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How to save and retrieve files Chrome OS 101

Yes, you can use Chrome OS offline, About three years ago, I was shopping for a Chromebook on a business trip

Yes, you can use Chrome OS offline, About three years ago, I was shopping for a Chromebook on a business trip - I wanted something lightweight enough to carry all day long and cheaper enough that I don't mind too much when I pour coffee on the keyboard. 

I was thinking of two different models when a salesperson came to see if I needed help. He said, "You know that these are Chromebooks, right? They're just working online. You can't save any files on your hard drive."

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This was not the first time a salesperson accidentally realized, of course. But this is a mistake that seems to have continued.

Yes, Chromebooks were built for mostly online use - in fact, when the first Chrome OS laptops were introduced in 2011, there were very few offline apps that could be a major drawback. But that was then and now.

Currently, apps like Google Docs and Sheets (the core Chrome OS apps) can be used online and offline. In addition, you can save files locally on your laptop's SSD or, with some models, an SD memory card.

If you've just purchased your first Chromebook, or you're thinking of one, there are the basics of how to save your files on your Chromebook and find them again.

Save your files

Saving a file to your Chromebook is much like saving a file in macOS or Windows. You can save a file in one of two ways:


  • Press Ctrl + S, or
  • Right-click the image or file you want to save and choose "Save As ..."
In either case, the Files app will appear (equivalent to the Mac Finder or the Window File Explorer). Select the folder where you want to save your file from the list on the left, then click the Save button in the lower right corner. 

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(If you want to change the file name, you can do so in the field to the right of the Save button.) You can also save and recover files from Google Drive here.

Yes, you can use Chrome OS offline, About three years ago, I was shopping for a Chromebook on a business trip

The Files app is preloaded with the Downloads folder, but you can easily create your own folders by clicking the New Folder button in the bottom right corner.

Find your files

To find your saved files, here's what you do:


  • Click the Launcher button in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • An Apps window will appear at the bottom of the screen. If you recently used the Files app, it will be listed just below the search field with other recently used apps. Click on it.
  • Otherwise, click the "up" arrow directly above the search field to see all the apps on your Chromebook, and click the Files app.
Yes, you can use Chrome OS offline, About three years ago, I was shopping for a Chromebook on a business trip

The Files app also automatically organizes your files into Recent, Audio, Images, and Videos folders to make it easier to find these types of files.

Yes, you can use Chrome OS offline, About three years ago, I was shopping for a Chromebook on a business trip

Keep in mind that although you can save a reasonable number of files, most Chromebooks come with relatively little storage - you might expect 32GB or 64GB unless you're using a premium device like Google's Pixelbook

So you won't have the same capacity as a typical Mac or Windows. But you're not just working online, too.

Source: the verge

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