Chromebooks are designed for a cloud first life. This works in most cases. For those occasions where you need some additional storage onboard, there are some workarounds.
There was this Acer Chromebook with a traditional hard drive that came with 320 GB space. Almost all the other Chromebooks with 16 to 32 GB SSD storage. Google also provides 100 GB Google Drive space free for two years. You can always purchase additional Google Drive space or other services like Dropbox.
To expand the local storage, the following options are available:
Memory Card (SD Card)
Chromebooks come with a memory card slot for using SSD storage. You can purchase a card and leave it on your Chromebook to expand storage. Check your Chromebook’s specifications to see the maximum supported size of cards. There are half-sized adapters for Micro SD cards, and they will not stay protruding from the slot.
USB Drives and External Hard Drives
You can use USB drives and hard drives with Chromebooks. Connect them as you would connect to any other laptop or PC to access or transfer data.
The Chrome OS file manager app opens automatically when you connect an external storage media.
When you are done, click the eject icon next to the folder name.
Check Storage Usage On Your Chromebook
To find out how much storage is used and how much storage is available on your Chromebook, go to Settings > Device > Storage Management.
You will see the storage usage divided between your downloads, offline files, browsing data, and other users, if you have multiple accounts on your Chromebook.
Free Up Storage Space On Chromebooks
To free up space on your Chromebook, try the following suggestions:
- Delete files that you no longer need, from the Downloads folder. Alternatively, you can upload files to Google Drive or any other cloud storage service and delete the local copy.
- Clear browsing data.
- Remove apps and extensions that you no longer use.
- Remove additional user accounts that you no longer need.
- Clear offline files from Google Drive. Right-click a file and uncheck “Available Offline” to do this. The file will continue to be listed, but the local copy will be removed.
Also, it will help doing a factory reset (or powerwash) on your Chromebook to start anew.