Google tests new feature to make the Chrome OS file manager more desktop like

January 11, 2019

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Google’s Chrome OS has had a basic file manager for years. While Google intended its operating system to be cloud based with minimal offline interaction, Google allowed users a way to manage their downloads in Chrome OS. It wasn’t intended for long term storage, and files could be purged automatically if your Chromebook (typically 16 or 32GB’) was now full.

Now, a  flag in Chrome OS 72 indicates that Google may be changing its mind, With Chrome OS 72’s enable-myfiles-volume flag, users can now turn the entire My Files folder into a read-write drive — just like it is on more mainstream desktop operating systems. This means that they aren’t strictly limited to the downloads folders, but can create new folders and drop files wherever they want.

The flag content reads: Enables use of MyFiles as a read/write volume. This should be only used for testing or for trying to restore the previous Downloads content.

It seems that Google might be considering making this the default, with the flag being necessary for reverting back to the old system. This is because as currently implemented, enabling the flag hides all previous content in the Downloads folder.

If Google makes this flag the default, it’ll be a change long needed. Chrome OS has moved on from being just a browser, with Android apps, Linux apps and possibly Windows apps in the running. For now, its still a flag which is hidden in the beta version of the OS, and may be taken away at any time.

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