Chromebooks work great when you’re online. With more and more browser-based apps available and Chrome OS’s seamless Google Drive integration, there is little left to desire for most everyday activities.

Offline functionality has also improved considerably with Google and many 3rd party vendors offering a range of apps in the Chrome Web Store that work when you’re not connected to the internet.

However one area where problems still occur regularly is video playback.

If you’re online, streaming videos works fine. Google Play has even introduced offline viewing. If you’re not using a streaming service and have a local video collection you want to make use of, uploading your movies to Google Drive and then playing them from there usually takes care of most issues as well.

But what if you want to watch films on your Chromebook offline?

Chromebook offline message

This might be the case when you’re on the road, on a train or a plane without an internet connection. In these situations, you need to make sure that your movies are in a format that the Chromebook understands. These are:

Media file formats: .3gp, .avi, .mov, .mp4, .m4v, .m4a, .mp3, .mkv, .ogv, .ogm, .ogg, .oga, .webm, .wav

Video Formats and Codecs

Container Video codec Audio codec
ogv Theora
webm vp8
mp4 H264
MPEG4
mov MPEG4
H264
avi MPEG4 MP3
DIVX MP3
XVID MP3
3gp H264 AAC
MPEG4 AMR-NB

However they will only play flawlessly if the video and audio codec of the movie file are of types that Chromebooks know (see list above).

If you encounter any problems or are not sure what type of movie file you have, the best way to ensure the videos work is to convert them into a format including video and audio codec that is guaranteed to play on Chromebooks.

In order to do this, the clipchamp video converter can help.

It converts a range of input formats such as MKV, AVI, MOV, FLV, DIVX or even VOB files to MP4 and uses the right video and audio codecs in the background that your Chromebook recognises correctly.

clipchamp free video converter

Once the video files are converted, you can store them for offline use in the Downloads folder, upload them to Google Drive and then make them available as offline files, or put them on a USB stick or an SD card that you insert into the Chromebook.

You can use clipchamp for free on clipchamp.com and it might just be the solution to getting any video to play on your Chromebook even without an internet connection.

The app converts videos in a few simple steps and gives you a number of straightforward output options to choose from. Any of them will work on Chromebooks except the Microsoft Office options.

Just give it a try right now to see if it solves your offline video playback problem as well.

HINT – If you experience general video playback problems on your Chromebook (online or offline), this post offers some more tips & tricks.