How To Access Local Shared Files On A Chromebook

While waiting for the Chromebook SMB connections add-on to be released, we decided to show you a trick you can do to connect to your shared folders with your Chrome OS device.

As you already know, Chromebooks can’t access the SMB folders by default, and Google developers are working on a new add-on that will make this easier for us. But unfortunately, we don’t know yet when this API will be available, so we got creative and figured out a new way to do so.

We found out that this type of connection can be established via a third party tool that needs to be installed on your desktop. Or you can use the Crouton program, which always works.

But if you decided that Crouton isn’t the best way for you, let us introduce you to Insync, a third party tool that can run on all sorts of operating systems, from Windows and Mac, to Linux or Raspberry Pi. You can use it to connect your drive to the PC and you will be able to add new files and folders to the sync, by simply using the desktop file manager.

So, in order to open the synced files on your Chromebook, after installing Insync, add the shared folders and they will be available on your Chrome OS device, in a very short time. You will also be able to use the tool for syncing with a server, or with an external drive, not just with a PC. As far as we could test it, the tool works on all levels, on new and old servers such as Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2012.

The steps to take are easy and fast. If you want to add a new folder to the shared connection, after connecting the Insync with your Google account, all you have to do is open the File Manager, right click on the folder or file you want to add and then click on Add to Insync. The final step will make you choose the account on which this sync will be available. As soon as the sync with Google Drive is done, the new folder will also be available on the Chromebook.

Local Shares

Another thing you should know is that Insync doesn’t come for free and its cost depends on your usage level (consumer, professional or business).

And this is it. If Insync is what you’ve been looking for, go ahead and install it. As we said before, we don’t know exactly when Google’s developer team will finish integrating SMB protocols in the Chrome OS, so if you have any other means for gaining access to shared files, let us know about it.