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One of the downside of Chromebooks is the small amount of internal storage. But, Chromebooks support external storage devices such as USB drives, external hard drives, and microSD cards. External storage device is mostly used to expand your Chromebook’s storage or copy files between Chromebooks and other OS, including Windows PCs and Macs.

However before you'll be able to copy files between Chromebooks and other OS like Windows, you'll have to format the external drive to file system that works on Cross Platform system. Google have support for numerous file systems, and whatever you connect to your Chromebook should just work directly. Also, you can connect an external disc drive through USB to access files stored on DVDs and CDs. 

Chromebook Supported File Systems

Like I mentioned earlier, Chrome OS supports numerous file systems on removable devices. It also supports the cross-platform FAT16, FAT32, and exFAT file systems which works on all OS. It also have supports for the Windows NTFS file system with full read and write support.

Chrome OS can also read the Mac HFS+ file system only, but can’t write to it. Chromebooks also support the MTP protocol for digital cameras and music players, and for external disc drives you'll be connecting via USB. Lastly, Chromebooks can read the ISO9660 and UDF file systems on discs.

Formatting the external drive as exFAT would be good since you're going to use it on different OS. So if you format a USB drive or SD card on Chrome OS, by default, it will format the drive as exFAT automatically.

How to Format a Drive

So connect the external drive to your Chromebook through the USB. 

Then right-click on the name of the drive and select “Format Device”. 

Then click on OK. So Chrome OS will format the drive with the exFAT file system by default. 

And of course formatting a drive will wipe out all the files and data.

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