Despite Android and Linux app support, Chrome OS started out as a platform for online-only users. And even though Chromebooks come with ample internal storage, some don’t have Android or Linux apps. The good news is that many Chromebooks have slots where SD cards and microSD cards can be inserted to expand storage. How to use the SD card instead of your internal storage to download content from Netflix, for example.
How to get Chromebook Android apps to see your SD card
For a Chromebook to work with its SD card, first open its settings, then select “Device,” then choose “Storage Management,” then “External Storage Preferences,” and finally enable your SD card. You can also enter the External Storage Preferences menu by searching for “External Storage Preferences” in the Chrome OS launcher, which will speed things up even more. The device will need to be restarted after you enable your external storage.
How to set up Android apps to use your SD card for downloads
Reopen the Chrome OS settings a second time, select the Google Play Store option, then select the “Manage Android preferences” option. The Chrome OS launcher or the search bar of your Chrome OS device can help you jump straight to the Android preferences entry if you don’t want to scroll through all the settings options. A new window should open with the Android preferences.
You’ll find your installed Android apps under the “Apps & notifications” entry in the Android preferences. You will need to scroll through the list of apps and tap one of them to use SD storage. Additionally, you can use the Android settings, as shown further below, to search the Android settings for a particular app. Repeat the following steps for each application you want to support SD cards for if you want to enable SD card support for more than one.
To enable “Storage,” select the “Permission” entry of the desired application and tap “App info.” If it isn’t already enabled, tap “App info.”. It is then necessary to open the app in question and navigate to its settings.
The Plex app will need to be updated to use the larger storage by updating the “sync” option. The “Download Location” for Netflix will be changed from internal to external storage. Your device or app may need to be restarted before the new location is visible.
Settings for SD storage on Netflix (top) and Plex (bottom).
If you adjust any apps, shut them completely down and restart them again to make these changes take effect. With your external SD card, you can now store the downloads of Netflix and Plex apps.