External DVD Drive For Chromebook

You will need an external DVD player for Chromebooks. No Chromebooks come with a DVD or CD player. Maybe many of you already know about this, but you can connect an external DVD drive through USB to the Chromebook and it’ll read the contents with no problem at all. Users in an educational center may need to still use CDs or DVDs for certain reasons. Luckily, it is very easy to connect an external DVD drive to a Chromebook. It is also possible to connect an external CD drive to a Chromebook. This page will have some useful information about connecting external DVD/CD drives on Chromebooks and how to best use them.


Can You Use an External CD/DVD Drive with Chromebook?

The short answer is yes, you can use an external USB CD/DVD drive with a Chromebook. There are some major limitations to using a Chromebook external DVD or CD drive. External devices are limited as to storage of readable files, and music files are not, without drivers, which cannot be installed on a Chromebook. ChromeOS users may best best off using an SD Card or External Hard drive.


What can you do with an external DVD or CD drive for Chromebook?

What kind of disks can be read on a Chromebook? Chromebooks can read these disk types when using a proper external USB DVD/CD drive:

  • CD
  • CD-RW
  • DVD
  • DVD-RW
  • Blu-ray
  • Blu-ray RW

Chrome OS can read files on these disks if they are a supported file formats. This means you can easily open image or audio files in ChromeOS from files on a CD or DVD. However, there are some limitations that are discussed below. Notably, the Chromebooks do not have the necessary codecs to plays DVD files. You can connect a CD or DVD player on a Chromebook and use it read read data files if you have a disk written in data format above. Again, very important to stress this when using a Chromebook DVD drive:

  • You cannot play an audio CD or a movie on a DVD or Blu-ray.
  • You cannot write anything to a CD, DVD or Blu-ray disk.

Always be aware of this when planning for using a DVD or CD with a Chromebook. The best uses may be fore pictures or MP3 files saved on a CD or DVD.


Can you watch DVDs on Chromebook?

Can Chromebooks Play Video DVDs? Chrome OS does not support optical disks to let you play music or movies. The primary reason for this is that Chrome OS doesn’t come with codecs. Codecs are necessary to compress and decompress large files like DVD videos. If you want to play DVDs on your Chromebook, you’ll need to install Linux. Since there’s no official support, it isn’t surprising that some discs won’t work.

There are several different standards which apply to optical discs, and there’s no available documentation on which might be readable and which ISO formats definitely won’t be readableIn other words, some discs might have technical differences which mean that they won’t work at all.

Also, there’s also no implied promise that whatever functionality might exist will continue after future updates. In other words, it’s possible that what works for you now might not work forever. It’s unlikely that whatever functionality exists would be removed for no reason, but it’s also unlikely that the developers test or “fix” unsupported devices.


Connecting External DVD Drive to Chromebook

External DVD drives aren’t officially supported on Chrome OS.  However, it is pretty easy to connect an external DVD drive to a Chromebook. There are a few listed on Amazon below that would work which are listed below.  Similarly to DVD drives, no Chromebooks come with a CD player. It is necessary to get a Chromebook compatible external CD drive if you

If you have access to another computer with a CD/DVD burner, you could possibly use software on it to rip the CDs to MP3s and then burn them to a CD (which your Chromebook should be able to read and play) or rip a DVD to MP4 and burn that to a DVD (which your Chromebook should be able to read and play).

Best Chromebook External DVD Drive

There are many Chromebook compatible external DVD drives. Most USB drives will work with ChromeOS Plug n Play Compatibility. Most of these are pretty cheap and excellent if you want to access some family pictures or video files saved in a Chromebook compatible file format. Below are several of the best external DVD drives for Chromebooks:


LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive +/-RW External Drive

This is a quality DVD drive that works on Chromebooks. Would expect no less from LG. The box from LG more than protected the device. The software that was supplied with the drive was a nice touch but not needed. The USB cable is a quality cable. It fits in nicely beside the drive in the carry case that I purchased to protect the drive when not in use. At the same time, it feels cheap and flimsy. And it is noisy and abrupt.

  • 14mm Height Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive
  • USB 2.0 interface (up to 480Mbits/s, USB 3.0 Compatible)
  • Max 8x DVDR Write Speed
  • Max 24x CD Write Speed
  • Slim Design
  • Slim Design
  • With Cyberlink Software
  • M-Disc



Dell DW316 External USB Slim DVD R/W Optical Drive 429-AAUX

The Dell External USB Slim DVD +/- RW Optical Drive is a plug and play disc burning and disc playing solution that you can use with a USB port. Simply plug the low profile (14mm), lightweight (200g) drive into your Chromebook’s USB port and you’ll be ready to use your DVD or CD


DLPIN External CD Drive Protable External CD-RW Drive DVD-R Combo Burner Writer Player for Laptop Notebook PC Desktop Computer

Easy to Use. Plug and play. No external drive needed. Adopted advanced chip, this CD-RW burner allows you to watch DVD/CD movies with no lag and burn music, movies to CD(only burn CD, not including DVD).


Using an External Hard drive or SD Cards

As one can see, it can be a little limiting to use a DVD/CD drive as a backup option. The options are pretty limited for Chromebook compatible devices. For this reason, it may be the best use a Chromebook compatible external hard drive or to use an SD card. To save files including photos and videos, use Drive. You can also backup files to removable media such as SD cards, flash drives or an external hard disk drive (or SSD).


  1. Trying to figure out how to use an External DVD/CD Drive is like trying to walk through a maize !!! You could have at least included some sort of instructions since the Chromebook is nothing like a normal laptop !!! This is crazy and a waste of money for this product !!

      • Yeah, I agree as well. It can pretty much do anything else, but burning a CD/DVD (?) – um, not really that… I think I’m going to switch back to buying a Windows laptop again, just to burn CD/DVDs again. I mean: I have an external disc drive connected to it, it recognizes it, I installed program apps like Nero AirBurn along with ones like DISC LINK Platinum, I’m using CD-R along with also DVD-Rs, BUT doesn’t want to burn any of ’em…

  2. This is way over my head.This computer would only be used in my shop to read factory service manuals which come on a CD
    Will it read them?

  3. This was not helpful at all. I’m totally discouraged now, as I have tons of pictures and videos on CD’s and DVD’s that are really important to me. I can’t afford a high dollar computer with a DVD drive and they aren’t that easy to find if I could. The ones I did find, had bad reviews anyway. So I bought a Chromebook because someone said I could get an external DVD drive. This article is full of contradictions. It starts out saying it can be done but then goes on to say no not really, it won’t work all that well and then it might or might not work, sometimes….maybe….if…..Then ends up recommending a DVD drive that would supposedly work fine. Which is the actual answer? I’m feeling like now I’ve pretty much lost a lot of special memories that are on CD’s and DVD’s that I now have no access to. My laptops in the past had DVD drives that worked smoothly and quickly and I could save the content to my computer, or just view it. It was so easy. Ever changing technology is great I guess, but it jeopardizes the old things that people like me have so carefully saved, not realizing it’s all going to be useless.

  4. this isn’t an article, it’s an ad for external players. there is no byline, so no author, or any specifics explaining why the writer is an authority on anything. there is no date, so no way to verify that this “article” is still relevant. there is no follow-up or update link, so you have to treat the “article” as gospel and unchangeable truth.

    i’m sorry, you can’t convince me that nobody, anywhere, has been working on a fix for this all this time, and can come up with a real-time affordable solution that doesn’t require a second computer to play legally obtained and owned personal copies of professional movies on my chromebook.

    • Try “VLC for Android”. You can download it for free, straight from the Play Store and it seems to work for quite a few people. I’m sure there are tons of other media player apps in the Play Store too, but VLC is the only one that I have experience with.

  5. For anyone who came here trying to learn if and/or how to play DVD movies on their Chromebook. There are a couple of ways.

    I suggest downloading “VLC for Android” or a similar player from the Play Store. VLC Player has been around for years (it’s what all of us nerds used to watch our anime and bootleg movies on in the 90’s and early 2000’s); and just like the desktop version, the Android version supports a huge amount of file formats (with the codecs built into the app itself), and should read most DVD’s no problem…you obviously need an external DVD drive for this. There are probably hundreds of similar apps out there, some may be better, but VLC is the only one for Android/ChromeOS that I have used.

    The other option is to run a player from Linux. While I have my Chromebook opened up to Developer Mode, I have not turned on or played around with any of the Linux tools in it. If you are familiar with Linux, then I imagine that it is pretty straight forward. I’m assuming that in Linux mode, you will actually be able to DL the digital drivers for your external DVD drive, and would be a simple and stable way to play DVD’s with just about any compatible media player software…Don’t quote me on any of this.

    TL//DR: Try downloading “VLC for Android” (or a similar media player) from the Play Store. Connect your DVD drive to your chromebook and insert a DVD, then try to run it from VLC.

    *note: For those who aren’t tech savvy at all, make sure that the optical drive that you buy for this is labeled as an “external drive”.
    Most modern external drives will run through USB 3.0 and be CD/DVD combo units that can both read and write in different formats. Just to be safe, look for a drive that lists (+/-RW) in it’s listing or on the box.

    Keep in mind that if you plan on wanting to watch (or write on) Blu-ray discs, the you need an optical drive that specifically states it is for Blu-ray.

  6. I’ve got a Samsung chromebook. I s there a specific type of external DVD/CD player? If so, what would be best?

  7. Note: For those who think downloading VLC for ANDROID is the answer, think again. It’s not if the item you’re trying to download it to doesn’t show up in the list of items to download it on. As for making your external DVD/CD player work, well from my understanding there’s pretty much only one option and that’s to duel boot your Chromebook with Linux & the current OS that’s on it. Have I figured it out, no! Am I getting frustrated myself, yes! I didn’t personally want a Chromebook because I preferred an OS that wasn’t so frustrating.

  8. I have a hp chromebook and been looking at the comments/suggestions and my hp is not compatible with the VLC it is compatible with a DVD PLAYER with one on playstore the my hp recommend however I do not have alot of computer knowledge and nerves about using the external DVD/CD PLAYER more then anything spending money on something that I cannot use.


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