Top 9 Ways to Fix Cannot Download Files From Google Drive on Desktop

Top 9 Ways to Fix Cannot Download Files From Google Drive on Desktop

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Users facing this issue are getting errors like Access Denied, Failed, Forbidden, etc. In some cases, clicking the download button does nothing. Whatever problem you have while downloading folders or files from Drive, this article 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 PC once before moving on to the other solutions.

2. Use the correct method to upload 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 downloading files.

Method 1

To download files from drive.google.com, right-click the file once. Select Download from the menu. Likewise, if you want to upload multiple files, first select the files and then right click on one of the selected files. Choose Download from the menu. Downloading of files will begin.


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Method 2

In Google Drive, select the files or folders you want to download. Click on the three dots icon at the top. Select Download from the menu.


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Method 3

If you’re trying to upload an individual photo or video, open the file. You will see the download icon in the upper right corner. Click on it to download the file.


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Pro tip: If Method 3 fails to upload the photos, click the three-dot icon at the top of the individual photo. Select Open in New Window. When the image opens in a new window, click the Download icon, as you saw in Method 3.

Method 4

If you are not signed in to any Google Account, you will see the Download button on the right side of the files in list view in Google Drive. Hover your mouse over the image and the Download button will appear.


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If you display the files in the grid view, the Download button will be present on the file. Click on it to download the file. You can also click on the Download All button at the top.


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3. Solve the problem with Zip files

If you download multiple files using the two methods mentioned above, they will not be downloaded separately, but a Zip file will be created. For many users, Google Drive gets stuck on Prepare Zip file only message. It does not prompt them to download a Zip file.

To resolve this issue, you need to click on the Exit Site button when a pop-up appears asking you whether you want to exit the site or Cancel. Click the Exit button to start the download process.


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In the pop-up window that appears, click on the Blocked tab. Check if you find a link related to Google. Click on it and hit the Allow button at the bottom. Finally, click on Done. Restart the page or browser and you should be able to download the files again.


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5. Change Google account

When someone sends you a Google Drive link to download files, you must be signed 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 generates 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.

But the owner can also restrict the files to a few selected users only based on their email address. So if you are not logged in with the email that has access to these files, you will get errors like Forbidden, Not Available, etc. In such cases, you need to change your Google account to the correct one.

The owner who generates 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 sync function of Google Chrome. Whenever you receive a Google Drive link accessible from another account, you must switch to that account.

To do this, open drive.google.com. You will be logged in with the default account. Click on the profile picture in the upper right corner of the Drive screen. Your Google accounts will be displayed. Click on the one you want to switch to. A new window will open where you are logged in with your second Google account.


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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 your Google account in Drive.

6. Delete all Google accounts

If changing 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.

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7. Check ad blockers and antivirus

Are you using ad blocking extensions on your browser? Disable any ad blockers or recently downloaded third-party extensions. This should fix the problem.

Likewise, if you are using an antivirus on your computer, turn it off temporarily. See if you can download files from Google Drive.

8. Change browser

Sometimes the problem is only with a particular browser. First, update the browser. If that doesn’t solve the problem, try downloading the file using a different browser.

9. Workaround: Open in incognito mode

Although this is not a suitable solution, use this method as a workaround if nothing else allows you to download files from Google Drive. Basically, when someone sends you a Google Drive link, copy and paste it into your browser’s incognito mode. This way, you should be able to upload files as long as the share permissions are set to “Anyone with the link can view the file”.

To open incognito mode in Chrome, click the three-dot icon in the upper right corner. 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.


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The same workaround can also be used to upload your own Google Drive files or folders. Right click on the file you want to download. Select Share from the menu.


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In the Get Link section, click Change to anyone with the link if it is not selected. Then copy the link and paste it into the incognito window and download the files.


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Then:

Have you ever been curious about what matters in Google Drive storage and what isn’t? Find out the answer in our guide using the following link.

Last updated Oct 21, 2020

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