Sorry, this post may disappoint you, because there is still no external USB CD/DVD drive that is perfectly compatible with Chrome OS. The reason why I still write this article is that many people have been asking me about using an external DVD drive for Chromebook, or they directly search “best Chromebook compatible external DVD drive” on Amazon or Google, some websites will definitely give them some definite options without complicated explanation, and even claim that those external CD/DVD players are the best options. It is conceivable that these friends finally had to spend a lot of time to implement limited functions or have to return them for a refund. We just hope more friends can really understand whether an external CD DVD drive can work fine with a Chromebook before buying.
Although you can simply plug it into your Chromebook and run an external DVD drive, there are serious limitations to what an external DVD drive for Chromebook can do since the Chrome system was created to function primarily online.
What functions can’t be realized on a Chromebook with an external DVD drive?
- You can’t play music CDs or DVD videos with a Chromebook DVD drive.
Because of the lack of Codecs on ChromeOS, large files like DVD videos cannot be compressed and decompressed. If you want to play DVD discs on your Chromebook, you have to install Linux.
- You can’t burn CDs and DVDs. You cannot write anything to a CD or DVD disc on a Chromebook.
- You can not install a program from a disc. Chrome OS can only load and run the programs it supports from the internet, and it has no capacity to install local programs through an external optical drive, especially Windows programs.
- It cannot rip music or movies from CDs and DVDs. There is no ripping software compatible with Chrome OS. If you need to rip your music or video from a disc, you have to use another computer running Windows, Mac, or Linux OS to rip the files, then copy them to your Chromebook via a USB flash drive.
What can we do on a Chromebook with an external optical drive?
- Although Chrome OS cannot play content directly from CDs and DVDs, you can read files on CDs and DVDs if they are supported file formats.
- You can use the VLC player to play accepted media files directly from a disk such as mp3 music and mp4 videos.
Disk types can be read on Chromebook through an external CD/DVD/Blu-ray drive:
- Blu-ray (Blu-ray drive required)
- Blu-ray RW (Blu-ray drive required)
File types can be read on Chromebook through an external CD/DVD/Blu-ray drive:
- Media: .3gp, .avi, .mov, .mp4, .m4v, .m4a, .mp3, .mkv, .ogv, .ogm, .ogg, .oga, .webm, .wav
- Images: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .webp
- Compressed files: .zip, .rar
- Other: .txt, .pdf (read-only; you won’t be able to edit these files)
Basically, you cannot use an external optical disk drive on your Chromebook like on a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, which can only allow you to read accepted file types on limited disk types. Therefore, we do not recommend that you prepare an external optical drive for your Chromebook. If you definitely want to try it, we recommend you to choose this one, and it is best to decide whether you want to keep it before the return window closes.