Chrome OS is making it easier and easier to access all of you various files that live in the cloud. Obviously, all of your Google Drive storage is accessible by default right there in your Chromebook’s Files app but third-party applications such as Box and One Drive have played well with Chrome OS for some time now. Unfortunately for millions of users, Dropbox remained the outlier for quite some time. Yes, you can always access your Dropbox storage on the web and there’s even an unofficial option for mounting your Dropbox to Chrome OS’ file system but until recently, the options all felt a bit “hacky.” (Yes, there’s an official Dropbox “app” in the Web Store but it’s simply a symbolic link to the website.)
The ability to show cloud storage apps natively has been available for more than a year but for whatever reason, Dropbox was missing the necessary API to take advantage of the feature. At some point, that changed and you can now easily mount your Dropbox to your Files app with a little help from the Play Store. Now, I’m not a big fan of using Android applications on my Chromebook but I also understand that I’m not the normal user. That said, this has changed my perspective a bit. As Robby pointed out, the Google Photos Android app will allow the Android file picker to see Photos as a “mounted” drive. It’s still not permanently mounted in the Files App but it is one step closer to getting our Google Photos back into the file system since they no longer live in Google Drive. Dropbox, however, will mount directly into the Files App when you have the Android application installed.
To get it set up, you will obviously need a Chromebook and a Dropbox account. Once you’ve logged into your Chromebook, head to the settings by clicking the system tray in the bottom-right corner and clicking the gear icon. (If you’ve already enabled the Play Store on your device, skip this step.) On the left side of the settings, you will see an “Apps” tab. Click that and turn on the Google Play Store. The initial setup will take a couple of minutes as it installs and updates any system apps and such. Once it’s finished, search the Play Store for the official Dropbox app. Install that and once it’s ready, log in with your Dropbox account that you set up. That’s it. It may take a minute or two and you will need to close and reopen your Files App but you should the Dropbox mounted below Google Drive. This will be very handy especially for those Chromebook users that just claimed 100GB of free Dropbox storage.