How to Free Up Storage Drive Space on a Chromebook

Introduction

Managing your data is simple and fast with your Chromebook. This guide will take you through the basics.

chromebook

1 Manage Files

  1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
    Apps Menu.
  2. Select the up arrow ^ to show all your apps.
    Show all apps.
  3. Select Files.
    All apps with Files highlighted.
  4. From here, you'll be able to manage your files.
    • Downloads

      These are all the files stored on your Chromebook itself.
      Files app with Downloads highlighted.

    • Google Drive

      These files are stored online for you by Google. If anything happens to your Chromebook, these files are safe. You can access them from any computer using your Google account at https://drive.google.com/.
      Files app My drive highlighted.

    • SD Cards

      These are files stored on external USB drives, or storage cards connected to your Chromebook.
      Files app SD Card highlighted.

  5. To delete a file, select the file you want to delete, then select Delete at the top.
    Trash highlighted.
  6. To copy a file from your Chromebook to your Google Drive to keep it safe, click and hold the file, drag it to My Drive, and release the mouse button.
    File highlighted with arrow showing dragging file to new folder.

2 Physical Options

There are many options out there to increase your data capacity.

USB Thumbdrive
USB Thumbdrive

  1. Your Chromebook has a USB port available on the side.
  2. To use your USB thumbdrive all you need to do is plug it into the USB port. Your Chromebook will automatically attach the device.
    Inserting thumb drive into laptop

SD or Micro SD Card
SD Card

  1. Your Chromebook may have come with an SD or Micro SD port.
    SD Card slot on computer
  2. Plug the SD card into the port. If you are using a Micro SD card, it normally comes in its own adapter to convert it to normal SD card.
  3. To insert the card, just slide it into the slot. It should latch into place.
  4. To remove the card, push on it lightly to disengage the latch and then it will pop out.

External Hard Drive
External hard drive

  1. External drives offer the largest storage sizes and connect with USB.

3 Manage Accounts

  1. Select your profile picture in the lower-right corner.
    User menu
  2. Select Settings.
    user menu with settings highlighted
  3. Select your profile to change your icon.
    Settings with profile highlighted
    change picture menu
  4. Select Manage other people to remove other people's sign-ins from your Chromebook.
    settings with manage other people highlighted
    manage others menu

4 Manage Apps

  1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
    Apps Menu.
  2. Select the up arrow ^ to show all your apps.
    Show all apps.
  3. To delete an app, using your right mouse button, right click on the app. A menu will open. Select Remove from Chrome, or Remove from Chromium.
    App menu with Remove from Chrome highlighted.
  4. Select Remove.
    Remove dialog with Remove button highlighted.

5 Backup to Google Drive

Your Chromebook does not save files locally in most cases. The only exception to this is any files you've downloaded that you may wish to save. This step will guide you through checking your Downloads, and saving them to Google's servers to keep them safe.

  1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
    screenshot of the apps menu

  2. Select All Apps > Files.
    screenshot from the apps menu with the files app highlighted

  3. Select Downloads on the left. These are the only files stored on your Chromebook.
    screenshot of the files manager with downloads highlighted

    • You can open a file by double-clicking on it.
    • You can copy files to your Google Drive by dragging them to My Drive on the left. Copying a file to Google Drive places them on Google's servers, so they won't be lost if your Chromebook is restored.

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Managing your data is simple and fast with your Chromebook. This guide will take you through the basics.

chromebook

  1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
    Apps Menu.
  2. Select the up arrow ^ to show all your apps.
    Show all apps.
  3. Select Files.
    All apps with Files highlighted.
  4. From here, you'll be able to manage your files.
    • Downloads

      These are all the files stored on your Chromebook itself.
      Files app with Downloads highlighted.

    • Google Drive

      These files are stored online for you by Google. If anything happens to your Chromebook, these files are safe. You can access them from any computer using your Google account at https://drive.google.com/.
      Files app My drive highlighted.

    • SD Cards

      These are files stored on external USB drives, or storage cards connected to your Chromebook.
      Files app SD Card highlighted.

  5. To delete a file, select the file you want to delete, then select Delete at the top.
    Trash highlighted.
  6. To copy a file from your Chromebook to your Google Drive to keep it safe, click and hold the file, drag it to My Drive, and release the mouse button.
    File highlighted with arrow showing dragging file to new folder.

There are many options out there to increase your data capacity.

USB Thumbdrive
USB Thumbdrive

  1. Your Chromebook has a USB port available on the side.
  2. To use your USB thumbdrive all you need to do is plug it into the USB port. Your Chromebook will automatically attach the device.
    Inserting thumb drive into laptop

SD or Micro SD Card
SD Card

  1. Your Chromebook may have come with an SD or Micro SD port.
    SD Card slot on computer
  2. Plug the SD card into the port. If you are using a Micro SD card, it normally comes in its own adapter to convert it to normal SD card.
  3. To insert the card, just slide it into the slot. It should latch into place.
  4. To remove the card, push on it lightly to disengage the latch and then it will pop out.

External Hard Drive
External hard drive

  1. External drives offer the largest storage sizes and connect with USB.
  1. Select your profile picture in the lower-right corner.
    User menu
  2. Select Settings.
    user menu with settings highlighted
  3. Select your profile to change your icon.
    Settings with profile highlighted
    change picture menu
  4. Select Manage other people to remove other people's sign-ins from your Chromebook.
    settings with manage other people highlighted
    manage others menu
  1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
    Apps Menu.
  2. Select the up arrow ^ to show all your apps.
    Show all apps.
  3. To delete an app, using your right mouse button, right click on the app. A menu will open. Select Remove from Chrome, or Remove from Chromium.
    App menu with Remove from Chrome highlighted.
  4. Select Remove.
    Remove dialog with Remove button highlighted.

Your Chromebook does not save files locally in most cases. The only exception to this is any files you've downloaded that you may wish to save. This step will guide you through checking your Downloads, and saving them to Google's servers to keep them safe.

  1. Select the Apps menu in the bottom-left corner.
    screenshot of the apps menu

  2. Select All Apps > Files.
    screenshot from the apps menu with the files app highlighted

  3. Select Downloads on the left. These are the only files stored on your Chromebook.
    screenshot of the files manager with downloads highlighted

    • You can open a file by double-clicking on it.
    • You can copy files to your Google Drive by dragging them to My Drive on the left. Copying a file to Google Drive places them on Google's servers, so they won't be lost if your Chromebook is restored.
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