Can you use a Flash Drive with a Chromebook ? QnA’s

Unlike other notebooks and laptops, Chromebooks feature small built in hard drives. One popular method to improve the internal storage of Chrome books is through using flash drives. Currently, there are numerous flash drives available in the market that share compatibility with Chromebooks. The  locally saved files gets stored in your system’s Downloads folder. 

Nevertheless, there is also an option to store your files to an external storage device, such as a memory card or flash drive. Your saved data can be removed from Chrome OS if the storage space of your disk is limited. Therefore, it is better to opt for external storage options if you plan to download large files to your chrome book.

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How to use an external device with Chromebook

Once you have a working USB flash drive or a memory card, you can easily store your data in your Chromebook. You need to plug in the flash drive into your chrome book and the device will start working. Apart from storing your Chromebook data into your flash drive, there are several other uses of external storage devices. 

In this article we will discuss how to transfer files and folders, delete saved data and format your flash drive. If you want to improve the storage space of your Chromebook, it is recommended to invest in an external hard drive that is compatible with your chrome book. If you don’t require a lot of extra storage space, then you can consider buying a micro SD card instead.

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How to transfer data using USB flash drive or Memory card

With your chrome book, you can easily move your saved data manually into your external storage device such as a Flash USB Drive and Memory card. Ideally, the device opens up automatically in your files app. The following are some useful tips on how to transfer your files through your flash drive.

Step 1: Tap on the Files app on your chrome book 

Step 2: Once you have plugged in your flash drive, connect it to your Chromebook. The device shows up as a separate folder located in left navigation panel of your Files app.

Step 3: Tap on the files or folders that you need to copy.

Step 4: Drop selected files and make sure they get copied between the USB flash drive and your Chromebook.

Similarly, you can use the Ctrl + C command to copy all selected files to your clipboard, and tap Ctrl + V command to paste it in the new folder. This method is more simple for transferring files and folders between the ChromeOS and your external storage devices.

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How to format a flash drive on a Chromebook

Wondering how to format an SD card or Flash drive on your Chrome book? The following are some  simple steps you need to know to ensure a safe a secure formatting of your external storage drive on your Chromebook. 

Ideally, an option for formatting is readily available on the File Manager. This means that you won’t require any additional apps to format your memory card or flash drive.

Step 1: Tap on the apps button. Now, click on the Files option. Alternatively, you can press the Alt+Shift+M command.

Step 2: Next, right-click the drive that requires formatting and tap on ‘Format Device‘.

Step 3: Next, a confirmation box will appear on your screen. Click ‘OK’.

Step 4: Once the entire formatting has been done, a toast will show up at the lower right part of your screen.

These devices are usually formatted to FAT32 system. Here, options to read or write are compatible will all major operating systems or smart devices including smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, etc.

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Compatible file formats for Chromebook

For new chrome OS users, searching for compatible file formats can be a daunting process. Usually, the files and folders which are stored on the Flash Drive do not open in a chrome book. 

There are some specific file formats that are not compatible and won’t open on your Chromebook. To access these files that are stored on your flash drive through your Chromebook, make sure your files have the following compatible formats.

The following are some common file formats that are compatible with Chromebooks:

  1. For Microsoft Office : .docx, .xls, .ppt and .pptx
  2. For Multimedia Files: .avi, .mp4, .m4a, .mp3, .ogm, .ogg, .webm, .wav
  3. For images: .gif, .jpg, .png, .webp
  4. For compressed files: .zip and .rar
  5. For other formats: .txt and .pdf

How to remove Files saved on Flash Drives 

The process of deleting files saved on an external storage device through a Chromebook is not as complicated as it seems. The following steps will guide you to easily delete your files from your flash drive.

Step 1: Go to your apps list.

Step 2: Tap on your Files app.

Step 3: Open your external storage device from app.

Step 4: Select the files you want to remove from the list.

Step 5: Press on the trash option or use Alt+Backspace command.

Troubleshooting with Flash Drive on your Chromebook

If you use multiple storage devices, you can manually click on these devices and see which ones are detected and which ones are undetectable. Similarly, you can try using your flash drive on a separate system. There is no specific procedure to do it as it requires manual testing to figure out whether the issue is with the USB port, or your flash drive. If you are unable to get the desired results, you can opt for ChromeOS restore to detect the problem. 

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