How to Change File Type on Chromebook

Changing a file type on your Chromebook is easy once you know the steps. As someone who uses a Chromebook daily, I’ll walk you through the different methods so you can convert files without any hassle.

Use Online File Converters

The easiest way is to use an online file converter:

  • Go to a site like CloudConvert or Online Convert
  • Upload the file you want to convert
  • Select the output format
  • Download the converted file to your Chromebook


  • Works with many file types
  • Usually free to use
  • Fast conversion


  • Need internet connection
  • File size limits on free accounts
  • Privacy concerns with uploading files

I use online converters all the time to change files from PDF to Word, compress images, convert video formats, and more. It handles most file types with great quality.

Use Chrome Extensions

Another option is to install a file converter extension for Chrome:

  • Go to the Chrome Web Store
  • Search for “file converter”
  • Find one with good reviews and install it
  • Use the extension interface to pick files and output format

Some good extensions are:


  • Works offline
  • Easy to use
  • Integrates with ChromeOS


  • Limited file type support
  • Slow conversion speeds

I keep the File Converter extension installed for quick conversions accessed right from my Chrome browser.

Use Android Apps

You can also install Android file converter apps from the Google Play Store. Here are some top options:


  • Works offline
  • Lots of customization options
  • Can handle less common file types


  • Need to install each app
  • Heavy battery/CPU usage
  • Some have ads or paid subscriptions

I use Android file converter apps if I need to tweak output settings or work with an unusual file type. Just beware of bloated apps that drain your battery or have annoying ads.

Use Linux Tools

If you have Linux set up, you can use command-line programs for converting files. For example:

ffmpeg -i input_video.mp4 output_video.avi


  • Fast, lightweight conversions
  • Support any file type
  • Automate batch conversions


  • Requires Linux and programming skills
  • Less user-friendly

I use Linux converter tools for batch processing files or formats unsupported by normal apps. But it’s overkill for casual use since the learning curve is steep.

Rename File Extension

As a last resort, you can just rename a file’s extension to change formats:

  • Right-click the file in Files app > Rename
  • Change file.jpg to file.png
  • Hit Enter to save

Warning: This often corrupts files. It does NOT properly convert between formats in most cases. The file contents don’t change – just the name.

Only use this method if you absolutely need the file to have a specific extension and can’t convert it properly. Even then, expect possible issues opening the renamed file later.


Changing file types is handy when you need to open files sent by friends or collaborate on projects. With the right tools, it’s seamless on Chromebooks.

I suggest keeping both a Chrome extension and Android app installed for flexibility. Online converters also fill any gaps for niche formats.

What file conversion challenges have you faced on Chromebooks? Let me know in the comments if you have any tips!