Despite commercials which promise users that they’ll never lose files with a Chromebook, there’s a rising number of education and business users who are complaining that, when a Chromebook is reset or replaced, that they lose their local files. And this complaint mainly stems from the way Chrome OS handles Downloaded files. By default, when saving a file from the browser, a Chromebook will default to a local Downloads folder on the small SSD.
But that’s about to be ‘fixed’. Now, when you go to download a file in Chrome OS, the default location will be Google Drive. A bug report attached to the change agrees this is will reduce the impact of users changing devices, reduce the impact of device failures, and reduce the impact of profile corruption, which is rare.
With Chromebook users given a free 100GB Google Drive plan (for 2 years), the change isn’t exactly surprising. It also coincides with the price-change of Google Drive nicely. However, I do worry about this update coming to countries with small data caps, like Australia. If my Chromebook is downloading the file, then uploading it to Drive, surely that will take a decent chunk out of my broadband quota. It’s essentially using double the bandwidth for every file. And especially considering the availability of 3G and LTE capable Chromebooks, this solution does seem wasteful, and potentially costly. But at least you won’t ever lose an important file, I guess.