How to fix Google Drive not downloading files (2022)

How to fix Google Drive not downloading files (1)

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Thanks to the dominance of Gmail, both in our personal and professional lives, lots of us have switched to Google Drive for our cloud storage needs.

Google Drive is generally a great tool. Personal accounts get 15 GB of storage for free; basic corporate accounts get 30 GB. You can edit all kinds of documents, including Microsoft Office ones, right within the app. You can even share files with others and download them too.

The downloading part, however, does sometimes break. Do a quick search online, and you’ll see lots of messages asking for help to the tune of “Google Drive won’t let me download my files.”

A common error here is HTTP 403, saying that access to … was denied. Logically, you might wonder how that can be and why Google could be restricting access to your own files.

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Let’s look at some of the reasons behind why you cannot download Google Docs and explore a few ways for how to fix it.

Why Google Drive Won’t Let Me Download Files?

While Google Drive errors for denying access, failing to perform an action, or forbidding something are truly very occasional, they nevertheless result in a fury of questions from users.

Few things are as alarming as not being able to have complete control of your files. So why does it happen?

There are generally three catalysts for Google Drive errors: your user account, your browser, or your Mac (or even a combination of these).

But don’t worry, here’s a thorough troubleshooting guide that will allow you to download your files again in no time.

Try a few ways to download files

Surprisingly, Google Drive gives you several methods for downloading any file. So while there might be a glitch with one of them, others might work as usual.

First, if you cannot download Google Docs files, try to open them in the editor and then select File ➙ Download ➙ pick a format.

Second, for any other file, you can right-click in Google Drive ➙ Download.

How to fix Google Drive not downloading files (2)

Third, you can select any file, then open a menu in the top bar using the three-dot icon ➙ Download.

Fourth, if you double-click on photos and PDFs, or if you choose Preview from the top menu for any other file, you can then click the download icon at the top.

(Video) Can't download files from Google Drive anymore ? || Simple & Smart Trick for Easily Download Files

Fifth, when you try to download a few files at once, Google Drive will create a zip archive. There are instances where this archive could fail to download. To fix this, close the Google Drive tab — it will give you a warning that files were not saved, select Leave and the download should start properly.

Use a single Google account to log in

If you’re using multiple Google accounts (e.g. for work and personal), Google Drive sometimes might improperly mix up permissions to download certain files.

To fix this, log out of all Google accounts. Then only log back in with the account that should have access to the file you want to download and try again.

Download a file in private browsing mode

It’s also possible to download any Google Drive file without being logged in to a Google account.

To do so, start by creating a shareable Google Drive link:

  1. Select a file in Google Drive
  2. Click Get Link in the top bar
  3. Change permission to “Anyone with the link” and role to Editor
  4. Copy link

How to fix Google Drive not downloading files (3)

Try open a few browsers in private or incognito mode (Shift + ⌘ + N in Safari) and pasting the link in. The permission errors should now be resolved.

Clear browser cookies and cache

Quite frequently the Google Drive not downloading can be attributed to your browser’s settings, specifically to it saving something incorrectly in its cache files and cookies. So clearing them both could help.

When it comes to getting rid of cookies and cache, every browser is different.

In Safari, for example, you go to Preferences (⌘ + ,) ➙ Privacy ➙ Manage Website Data ➙ Remove All.

How to fix Google Drive not downloading files (4)


In Google Chrome, go to Preferences (⌘ + ,) ➙ Privacy and security ➙ Cookies and other site data ➙ See all cookies and site data ➙ Remove All.

How to fix Google Drive not downloading files (5)

The problem is that the process for each browser is quite different and making sure you delete all cached files and cookies is not easy. When you want full control over the data your browsers retain, you should use an optimization tool like CleanMyMac X.

CleanMyMac X is a powerful but intuitive app that lets you tweak any part of your Mac in just a few clicks. You can scan your drive for old, unused files, get rid of mail attachments, free up RAM, reindex Spotlight, uninstall apps completely, and, of course, clean anything within your browser.

To delete cache and cookies from all browsers at the same time:

  1. Launch CleanMyMac X
  2. Navigate to the Privacy tab
  3. Check all your browsers and select Cookies
  4. Click Remove

How to fix Google Drive not downloading files (6)

After you clear all cache and cookies, make sure the cookies themselves remain enabled for Google Drive to work properly.

Disable ad blockers

With ad blockers rising in popularity over the past few years, some web apps started to inadvertently break in unexpected places.

So if you’re using any ad blocking extension (or an ad blocker app for Safari), turn it off, reload your browser, and try to download from Google Drive again.

Improve your network connection

After you make sure that the “Google Drive won’t let me download” problem is not with Google Drive itself or your browser, it could also be with your Mac, starting with the network connection.

(Video) Can't download file. To download this file, try enabling third party cookies for drive Problem

If your WiFi connection is poor or unstable, or simply off, Google Drive might throw all kinds of errors related to file downloading. The best way to troubleshoot your internet connection is to use NetSpot.

NetSpot makes it easy to analyze your wireless network in seconds without all the technical complexities. At a glance, you can get information on signal strength and noise levels. You can test your speed and even create a heatmap to see how the WiFi signal is actually spreading across your space. In the end, it’s so much easier to come up with a quick fix when you know what the problem is.

How to fix Google Drive not downloading files (7)

Mount your drive locally on Mac

Another Mac-centric solution for when you cannot download Google Docs is to bypass the browser altogether and download Backup and Sync from Google, which turns your Google Drive into a folder on your Mac, from which you can copy files just as you would with any local folder.

If you don’t want to take up all your Mac’s storage space with Google Drive, there is one more option you can use.

CloudMounter is a unique tool that lets you mount any cloud storage locally on your Mac, but as an external drive, meaning it would take up no local storage space (just like an external physical hard drive). CloudMounter supports Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon S3, Backblaze — nearly any storage solution you can think of!

Once you mount Google Drive with CloudMounter, you can essentially download any files just by dragging it out of the Google Drive folder to your Mac.

How to fix Google Drive not downloading files (8)

As you can see, the Google Drive not downloading problem has lots of potential solutions. First, try a few options of downloading the file from Google Drive itself. Then, log out and log back in using a single account. Try to go into the private browsing mode. Clear your browser’s cache and cookies with CleanMyMac X. Disable your ad blocker. Stabilize your WiFi with NetSpot. Finally, mount Google Drive as an external drive on your Mac with CloudMounter. If all else fails, restarting your Mac is always there.

(Video) Google DRIVE wont download files in FIREFOX 2021- 10 second fix

Best of all, CleanMyMac X, NetSpot, and CloudMounter are available to you absolutely free for seven days through the trial of Setapp, a platform with more than 210 apps that any Mac user would find incredibly useful, from managing your menu bar (Bartender) to protecting your online privacy (ClearVPN). Test out every Setapp app today at no cost and find the ones you have to add to your collection!


Why is Google Drive not downloading all files? ›

Clear browser cookies and cache

Quite frequently the Google Drive not downloading can be attributed to your browser's settings, specifically to it saving something incorrectly in its cache files and cookies. So clearing them both could help. When it comes to getting rid of cookies and cache, every browser is different.

Is there a limit on Google Drive download? ›

Users who reach the 750-GB limit or upload a file larger than 750 GB cannot upload additional files that day. Uploads that are in progress will complete. The maximum individual file size that you can upload or synchronize is 5 TB.

Why is Google Docs saying my storage is full when its not? ›

If Google Drive still says your storage is full, you probably didn't have large files in your trash. In this case, analyze your Drive's files and see if you can remove some of the files from there. Google Drive allows you to quickly sort your files by size, making it easy to find and delete the storage-hogging items.

Why is my Google not downloading anything? ›

Quick Tips to Solve Fix Chrome Won't Download Files Issue

Make sure your Internet connection is working normally. Fix Internet stability issues if the connection is unstable. Try to download the file later. Contact the website owner.

How do I download large files directly to Google Drive? ›

Option 3 – Use Google Drive Backup & Sync
  1. Open the Google Drive app.
  2. Hit Add (the plus sign)
  3. Hit Upload.
  4. Select the files you want to upload. If it's a text file, the upload will automatically take place. If it's a video or image file, select the file and hit Upload.
7 Apr 2021

How do I change download settings in Google Drive? ›

Change download locations
  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More. Settings.
  3. At the bottom, click Advanced. Downloads.
  4. Adjust your download settings: To change the default download location, click Change and select where you'd like your files to be saved.

How do I download 100gb files from Google Drive? ›

Once you've located your large file, right-click on it and click the “Get link” option.
  1. This action will open the Google Drive share menu. ...
  2. You can also download files on mobile. ...
  3. Once the project is created, click the menu button, click on APIs & Services, and click on Library.
1 Sept 2022

What happens if you exceed Google Drive limit? ›

If you go over your storage limit, you won't lose anything. However, you won't be able to store new files in Google Drive or store new photos or videos in Google Photos, and you may not be able to receive emails with your Gmail address. Need more room?

How do I check my Google Drive limit? ›

Your storage is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. When your account reaches its storage limit, you can't send or receive emails. To see how much space you have left, on a computer, go to

Why do I have 100GB Google Drive? ›

Signing up for a Google One membership gets you 100GB of space to use across Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos for $2 a month. You'll also get access to a number of other features, like automatic backup for your Android device's photos, messages and contacts.

How do I fix Google Drive glitch? ›

How to Fix Google Drive Not Loading Error
  1. Method 1. Clear the Caches and Cookies. ...
  2. Method 2. Check for Update. ...
  3. Method 3. Disable Browser's Plugins. ...
  4. Method 4. Restart Google Drive. ...
  5. Method 5. Try another Browser. ...
  6. Method 6. Try an Incognito Window.
19 Jan 2022

What does clearing Google Docs cache do? ›

When you use a browser, like Chrome, it saves some information from websites in its cache and cookies. Clearing them fixes certain problems, like loading or formatting issues on sites.

How do I download a 5gb file from Google Drive? ›

Open the Google Drive website (
  1. If you're not logged into your Google account already, click "Go to Google Drive" and enter your details.
  2. Select all the files that you wish to download. ...
  3. Click the menu icon in the top-right corner of the window to access More Actions.
  4. Click "Download".
5 Jul 2022

Why are all of my downloads failing? ›

Check Your Internet Speed and Connection

You need a stable internet connection for downloading files. So, you should first ensure that your internet connection is active and stable. To get started, test your Wi-Fi speed with a reliable speed test tool.

Why is Google stopping my downloads? ›

Why the download was blocked. Your file download may be blocked for one of a few reasons: We think it might be a malicious, unwanted, uncommon, or insecure file. Malicious: You tried to download malware.

Why is my Google download stuck on pending? ›

Here is how to fix download pending error

You may have to free up some space by uninstalling unused apps. At times, updates or security patches of your device might cause download issues. To ensure that the Android device is updated, go to System update under device settings.

How do I fix pending downloads? ›

How to fix the Google Play Store "download pending" error
  1. How to fix the Play Store download pending error.
  2. Check current downloads and updates. ...
  3. Check your connection.
  4. Check your storage and SD card.
  5. Restart your device. ...
  6. Download apps through your browser instead.
  7. Clear Google Play app cache and data. ...
  8. Check for system updates.
12 Nov 2022

How do I download a 20gb file from Google Drive? ›

You can do this on the web or by using a file browser, Windows Explorer, macOS Finder, or any other means of accessing your Drive that you prefer. Navigate to the folder your file is in. Once you've located your large file, right-click on it and click the “Get link” option.

How can I download large files without failing? ›

It's quite easy to download huge files without worrying about failures on an Android device.
  1. Open settings and look for “downloads”, default location is C:\<name>\downloads.
  2. In your tray, look for the file you downloaded. Rt Click for a menu of option.
  3. Nothing yet, press Ctrl+J for a list of all your recent downloads.

How do I upload 20gb files to Google Drive? ›

Drag files into Google Drive

On your computer, go to Open or create a folder. To upload files and folders, drag them into the Google Drive folder.

Can you download all documents from Google Drive? ›

You can export and download your data from Google Drive, which includes items from Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Sites, Drive, Forms, and Jamboard. You can create an archive to keep for your records or use the data in another service. You can download files that haven't been deleted.

Can you download files directly to Google Drive? ›

To download files directly to Google Drive, click on Google Drive and select “Remote Upload” in the dropdown list. Next, in the pop-up window, enter the link address. Click “Save to Cloud” to continue. Wait for it to complete.

How do I enable download settings? ›

Pictorial representation of the above settings are as follows :
  1. 1 Open "Setting" from app screen.
  2. 2 Tap on "Apps".
  3. 3 Tap on "three dots" on the top right corner of the screen.
  4. 4 Select "Show System Apps".
  5. 5 Search for "Download manager"
  6. 6 Tap on "Enable" option.
12 Oct 2022

Where are Google Drive settings? ›

Settings. To get to Drive for Desktop's settings, go the system tray and click on the Google Drive symbol. Click on the gear symbol and then Preferences.

How do I find download options in Google Drive? ›

Download a file
  1. Go to
  2. Click a file to download. To download multiple files, press Command (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) click any other files.
  3. Right-click. click Download.

How long does it take to download 100GB file? ›

What broadband download speed do I need?
File sizeBroadband speed
10GB2.2 hours38.1 mins
50GB11.1 hours3.2 hours
100GB22.2 hours6.4 hours
1 more row

How much does 100GB of Google Drive cost? ›

Google Drive provides the most basic storage upgrade plan for 100GB, and the plan has been officially adjusted by Google to pay $1.99 a month instead of the previous $4.99.

Can I get more than 100 GB on Google Drive? ›

When you upgrade to a paid Google One monthly subscription, your total storage increases to 100 GB or more, depending on the plan you choose. You also get extra member benefits and access to support from Google experts -- all of which you can share with your family.

How can I get Google Drive 1TB for free? ›

Eligibility: Every Google Workspace Individual account will get free 1TB cloud storage. Users don't have to do anything. The upgrade will happen automatically. Alongside, Google is also adding ability to mail merge tags like @firstname to multi-send emails.

How do I get around my Google storage limit? ›

By default, a free Google Drive account gives you 15 GB, but you have the option to expand storage by upgrading to Google One, with plans for 100 GB ($1.99 a month), 200 GB ($2.99), or 2 TB ($9.99). If you don't yet have a Google Photos account (or a Gmail account), starting one is easy: Visit

How can I get Google 2022 free storage? ›

Cleaning up your inbox, spam, and emptying the Gmail trash can are great ways to free up Google Drive space. Therefore, you can delete unwanted emails with large attachments.

What MB is the limit in Google Drive? ›

Drive upload limits

Individual users can only upload 750 GB each day between My Drive and all shared drives.

How is my Google Drive full? ›

If you receive lots of emails with attachments, they might be responsible for hogging your Google Drive space. To free up some storage space, open your Gmail account and delete all messages that you no longer need.

How can I get Google Drive 5TB for free? ›

We will rely on a third-party cloud backup tool, CBackup, to achieve it. This software enables you to combine multiple Google accounts, and other cloud accounts to get 5TB, even Google Drive unlimited free. For example, you could merge 10 Google Drive accounts with 100GB storage to get 1TB of storage space for free.

How can I get 100GB for free? ›

How to Get 100GB Free Cloud Storage for Each Cloud?
  1. Degoo – 100GB free.
  2. CBackup - 10GB free.
  3. MEGA – 50GB free (one month only)
  4. Google Drive – 15GB free.
  5. Box – 10GB free.
  6. Sync – 5GB free.
  7. OneDrive – 5GB free.
  8. Dropbox – 2GB free.
19 Oct 2022

How long is Google cloud free trial? ›

The free cloud platform tier allows you to access the incredible features of Google's cloud in two different ways: 12-month free trial. Always Free.

Why is my Google Drive stuck on loading? ›

Try basic troubleshooting

A weak connection is a common cause of many connection errors. Try to connect to another network to see if your files load correctly. You can use offline mode while your connection is weak or unavailable. Read more about offline mode and how to set it up.

Why is my Google Drive upload failing? ›

If Google Drive is full, it will cause the “Google Drive upload failure” issue. Therefore, you can check how much storage is left. If it is not sufficient, you can choose to upgrade your Google Drive account. Now, you can check your Google Drive storage on the web, or by Drive for Desktop.

Why does Google Drive get stuck? ›

The browser we use saves cookies, browsing history and other data so that we can visit websites faster. However, too much data may cause some problems such as the “Google Drive upload stuck” issue. Then, when uploading is stuck on Google Drive, you can clear data and cache saved on the browser.

Is deleting cache good? ›

It is a good idea to clear your browser cache because it: prevents you from using old forms. protects your personal information. helps our applications run better on your computer.

Are cache files OK to delete? ›

After all, cached data isn't vital to the performance of an app or website; it just means the files on it will have to be reloaded. Although, constantly clearing your cache isn't a permanent solution since you'll eventually be reopening apps and revisiting websites at some point.

Is it OK to delete cache files? ›

Is it safe to clear an app's cache? In short, yes. Since the cache stores non-essential files (that is, files that are not 100% needed for the correct operation of the app), deleting it should not aversely affect the functionality of the app.

What is the max file size for Google Drive? ›

Drive upload limits

Individual users can only upload 750 GB each day between My Drive and all shared drives. Users who reach the 750-GB limit or upload a file larger than 750 GB cannot upload additional files that day. Uploads that are in progress will complete.

How do I reset Google Drive? ›

How to restart Google Drive or Desktop on Windows 10
  1. Click the Start button in Windows.
  2. Find the program called "Google Drive" or "Drive File Stream".
  3. Click the program.
  4. Wait for 20 seconds Google Drive For Desktop will reload, and you should regain access to your files.
14 Nov 2022

Why is my Google Drive download taking so long? ›

As your browser stores more cache and cookies, it could slow down. Clearing the cache and cookies can fix issues with items taking longer to load. See Clear cache & cookies. Browser extensions and plugins can sometimes cause issues with Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms.

Why when I try to download it keeps saying pending? ›

More often than not, the Google Play Store download pending error means that other apps are updating at the same time. You may encounter this problem if you download multiple apps simultaneously. To fix this: Go to Google Play > Manage apps & device > Manage.

Why are my downloads stuck on waiting? ›

Check Available Storage

If your phone is running out of storage, start by removing unnecessary apps and data to free up space from your phone. You should also take a look at the available storage on your SD card if you use one. If the issue persists, remove it from your phone and then try downloading the apps.


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