Files app > Add new services.
  • MTP devices (read & write)
  • USB keyboards (Windows and Mac)
  • 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 file type and external devices

I get an "Unknown file type" error message when I try to open a file

This means the file type won’t work on your Chromebook at this time. You can try using a web application to view the file. For example, you can upload most documents, presentations, and spreadsheets to Google Drive and view them in your browser.

Discuss with other Chromies in Chromebook Central.

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

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