Top Nav

How to Access Network Share Files from a Chromebook

Chrome OS is a cloud-centric operating system for your Chromebook, Chromebox, or Chromebit. But if you’re like me, a lot of your of files are accessible on your home network, but not necessarily the internet-connected public cloud. I’m talking things like movies, photos, personal documents, my vast music collection, etc. Once upon a time, I might load my entire movie collection onto a hard drive on a computer. But with a Chromebook, you’re lucky if you get just one or two HD movies onto the local storage drive. That’s not a failing, of course—the Chromebook was never meant for that. I have no problem streaming commercial movies and music while I’m out and about with my Chromebook. But when I’m at home, there’s no point in taking the stuff that I own and uploading it to the cloud (perhaps for a price) just so I can view it on my Chromebook.

For these cases, a Chrome OS app called Network File Share for Chrome OS does the trick.

Network File Share for Chrome OS lets you access and edit files on your network attached storage, on another networked computer, or on a hard drive attached to your router as easily as if they were in your Google Drive or on your Chromebook’s local storage. I use it with my Synology DiskStation and a USB drive attached to my ASUS router.

It’s super simple to set up. I’ll show you.

Add a Network Share to Chrome OS

Here are the basic steps. I’m going to assume that you’ve already set up your Chromebook and connected it to the same local area network where your shares are hosted.  If you don’t know how to set up a network share, check out this article: How to Share a USB drive from Your Wi-Fi Router.

  1. Go to the Chrome Web Store and install the app called Network File Share for Chrome OS.network-file-share-step1
  2. Open the Files app on your Chromebook.chromebook-network-share-step2
  3. On the left side, click Add new services.chromeos-network-share-step3
  4. Choose Network File Share for Chome OS.network-fileshare-chrome-step4
  5. Enter the share path for your network file share. You can use the standard Windows format like \\EXAMPLE-HOST\SHARE or an SMB URL such as smb://EXAMPLE-HOST/SHARE.  You can also use an IP address instead of a hostname.networkfileshareforchrome-step5
  6. If your network share requires credentials, check the “My file share needs a password” box to enter a username and password.
  7. Click Mount.networkfileshare-chromeos-step7

Your network share will now show up on the left side of your Files app. You can copy files here, move files from here, add new files, delete files, and edit files just like they were on your Google Drive. Playback for movies is seamless. Really, it’s the next best thing you can get to having a DVD player on your laptop, now that optical drives are “legacy hardware.”

chromebook network file share

Pretty handy!

Interested in more Google Chromebook tips? Send me an email and let me know what you’d like us to cover. 

More Reading:

3 Responses to How to Access Network Share Files from a Chromebook

  1. Vivienne July 13, 2017 at 6:05 am #

    Hi guys just the ticket many thanks

    Viv Xxxxxxxxx

  2. Tom July 17, 2017 at 4:23 am #

    Hi. Will this process work for accessing my WD Mycloud from my Chromebook? I’m tearing my hair out trying to access it! I’m a little confused with what path share formula to use as whatever i mount, it doesn’t recognise it. Any help appreciated. Cheers Tom

    • David Pinero August 16, 2017 at 6:06 pm #

      Yes, I literally just tested on the WD Mycloud. You need to resolve whatever issues you have with sharing a folder in general (is the folder set to be shared PUBLIC? Not that it will be view-able by the public or anyone on the network unless you grant them access in the USER area — “Public” does not mean “public”) but this application seems to work to reach it. Note that for my test I used the IP 192.168…blah blah blah because I’m sitting in a chair and don’t want to get up to get the actual share name. However, I expect it would work with the share name just fine if I can reach it with the IP.

Leave a Reply

 

Free Learning

 

Don't miss a single tip, how to or tech news update. Subscribe to my free newsletter and receive updates, right to your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

11 Shares
+1
Share
Share
Email
WhatsApp