If you are newer to the Chrome OS and Chromebook experience, chances are you are coming from a Windows or Mac OS background.
Many users from those platforms use or have used Dropbox as their go-to cloud storage as opposed to Google Drive. The great news is you can still use it in the same awesome way Chromebooks leverage Google Drive!
Why Google Drive On Chromebooks Is Amazing
Obviously, Google would rather you use Google Drive for your cloud-connected storage. And for good reason.
Google Drive on a Chromebook is a pretty great experience. Unlike on Windows or Mac, your Google Drive is permanently mounted to your Chromebook.
What this means is all your files, no matter how vast in number, behave as if they are stored locally on your devices when you are signed in.
If I’m saving a file from a website or local app, I can choose to save that file right into a Google Drive folder. Opening, copying and pasting work the same way, as if the folders and files were actually local.
It’s Better On Chrome OS
On Windows, Mac OS or Linux, this is kind of possible. You download a local client, and everything you add or remove from the files in those drives syncs in the background.
The downside? You have to actually store your synced folders to your local drive. If you use Dropbox or Google Drive heavily, that means tons of local storage is needed to keep up your cloud storage solution.
I have 100GB of storage in use on Google Drive, so that was becoming a real resource hog on a Windows machine for me. As a result, I was left choosing particular folders to sync instead of simply syncing my entire drive.
Not a particularly great situation.
With a Chromebook, however, I can interact with all my Google Drive files just like they are local, but there is no need to actually download anything.
When I need to open a file, I navigate there and select it just like it is on my local drive. It downloads and opens without causing a fuss and as long as my internet connection is decent, I never even notice it happening.
It is wonderful and very hard to work without once you become used to it. And, apart from a few so-so, 3rd party solutions, this setup doesn’t even exist on other platforms.
Mounting cloud drives simply isn’t a good experience elsewhere.
This Is Possible With Dropbox Too
The better news is this is possible with Dropbox as well.
On your Chromebook, simply go to your file manager and, in the left column, click Add New Service > File System For Dropbox. If it doesn’t show up, simply go to the Web Store and search form File System For Dropbox and install it.
The next screen that pops up will have the word MOUNT in blue. Click that and you will then be given the log in screen. It goes without saying that you need a Dropbox account to proceed. Simply plug in your credentials and your Dropbox will mount and appear right in your file browser.
That’s it! Now you can operate your Dropbox files from your Chromebook in the same, simple way you can work from your Google Drive folders. Granted, I’m pretty partial to Google Drive, but I know there are many of you who are new to Chromebooks and loyal to Dropbox.
Rest easy. You can be a fan of both! Hope this little tip helps some of you out!