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Can’t Download Files From Google Drive on Windows? Here’s the Fix


Google Drive is a cloud storage service that allows its users to store all their files and documents in one place. The ample storage, high safety, and instant access make it a popular choice for internet users worldwide.

Even so, it can occasionally malfunction, just like any other cloud service. You may find that Google Drive won’t let you download files. Typically, this is a browser issue with little connection to your operating system or machine.

Here are a few fixes you can implement if you are experiencing the same.

1. Check Your Internet Connection

Make sure your device is connected correctly to the internet before making significant adjustments. Sometimes your internet is unable to establish a connection with Google Drive’s storage servers, so you may not be able to download anything.

Server failure can also lead to the same problem, but in this case, it is not valid since Google uses backup servers. Therefore, either your internet is not connected correctly, or the connection is unstable, preventing you from downloading your essential files. It is, therefore, crucial to rule out internet issues.

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Look at the internet icon at the bottom left of your taskbar to check your internet connection. If the internet appears connected, consider downloading something else on the same computer.


When your internet connection is not working, try restarting your router and checking your internet connection on other devices. If no device is connecting to the internet, contact your ISP to rule out hardware or connectivity problems.

However, if everything else works fine on the same or another device connected to the same internet, another issue may need a more detailed investigation.

2. Log Out of All Other Accounts

Another reason why the Google Drive download may fail is when multiple accounts are logged onto the same device. You may be trying to access files in another Google Drive account while logged into a different one.

A collision of this type prevents you from downloading your files. As such, you should log out of all your other accounts except the one you will use to download files.

To log out of your Google account, follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. On the top-right side of the page, click on your profile icon.
  3. Click on Sign out or Sign out of all accounts in case of multiple accounts.
  4. Log in again and try downloading files from your Google Drive.
    Signout Out of Account in Chrome

If logging out of Chrome doesn’t solve the problem, restart Chrome once.

3. Restart Chrome

In some cases, this error is not related to user account overlaps or server delays but rather arises simply from a browser bug, which can be easily fixed by restarting the application.

Close and open your Drive/Chrome again and check by downloading a file from Google Drive. Continue with the other fixes below if the error persists.

4. Disable Extensions

Adding extensions to a browser enhances the user experience. This provides access to additional features that would otherwise be restricted or not available in the browser itself.

Although these extension functions are generally helpful, they can interfere with your browser’s performance at times. Since you access Google Drive with the same browser, this could also create issues in its operation.

To eliminate this possibility, turn off your browser’s extensions one by one, especially those that directly interfere with its script, such as ad blockers, site blockers, etc.

To disable extensions in Chrome, follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on three vertical dots in the top-right corner.
  2. Go to More tools > Extensions.
  3. In the extensions window, either turn off the particular extensions by turning the toggle to the left or click on Remove to altogether remove them.
    Turning Off Extensions in Chrome

Disable all the extensions you have installed if you have too many. Then try downloading your files. Then turn extensions back on. However, if that doesn’t work, consider clearing your browser’s cache.

5. Clear Cache

An excessive amount of data in the browser cache may cause an error in Google Drive’s download process due to overlaps and resource allocation. Clearing the cache in Chrome may help.

To clear your browser’s cache, follow these steps:

  1. Open Chrome and click on the three vertical dots located in the top-right corner.
  2. Go to More tools > Clear browsing data or simply press Ctrl + Shift + Del to access the cache tab.
  3. In the cache window, select All time from the Time Range drop-down menu and click on all three options, namely: Browsing history, Cookies, and other site data, and Cached images and files
  4. Click on Clear data.
    Clearing Browser Data in Chrome

6. Reset Chrome to Default Settings

When Chrome is reset to its default settings, it will automatically reset to factory settings and remove any browser-related obstacles which may prevent Drive from downloading files. This holds an equal chance of not resolving the issue under discussion but improving browser performance for a while.

To reset Chrome, follow these steps:

  1. Open Chrome and click on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Expand Advanced from the menu on the left side.
  4. Click on Reset and clean up.
  5. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults and click on the Reset settings button.
    Resetting Settings in Chrome

Remember that resetting Chrome may erase all the customizations you’ve made to the browser. Consider reinstalling Chrome if resetting Chrome hasn’t worked.

7. Reinstall Chrome Browser

Reinstalling Chrome gives your browser a clean start, which could help resolve any hidden issues that were previously present.

To reinstall Chrome, follow these steps:

  1. Open Windows Settings.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Locate and click on Google Chrome from the menu and click the Uninstall button.
  4. Next, download the Chrome client from another browser and install it.
    Uninstalling Chrome in Windows 10

If reinstalling Chrome does not resolve the downloading issue, try downloading the same files in another browser as a last resort.

8. Shift to Another Browser

Chrome may present problems, preventing the files from downloading when Google Drive is accessed through this browser. You might have already attempted to fix the problem, but it still doesn’t seem to have resolved itself.

Thus, it’d be wise to switch to another browser, such as Microsoft Edge or Firefox, and try to access and download the files from Google Drive.

RELATED: pCloud vs Google Drive: What Should You Choose to Keep Your Files Private?

Even if you cannot download files from any other browser, it’s most likely your Google Drive account that’s making things complicated. The only thing you can do here is wait to download files later.

Still Can’t Download Files From Google Drive?

Hopefully, the fixes on this list will help you start downloading files from Google Drive, but if that doesn’t work, something may be wrong with your Google Drive account. Log in to another account and try downloading files while staying in the same browser to confirm this. If your account was the culprit, transfer the files to another account and download them.

Despite some downsides, Google Drive should still be your first choice for cloud storage. Because of its simple user interface, affordable pricing, powerful search, and third-party app support, it has been gaining popularity over time.

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