5 ways to share files between Android and Chrome OS

Like iOS and Mac, Android’s partner in crime has to be Chrome OS, as both operating systems are created by Google. But sadly, there is no native way to share files between Android and Chrome OS. Although there are rumors that the close Android share is coming to Chromebooks, until then, these are the best ways to transfer files between Android and Chromebook.

Share files between Android and Chrome OS

1. USB file transfer

Like Windows and Mac, Chromebooks also support USB file transfer. And the process is pretty simple too. Connect the phone to Chromebook with USB and tap “OK” on your phone to share data. If you have enabled automatic driving backup on your Chromebook, a pop-up will appear asking you to back up the files on your phone, you can allow or disallow the notification. From here you can select the files, copy them from Android and paste them on the Chromebook or vice versa.

Compared to other operating systems, the process is a bit slow, including file loading times, transfer speeds, or opening any file directly without moving. But on the plus side, the process itself is pretty reliable.

Advantages: –

  • Fast transfer even for large files
  • Easy to understand for anyone.

Cons: –

  • You need a USB cable and both devices to transfer.
  • Compared to other operating systems, the transfer process is a bit slow.

Share files on Chromebook

2. Google Drive

Chromebooks are cloud-based devices. And just as you expected Google drive it works amazing for transferring files. Just upload the file to Google Drive on phones and download it from Drive on Chromebook or vice versa.

But the downside is that if you want to transfer large files, this method requires a lot of data and time. Since most of the other options can do that without consuming the data, you can choose any of them.

Advantages: –

  • You can transfer even without having a second device nearby
  • Cross-platform functionality, as you can open Google Drive on any operating system

Cons: –

  • Requires the Internet to send files.
  • It consumes a lot of data, so it is not an ideal way to upload large files.

upload files to Google Drive from Chromebook

Also read: How to send large files over 2 GB over the Internet

3. Snapdrop

Snapdrop is a third party PWA website that can help transfer files between any operating system just by opening the web page in the browser. Snapdrop is similar to Airdrop, from UI design style to functionality. If you are an iOS user, Snapdrop may sound familiar. To transfer files, just open Snapdrop on both your Android phone and Chromebook. Make sure both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi. You can see your Android device on your Chromebook and Chromebook on your Android.

Just tap it from the device you want to send files to, select the files and click “OPEN”, the files will be sent to your Android via wifi without consuming any data. You can also do the same while transferring from Android to Chromebook.

Advantages: –

  • Clean UI
  • Snapdrop is a PWA, so you can install the Snapdrop website on your Chromebook.

Cons: –

  • You need the internet to open the website and start pairing

Share files via Snapdrop on Chromebook

4. AirDriod

Airdroid is the most powerful but a bit clunky sharing option on this list. Snapdrop does all of this, but Airdroid has a few more added features including sending messages directly from Chromebook, call logs, and the ability to access all the files on your phone without needing to open the phone directly from Chrome.

Just download the Airdroid app for Android on your phone and skip the login process to transfer the files via Wifi. Now select the Airdroid Web option on your phone. Enter the IP address in option 2 of the browser. And that’s it, you can access all the files on your phone from the browser. Just drag and drop to transfer files.

Advantages: –

  • It has additional benefits like screen mirroring, messages, call logs, contacts, etc.
  • You can transfer back and forth only from the Chromebook.

Cons: –

  • A bit clunky UI and process.
  • Files cannot be sent over Wi-Fi when you logged in.
  • You need to install an application to get started

airdroid-local-web - application

5. Google files

Google files is a file manager android app that also has a built-in file sharing option. Just download the Files app on both devices. Open the app and go to the share section, now click send on one device and receive on another device according to your needs. On the sending device, You can see all the devices connected to that network, just touch the device you want to transfer.

Now select the files you want to transfer and click send. The files will be transferred via wifi. This is similar to Snapdrop, but you don’t need internet to send files all you want to connect to the same wifi or wifi hotspot. The only downside is that the app takes longer to connect compared to services like Snapdrop. But the transfer speeds are quite similar.

Advantages: –

  • You can also use it as a file manager as it has larger thumbnails than the default for a better view.
  • You can take advantage of Google ML to clean up useless files on your Chromebook.
  • There is no need for the internet like other options on this list.

Cons: –

  • Slow connection compared to other apps like Snapdrop

Connecting to another device with Google Files on Chromebook


Among all the methods, I always prefer Google Drive as I don’t need to operate it on both devices at the same time. I can just upload the files to the drive and then download them as needed to the other. Anyway, what is your preferred method of transferring? Are there other tricks that you normally use? Let me know in the comment section.

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