When a user uploads files to Google Drive, he expects such files to be easy to download and use in the future. While this happens in most cases, some users are unable to download files from Google Drive to their computer. Are you facing the same issue? Check out 9 ways to fix unable to download files from Google Drive on PC.
Users encountering this issue can get access Denied, Failed, Banned etc. getting errors. In some cases clicking the download button does nothing. No matter what issue you’re running into downloading folders or files from Drive, this post will help you.
Let’s start with the solutions.
1. Restart the Computer
Whether you are trying to download files from a Windows computer or a Mac, restart your computer once before moving on to the other solutions.
2. Use the Right Method to Download Files
There are several ways to download files from Google Drive. Let’s check them out.
Note: You cannot drag and drop files or folders from Google Drive to your desktop to download them. However, you can do this while uploading files.
To download a file from drive.google.com, right-click the file once. Select Download from the menu. Similarly, if you want to download multiple files, first select the files and then right-click on any of the selected files. Select Download from the menu. The files will start downloading.
Select the files or folders you want to download in Google Drive. Click on the three dots icon at the top. Select Download from the menu.
If you’re trying to download a single photo or video, open the file. You will see the Download icon in the upper right corner. Click on it to download the file.
Pro Tip: If Method 3 fails to download the photos, click on the three dots icon above the individual photo. Select Open in new window. Once the image opens in a new window, click on the Download icon as you saw in method 3.
If you are not signed in to any Google account, you will see the Download button on the right side of the files in the list view in Google Drive. Move your mouse over the image and the Download button will appear.
If you view files in a grid view, the file has a Download button. Click on it to download the file. Alternatively, you can click the Download all button at the top.
3. Fix Problem With Zip Files
If you download multiple files using the two methods mentioned above, they are not downloaded separately, but a Zip file is created. For many users Google Drive just gets stuck on Preparing zip file message. A zip file does not prompt them to download.
To fix this, you need to click the Leave site button when a popup appears asking if you want to leave the Site or Cancel. Clicking the drop button starts the download process.
We have covered the problem of Google Drive not downloading Zip files in detail. Take a look for other solutions. If you don’t want Google Drive to compress your files, see ways to download multiple files from Google Drive without compression.
4. Enable Cookies
For many Google Chrome users, Google Drive cookies were blocked and therefore they could not download the files. To enable cookies, open Drive.google.com in Chrome. Click on the little lock icon located on the left side of the address bar. Then select Cookies from the list.
Click on the Blocked tab in the popup that appears. Check if you can find any links related to Google. Click on that and hit the Allow button at the bottom. Finally, click Done. Restart the page or browser and you should be able to download the files again.
5. Change Google Accounts
When someone sends you a Google Drive link for you to download files, you must sign in with the same account that has permission to access those files. Basically, Google Drive file sharing permissions work in two ways. The owner who creates a link for the file or folder can allow anyone with the link to access the file. In this case, any Google account can be used to view or download files.
However, the file owner can only limit files to a select few users based on their email address. So if you haven’t signed in with the email that has access to these files, you will get errors like Forbidden, Not Available. In such cases, you need to switch your Google account to the correct account.
The owner who creates a link for the file or folder can allow anyone with the link to access the file
If you are a Google Chrome user, you can sign in to multiple Google accounts. However, one of them is used as the default account. This account is also used for the Google Chrome sync feature. When you get a Google Drive link accessible from a different account, you need to switch to that account.
To do this, open drive.google.com. You will be signed in with the default account. Click the profile picture in the upper right corner of the Drive screen. Your Google accounts will appear. Click the one you want to switch to. A new window will open where you signed in with your second Google account.
If you close the window and open the Google Drive website again, you will be signed in with the default account. Repeat the steps to change the Google account in Drive.
6. Remove All Google Accounts
If switching accounts doesn’t allow you to download files from Google Drive, you need to remove all Google accounts from Chrome or change your default account in Chrome. Then try to download files with only one account registered in Chrome.
7. Check for Ad blockers and Antivirus
Do you use ad blocker extensions in your browser? Disable any ad-blockers or recently downloaded third-party extensions. This should fix the issue.
Similarly, if you are using an antivirus on your computer, disable it temporarily. See if you can download files from Google Drive.
8. Change Browser
Sometimes the problem is only in a particular browser. First, update the browser. If that doesn’t fix the problem, try downloading the file using another browser.
9. Workaround: Open in Incognito Mode
While this is not a viable fix, use this method as a workaround if nothing else allows you to download Google Drive files. Basically, when someone sends you a Google Drive link, copy it and paste it in your browser’s incognito mode. That way you should be able to download files provided the share permissions are set to ‘Anyone with the link can view the file’.
Click on the three-dot icon in the upper right corner to turn on incognito mode in Chrome. Select the new Incognito window. Paste the link in the new window that opens. You can also use Chrome’s guest mode for this purpose.
The same workaround can be used to download your own Google Drive files or folders. Right click on the file you want to download. Select Share from the menu.
Under Get the link, click Change to anyone with the link if it’s not already selected. Then copy the link and paste it in the incognito window and download the files.
Try More Solutions
If nothing works, you should download the Google Drive Backup and sync app. It is available for both Windows and Mac. Use it to download files from your Google Drive account to the computer. Check out our guide on how to use the Google Drive Backup and sync app.
Next: Have you ever wondered what matters in Google Drive storage and what doesn’t? Find out the answer from our guide using the next link.