Unable to download files from Google Drive on Windows? Here is the fix

Google Drive is a cloud storage service that allows its users to store all their files and documents in one place. The large storage space, high security, and instant access make it a popular choice for internet users around the world.

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

Here are some fixes that you can implement if you encounter the same.

1. Check your internet connection

Make sure your device is properly connected to the Internet before performing important settings. Sometimes your internet connection is unable to establish a connection with Google Drive storage servers, so you may not be able to download anything.

A server outage 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 properly or the connection is unstable, preventing you from downloading your essential files. It is therefore crucial to rule out internet-related 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 seems connected, consider downloading something else on the same computer.


When your internet connection is not working, try to restart your router and check your internet connection on other devices. If no device connects to the Internet, contact your ISP to rule out hardware or connectivity issues.

However, if everything else works fine on the same device or on another device connected to the same internet, another issue may require further investigation.

2. Log out of all other accounts

Another reason Google Drive download may fail is when multiple accounts are logged into the same device. You may be trying to access files from another Google Drive account while signed into another.

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 be using to upload files.

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

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. At the top right of the page, click your profile icon.
  3. Click on Logout Where Log out of all accounts in case of multiple accounts.
  4. Sign in again and try to upload files from your Google Drive.
    Log out of account in Chrome

If signing out of Chrome doesn’t fix the problem, restart Chrome once.

3. Restart Chrome

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

Close and re-open your Drive/Chrome and verify 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 improves the user experience. This provides access to additional functionality that would otherwise be restricted or unavailable in the browser itself.

Although these extension functions are generally useful, they can sometimes interfere with the performance of your browser. Since you access Google Drive with the same browser, this could also create problems in its operation.

To eliminate this possibility, disable your browser 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 three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
  2. Go to More tools > Extensions.
  3. In the extensions window, disable particular extensions by turning the toggle to the left or click To delete to remove them completely.
    Disable extensions in Chrome

Disable any extensions you have installed if you have too many. Then try to upload your files. Then re-enable extensions. However, if that doesn’t work, consider clearing your browser’s cache.

5. Clear cache

Excessive amount of data in browser cache can lead to error in Google Drive download process due to overlaps and resource allocation. Clearing cache in Chrome can help.

To clear your browser cache, follow these steps:

  1. Open Chrome and click on the three vertical dots located in the upper right corner.
  2. Go to More tools > Clear browsing data or just press Ctrl + Shift + Delete to access the cache tab.
  3. In the cache window, select All the time in the Time range drop-down menu and click on the three options, namely: Navigation history, Cookies and other site dataand Cached images and files
  4. Click on Erase data.
    Clear Browser Data in Chrome

6. Reset Chrome to Default Settings

When Chrome is reset to its default settings, it automatically resets to factory settings and removes any browser-related obstacles that may be preventing Drive from downloading files. This has an equal chance of not fixing the issue under discussion but improving browser performance for a period of time.

To reset Chrome, follow these steps:

  1. Open Chrome and click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. To expand Advanced in the menu on the left side.
  4. Click on Reset and Clean.
  5. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults and click on the Reset options button.
    Reset Settings in Chrome

Remember that resetting Chrome may erase any customizations you have made to the browser. Consider reinstalling Chrome if resetting Chrome didn’t work.

7. Reinstall Chrome Browser

Reinstalling Chrome gives your browser a clean start, which might help fix 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 Google Chrome in the menu and click on the Uninstall button.
  4. Next, download the Chrome client from another browser and install it.
    Uninstalling Chrome in Windows 10

If reinstalling Chrome doesn’t fix the download problem, try downloading the same files in another browser as a last resort.

8. Switch to another browser

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

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

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Even if you can’t download files from another browser, it’s probably your Google Drive account that’s complicating things. The only thing you can do here is wait to download the files later.

Still unable to download files from Google Drive?

Hope the fixes in this list will help you start downloading files from Google Drive, but if it doesn’t work then there might be a problem with your Google Drive account. Log in to another account and try to download files while staying in the same browser to confirm. If your account was the culprit, transfer the files to another account and download them.

Despite a few downsides, Google Drive should still be your first choice for cloud storage. Due to its simple user interface, affordable pricing, powerful search, and support for third-party apps, it has gained popularity over time.

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