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What Flash Drives Are Compatible With Chromebook?

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When choosing a device, its storage capacity is usually far up on our list of things to consider before we buy it. However, no matter how much space our device has, we still need a little extra for keeping or moving things around, and that’s where a flash drive comes in!

Most flash drives are compatible with a Chromebook since it adopts a relatively standard file format and USB-A 3.0 port. To get the most out of your flash drive, choose a USB 3.0 flash drive. However, when using a USB-C adapter, you can use a USB 2.0 flash drive on your Chromebook. 

Most flash drives will work on a Chromebook since it adopts a relatively standard file format. There are many flash drives (a.k.a, thumb drives, memory sticks, or pen drives) out there, so let us look at six of the best ones that will be compatible with your Chromebook.

Can You Use Any Flash Drive on a Chromebook?

You can use almost any flash drive on a Chromebook. Most Chromebooks have a USB-A port, which fits as a standard USB 3.0 flash drive. However, some only have a USB-C port, so you may need a USB-C flash drive or adapter. 

While Chromebooks may make it confusing to figure out what flash drives you can and can not use with your laptop, the good news is that you probably won’t need any particular flash drive to upload and download files. 

Still, choosing a USB 3.0 flash drive will give you the fastest and most reliable connection to your computer. 

How To Reformat a Flash Drive on Chromebook

Most Chromebooks have a standard USB-A port that supports almost any flash drive. Still, in some cases, you may need to reformat the flash drive to get it to work with ChromeOS. 

Reformatting a flash drive is very simple, but it’s critical to note that when you reformat a flash drive, it will delete all of the files on the drive. So, store a backup if you don’t want to lose your data. 

Here’s how to reformat your flash drive on your Chromebook: 

  1. Plug the USB flash drive into your Chromebook
  2. Open the Files app. 
  3. Locate your flash drive on the left-hand sidebar. 
  4. Right-click on the flash drive’s name to reveal a pop-up menu. 
  5. Select “Format device.”
  6. Specify the format you want to use. I recommend using FAT32 if you are storing documents, images, music, or video on the drive. 
  7. Click erase and format. 

How To Use a Flash Drive on a Chromebook

Once you have your flash drive plugged in and have ensured that it’s in the proper format, you might want to learn how to store your data on it: 

  1. Turn on your Chromebook.
  2. Check if your Chromebook uses a USB A or C port. If it uses an A, you can plug the flash drive into the computer, and it should instantly start working.  If it does not have a USB A port, you will need to use a USB C Port Splitter. This device comes with multiple ports, including A ports, and connects to the C port of the computer.  
  3. Plug the adapter into the USB C port and plug your flash drive into it. You should get a notification on your screen that says, “Removable Device Detected.”.
  4. Click on the “Open Files App” option to see all the files in the drive. 
  5. You can move the files from your flash drive to your Chromebook by dragging them or copying and pasting them to the directory or folder of your choice. 
  6. You can likewise copy files from your Chromebook to your flash by dragging, dropping, copying, and pasting from the folder to the file. 

3 Best Flash Drives That Are Compatible With the Chromebook

Numerous flash drives can work on any device, but let’s look at some of the best that will be compatible with your Chromebook.

SanDisk 128GB Ultra Flair USB 3.0 (available on

SanDisk has a reputation for making exceptional devices. Their Ultra Flair USB comes as a single USB drive in the pack. It features a high-speed USB 3.0 performance of up to 150mb/s read speed, which is 15 times faster than the standard USB 2.0 depending on your host device and usage conditions.

It requires a USB 3.0 port to function, which is excellent for Chromebooks. 

If you need some extra protection, this flash is perfect. It has 128-bit AES encryption password protection for your private and confidential files. It is supported by the following:

  • Windows 7, 8, 10
  • Mac OS X v10.9 plus
  • Chrome OS.

Samsung FIT Plus 128GB (available on

One of the most fantastic features of this flash drive is its size. It is exceptionally compact and designed for a seamless fit into your Chromebook. 

Its tiny nature may be deceiving, but it packs a speed of up to 300mbps.

It features a USB 3.1, a more advanced USB version, and is compatible backward, up to USB 2.0. It is reliable storage for your videos, files, photos, and music. 

The only downside to this drive is that you may need to reformat it the first time you use it with your Chromebook. SanDisk is well known for pre-partitioning its flash drives, which may make it difficult to use with your Chromebook. 

So, go back to the beginning of this article and follow the simple steps to reformat your drive if you choose this one.

SanDisk 256GB Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C (available on

Here’s another fantastic product by SanDisk. If you have a Chromebook with a Type C port, this one’s for you. 

It is a high-speed USB 3.1 with a read speed of up to 150 mb/s. It is perfect for efficiently transferring files between devices, including smartphones and tablets. 

Just plug the USB into your smartphone and quickly transfer files – pretty neat, huh? Watch the video below to see how to do it:

The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive comes in a retractable design with a reversible USB Type C and a traditional USB connector.

Here’s another video that shows how to transfer files from an Android phone to a flash drive:

Final Thoughts

Flash drives are a very portable and cost-effective way to acquire a little more space for your devices. A Chromebook is compatible with a wide variety of flash drives in different capacities and colors, and all you need to do is find the one that best suits your needs and the port your Chromebook comes with.  

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