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On my local area network (LAN), I have a number of shared folders, from different computers, that I regularly access. Those folders are accessed from Linux, MacOS, and -- yes -- Chromebooks. By doing this, I can not only access the various files and folders I need to work with but I can also save files to those shares, which often serves as a pseudo backup solution.
How you access network shares depends on the operating system you use. In some cases, it can also depend on which file manager your OS employs.
Once upon a time, Chrome OS required you to install a third-party app to connect with remote shares. Fortunately, that service is now built into the My Files app, so you don't have to install anything or enable the feature in settings…it just works.
Let me show you how it's done.
How to connect to a network share from your Chromebook
What you'll need: To make this work, you'll need a Chromebook with an updated version of Chrome OS. (If you have an older Chromebook with an earlier version of Chrome OS, follow the steps outlined in this article instead.) You'll also need a share available on your network. This share can be from Linux, MacOS, or Windows. The share can be either protected with username/password credentials, or it can be anonymous (without a username or password). The important thing is that the share must be accessible. You can always test it with other operating systems, to make sure you can successfully access the share.
Once the share is added, you'll find a new entry at the bottom left corner of the My Files app. The name of that entry will correspond with the Display Name you configured for the share. You can click that entry to access the files and folders in the share.
One thing to keep in mind is that the newly added share will remain (even after a reboot). If you want to remove the share, two-finger tap (or right-click) the share listing in My Files and select Close. Once you've closed a share, you'll have to go through the process of re-adding it, should you need access.
You can add as many shares as necessary to Chrome OS My Files without worrying that the space used by the remote share would count against your Chromebook storage. This is a great way to expand your Chromebook without depending on SD cards or external drives.