If you’ve been meaning to learn how to upgrade the storage on a Chromebook, you’ve landed on the right web page. We’ll walk you through all that can be done to revamp your Chromebook’s storage capacity and add more gigabytes to it using easy-to-approach methods. Do read until the end to leave here knowledgeably well-equipped.
Chromebooks are gradually becoming more popular as the days go by. Although they’re still quite far from being coined as the gold standard in modern-day computing, ChromeOS has evolved substantially as an operating system, and prospects concerning its development look brighter than ever.
With that said, if you’re out in the market trying to get a new Chromebook, we suggest reading up on whether it’s better to shop for more RAM or storage to start on the right foot. However, if you want to upgrade your existing Chromebook storage, continue reading to find out what to do.
- Related read: What you need to know about Google Photos storage limit.
The best ways to upgrade the storage on a Chromebook
Several Chromebooks, especially budget-friendly ones, don’t pack a lot of hardware that one can boast about. More often than not, these will also come in configurations of 32 GB of storage or perhaps 16 GB too. Therefore, the need to know all the different ways one can upgrade their Chromebook storage is real, and fortunately, the approachable methods are many.
We’ve compiled the best ways to help you get more storage on ChromeOS and allow you to rely on your device more than before safely. Let’s get started with the first technique.
1. Utilize the phenomenon of cloud-oriented storage
Cloud storage is measuring up to be the next big thing in the domain of modern-day computing. It seemingly removes the shackles associated with the norm of local storage and offers users a distinct way of storing their personal, private, and required data on the go.
As of 2022, cloud storage is an utterly premium service that multiple companies offer with various purchasing plans. It won’t take long to discover that Google has also curated a cloud-based storage program called Google Drive. It starts users off for free by giving them 15 GB of storage to work with.
- This reminds us to nudge you toward our guide on the top 10 tips for a great Google Drive usage experience.
Therefore, even if you don’t add anything else to your device’s storage, the 15 GB figure alone is considerable enough for you to get into. And the best part is that we haven’t discussed the sea of other cloud storage solutions that you can use to sign up for free and add extra storage to your Chromebook. Pretty nifty when you think about it that way, right?
A program that we’d recommend you to shoot for right after Google Drive is pCloud. It’s another top-quality, highly secured platform that provides free users with 10 GB of storage to go about their data storing ventures. We’ve used it for about two years and have had little to no complaints.
Therefore, if you’d like to upgrade your Chromebook’s potential to reserve your private data, look into the paid plans offered by all these options, starting with Google Drive. To get you off the right path, Google now likes to collectively encompass all its cloud-based services under one umbrella term called Google One.
The latter comprises Google Drive, Google Photos, Gmail, and other Google-developed apps. Here’s a direct link to the “Plans and Pricing” section of Google One that you may as well look into for more information. You can choose a monthly subscription or a plan that charges you annually.
- Recommended read: 5 unconventional ways to save storage space on Chromebook.
2. Get a USB drive
While cloud storage is excellent, one off-putting facet of the concept may sound highly undesirable to users. In a place where you’re stuck with no connectivity to the internet, access to your stored items on Google Drive or any other cloud storage solution you’re using won’t be possible unless you’ve specified some items to work offline.
But even then, you won’t be able to edit your offline documents in any way, so users looking for an offline approach will need to seek a more workable approach. That is precisely where USB drives come in, offering unparalleled convenience and reliability to anyone who would prefer an offline solution.
USB flash drives have been commonplace for several years now. People who haven’t adapted to the cloud-based networking system still use thumb drives to store important data. Some would argue otherwise, but the broad consensus seems to conform to the idea, so it’s still highly relevant in 2022.
The best part is that you can find a bevy of high-quality USB drives to purchase from Amazon. For instance, the SanDisk 128GB Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive on the famous US-based marketplace comes for as little as $15.29.
However, it packs an exceptionally enthralling user experience thanks to its terrific build quality. You may as well purchase it from Amazon starting and start bringing more convenience to your life right away. Using a USB drive is one of the best ways to upgrade your Chromebook storage.
- Check out: How to see USB drives in Linux on a Chromebook.
3. Plug in a microSD card
Accompanying the previous subsection is this one, offering another worthy alternative to cloud-based solutions if you don’t feel proclivity to the concept at all. Similar to a USB drive, most Chromebooks, such as the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14, feature a microSD card slot just for storage expansion.
You can look for these ports on either side of your Chromebook to determine whether you have one or not. Some powerhouses, such as the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, even feature a full-fledged SD card slot that you can use to upgrade your device’s storage.
With that said, there are certain measures you can take to alleviate the situation, even if you do not have any of those ports on your Chromebook. Thanks to the 10 best USB-C hubs for your Chromebook that you can purchase straight off Amazon, it does not matter if a specific device doesn’t have much of a port selection to brag about.
Those dedicated hubs will ensure you have enough connectivity for your peripherals, including USB drives, microSD cards, SD cards, and even HDMI. If you want the most high-quality of these storage upgrading options, look at our specialized guide on the 10 best SD and microSD cards for your Chromebook.
4. Swap your Chromebook’s SSD for a bigger one
Although this method is not beginner-friendly, nor should you proceed with it without prior experience, it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. Several tinkerers and enthusiasts have figured out a method to swap their Chromebook’s SSD with a higher-sized one.
For instance, if your Chromebook uses a default 16 GB SSD, you can take it out and replace it with a 128 GB SSD or perhaps an even bigger one. With that said, we must warn you: Doing so will most likely result in a warranty void, so you won’t be able to send your Chromebook back to the manufacturer to issue a replacement if things go wrong.
Moreover, following through with the process will warrant reinstalling ChromeOS, which will usually have to be done with the Chromebook Recovery Utility. If you ever need it, here’s how to create a Chromebook recovery USB drive.
After going through the risk assessment, you’ll have to evaluate whether replacing the Chromebook’s SSD yourself will be a worth-it solution. If not, you can always opt for Google Drive, a USB drive, or a microSD card slot for your convenience.
On a side note, though, a YouTuber called EveryTypeofVideo has created a tutorial on how to upgrade the storage on Chromebook. Check out if you’re after a more visual explanation of how to get this done.
If budget is a constraint you have to look out for, and it’s not like the high-end Chromebooks are devices you’re looking to buy anytime soon, you probably need to worry about your machine’s storage. That is to say, if you’ve got yourself a low-end Chromebook with minimal specifications, there are ways to increase its storage.
Fortunately, there are multiple aspects of increasing a device’s storage capacity, and in this guide, we’ve gone through the best ones. In our opinion, having a USB device plugged along with a microSD card is two of the most plausible techniques to ensure you’re always packed with enough gigabytes.
Just make sure you remove your peripherals safely as soon as you’re done using them. Please let us know in the comments section whether the guide above helped you. As always, Chrome Ready wishes you good luck!
- Before you go: 5 things, you need to know about Google Workspace storage.