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Considering a Chromebook?

Check out this list of common questions to learn more about Chromebooks.

Switch from Windows or Mac

What’s the difference between Chromebooks and other computers, like Windows or Mac?

Chromebooks are a new type of computer designed to help you get things done faster and easier. They run Chrome OS, an operating system that has cloud storage, the best of Google built-in, and multiple layers of security.

Learn more about switching to a Chromebook.

Why are Chromebooks cheaper than traditional computers?

Google works with manufacturers to keep Chromebooks affordable, and you don’t need to worry about the prices of most software.

Instead, you can choose from the thousands of free apps from the Chrome Web Store for work and play.

Do Chromebooks work offline?

Yes. You can use offline-ready apps to keep using a Chromebook when it’s not connected to the Internet. Below are some examples:

  • Read and write emails with Offline Gmail
  • Write a note or make a list with Google Keep
  • Create and edit documents, slides, or spreadsheets with Google Drive apps (Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides)
  • View and RSVP to events with Google Calendar
  • View and edit photos saved with the built-in photo editor
  • Enjoy music or movies with the built-in media player

Use apps on a Chromebook

What is the Chrome Web Store?

It’s where you can find and add a wide range of free and paid apps, extensions, and themes designed for Chromebooks.

Visit the Chrome Web Store.

Music, videos, & photos

How do I store and organize photos?

You can save your photos with Google Photos, where they’ll be quickly and safely stored and organized for you.

How do I listen to music and watch videos?

You can stream music and organize your personal music collection with Google Play Music. For movies and videos, try YouTube or Google Play Movies.

Store your files

Do I need to store files online (or "in the cloud")?

You can choose to store your files on your Chromebook or online with a cloud-based file storage service like Google Drive.

With Google Drive, your data is stored in Google's highly secure data centers. The Terms of Service make clear that "what belongs to you stays yours."

What happens to my Google Drive files when my free storage expires?

Every Chromebook comes with at least 100 GB of free Google Drive storage for two years.

When your free storage expires, all of your files will remain in Drive and you can use, download, or share them whenever you want. If you need additional storage, you can buy more.

Use accessories & print

Do Chromebooks have CD or DVD drives?

Chromebooks don’t have a CD or DVD drive, but you can play saved music and movie files in any of the compatible file types with the media player. You can also play files from a USB drive or SD card.

Can I print with a Chromebook?

Yes, you can. To print with a Chromebook, use Google Cloud Print.

What kinds of accessories can I use with a Chromebook?

Mac or Windows USB drives, computer mice, keyboards, and external storage devices work well with Chromebooks.

Get things done with your Chromebook

Learn about some of the basic things you can do with your Chromebook, like sending messages, work on documents, organize your photos, and more.

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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