How to download files and folders from Google Drive

How to download files and folders from Google Drive

Google Drive logo on smartphone stock photo 2


To download a file or folder from Google Drive, right-click it and select Download.


How to download a file from Google Drive (desktop)

While it may seem like you should be able to click and drag a file or folder directly to your desktop, the process isn’t quite so simple.

First, open Google Drive on your browser, then click the file you or the folder you want to download. If you wish to download multiple files or folders simultaneously, hold Command (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) while clicking any other files.

download multiple files

Adam Birney / Android Authority

Next, right-click at least one selected file, and choose Download. Alternatively, you can double-click on a single file to open it and click the Download icon in the upper right corner.

How to download a file from Google Drive (iOS or Android)

The process is relatively straightforward on the mobile app. Tap the three-dot icon beside the file or folder you want to download, then scroll down and tap Download.

Drive download android

Adam Birney / Android Authority

It may ask you where you want to save the file on your iPhone. For example, you can save an image or video to your camera roll by tapping Send a copy and selecting Save image or Save video.

Why can’t I download a file from Google Drive?

If you can’t download a file, it’s likely because you aren’t the file owner. The owner may have limited your access to only viewing or commenting on a file. The owner will have to enable options to print, download, or copy for those with whom they have shared the file.

First, open your Chrome cookie settings. Then, scroll down to find the Sites that can always use cookies section under See all cookies and site data. From there, click Add a site and enter

Drive cookies

Adam Birney / Android Authority

Make sure to check the box that reads Include third-party cookies on this site.

If you are still having trouble downloading a file or folder from Chrome, try turning off all extensions. If you can then download a file, turn the extensions on one at a time to identify which one was the source of the problem.

Read more: How to upload files to Google Drive


Can a viewer download files from Google Drive?

If you are not the file owner and your access is limited to view-only, you cannot download a file from Google Drive. Instead, you will have to message the file owner to allow you download access.

Where does Google Drive download to?

When you download a file or folder from Google Drive, it will ask you where to store it. For example, you can download files from Drive to your desktop, documents on PC, a different app, or external storage devices.

How do I download a ZIP file from Google Drive?

Select the ZIP file, right-click it and then click Download. Wait for the zipping process to finish then, and your download should start automatically. If it doesn’t start, click the link. Drive may ask you to leave the page, so click Leave, as clicking cancel will stop the process.

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