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Chrome OS 101: save and retrieve files



About three years ago I was shopping for a Chromebook for a business trip – I wanted something that was light enough to take with you all day and cheap enough that I wouldn't mind so much if I spilled coffee on the keyboard . I considered two different models when a salesperson came by to see if I needed help. & # 39; You are aware of this, & # 39; he said, & # 39; that these are Chromebooks, right? They only work online; you cannot save files on the hard disk. "

It was of course not the first time I caught a seller in a mistake. But this is a mistake that seems to have persisted.

Yes, Chromebooks were made to be used primarily online. When the first Chrome OS laptops were introduced in 201

1, there were very few apps that could be used offline, which was a big mistake, but that was then, and this is now.

Currently, apps such as Google Docs and Spreadsheets (the basic apps for Chrome OS) are used both online and offline, and you can also save files locally on the laptop's SSD or, on some models, on an SD memory card.

If you have just purchased your first Chromebook or have one , here are the basics for saving your files on your Chromebook and finding them again.

Saving your files

Saving a file in a Chromebook is like saving a file in macOS or Windows. You can save a file in two ways:

  • Press Ctrl + S or
  • Right-click the image or file that you want to save and select "Save as …"

Anyway , you open the Files app (the equivalent of the Mac Finder or the Windows file explorer). In the list on the left, select the folder in which you want to save your file and then click the Save button in the lower right corner. (If you want to change the name of the file, you can do so in the field to the left of the Save button.) You can also save and retrieve files from Google Drive from here.


The Files app is pre-loaded with a Downloads folder, but you can easily create your own folders by clicking the New Folder button in the bottom left.

Search for your files

To find your saved files, do the following:

  • Click on the Launcher button in the lower left corner of the screen.
  • An apps window appears at the bottom of the screen. If you have recently used the Files app, it will appear just below the search field with other recently used apps. Click here.
  • Otherwise, click the up arrow just above the search field to view all apps in your Chromebook and click the Files app.

The Files app also organizes your files automatically in Recent, Audio, Images and video folders to make it easier to find such files.


Keep in mind that although you can store a reasonable number of files, most Chromebooks come with a relatively small amount of storage – you can probably expect 32 GB or 64 GB unless you choose a premium device such as the Pixelbook from Google. So you do not have the same capacity as on a typical Mac or Windows system. But you are also not limited to working online.

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