Office 365 / Chromebook file incompatibility?

Occasional Contributor

Word 365 is supposed to work on Chromebooks. But files open only in "read-only" - and all the discussion of this I can find refers to either Word 2016 or other Chromebook-irrelevant issues. With *every* file, I get "Read only - you can't save changes" and the only option is to save a copy. Which then does the same thing.


I have paid for a subscription - and the program simply won't work. Could someone PLEASE respond to this - I write this after two hours of research has got me nowhere.

3 Replies
Hi Richard, happy to help!
Two questions to better understand;
Where are you opening the files from? Your OneDrive, or a different location (such as your Google Drive or your email)?
And which version of Word are you using on your Chromebook? World Online or the Android App version of Word?

Let me know if you need help determining either of those.

Hi Max,


This seems to be a problem with accessing Word files while offline. Online, through OneDrive, I can access and edit old files, or create and edit new ones. But whether or not I'm online, if I store a file locally for offline use my only option is Word 365. And regardless of whether I navigate to a file from my Chromebook's "Files" tab or from within the app, I get "Read Only: You Can't Save Changes." So it appears to be impossible to use Word 365 (except as a reader), and therefore impossible to edit and re-save a Word file while offline. 


(Initially I thought this was a .doc v .docx problem, as I had some old files that had to be updated first. But both updated files and newer docx. files do the same thing.)


Everything I'd read indicated both that Word 365 was now fully compatible with (newer) Chromebooks. But I'm not seeing it - and, if true, that means there is no way to interact at all with a Word file on a Chromebook while offline.


(Just to test, I downloaded 365 onto my Android phone, where it works fine and I never get that Read-Only message.)   


Any illumination gratefully received.

@Richard Farr It's 2020 now and I bought my daughter a Chromebook with Office 365 subscription on it. What can I say: It's still not possible to write and read files from the Chromebook file system in Word or other Office programs. The interface is confusing too, some kind of Android style thing.