How to Navigate Files on the Chromebook

By Mark LaFay

This figure shows Chromebook’s Files app window. On the left side of the window is a listing of storage locations. At first, you’ll only have two options here:

  • Downloads: Your Downloads folder is your hard drive (also referred to as local storage).

  • Google Drive: This is Internet-based storage (also referred to as cloud storage).

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On the right side of the Files app window, you will notice two distinct areas. The top-right of the Files window is your toolbar. In the toolbar, you’ll find

  • Search bar

  • Settings button

  • Window controls

On the left side of the toolbar, you’ll find the Search bar; and on the right side of the screen, you will see the Settings widget and the window-control buttons that you should be familiar with already. Click the Settings widget to open the File Settings menu, as pictured here.

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In this menu, you have the option to launch another Files window, create a new subfolder within the open folder, and change the way files appear in the Files window — either a list (the default) or a grid arrangement.

At the bottom of the Settings menu, a meter shows your available storage. This information is critical because your Chromebook does not offer much storage, so you will want to periodically check to make sure you don’t run out. Pictures, screenshots, music, downloads, and the like will add up the more you use your Chromebook, so beware!

Beneath the Files toolbar is the file browser. This is where you will be able to view, edit, move, or otherwise interface with your files.