How to Download Files and Folders from Google Drive


Google Drive lets you download one, many, or all of your files from your account to your desktop or mobile phone. You can even download your Docs, Sheets and Slides in compatible formats to your computer. Here’s how.

Before you start downloading your files, make sure your device has enough free space to accommodate these files.

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Download a single file or folder from Google Drive

To download an individual file or folder, first run Google Drive on your desktop. Then find the file or folder you want to download. If you choose to upload a folder, Drive will compress it into a ZIP file.

Once you find the item to download, right-click on it and choose “Download”.

If your folder is too large, Drive will take a while to create a ZIP file.

Right click on a file and choose "To download."

When your file or folder is ready to upload, your computer’s standard “Save” window will open. Here, select where you want to save your downloaded content, then click “Save”.

Select a folder and click "Save."

Your downloaded file or folder will be available in the specified directory and you are good to go.

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Download multiple files or folders from Google Drive

For upload more than one file or folder, first locate those items on Google Drive.

Select the items you want to download. You can choose multiple files by holding down the Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) key while clicking the files.

Select multiple items.

When your items are selected, right click on any item and choose “Download”.

Right-click an item and choose "To download."

Google Drive will compress your files and allow you to save this ZIP to your computer. You are ready.

Download all files or folders from Google Drive

If you are looking to download everything from your Drive all at once, use Google’s Takeout service to do it.

Start by launching your web browser and open the Google Takeout site. There, sign in to your Google account.

Once logged in, at the top of your item list, choose “Deselect All”.

To select "Unselect all" at the top.

Scroll down and enable the “Drive” option. This ensures that only the contents of your Drive are exported.

Activate it "Conduct" option.

Scroll down the page and click “Next step”.

To select "The next step" basically.

From the “Delivery Method” drop-down menu, choose “Email Download Link”. This way, you will receive a link to download all of your Drive content via email. From the “Frequency” drop-down menu, select “Export once”.

Select delivery method and frequency.

Click the “File type and size” drop-down menu and choose “ZIP” or “TGZ”, depending on which format you prefer. (If you’re using Windows, you probably want ZIP.) Next, click the size drop-down menu and choose the maximum size for each archive. You can leave this at the default if you wish.

Finally, at the bottom, click on “Create an export”.

Choose the file type and size.

Google will start creating a dump of your Drive content. When this is done, you will receive a link to your email address to download this dump.

Download documents, spreadsheets and slides from Google Drive

Just like your files, your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides can also be easily downloaded for offline use on your computer. You can download these files in various offline supported formats, including Microsoft Office format.

To do this, consult our dedicated parts for Docs, Sheets and Slides. They will show you, step by step, how to upload your office files online in different formats.

Save files from Google Drive to your smartphone or tablet

For mobile phones and tablets, Google Drive offers two download options: you can make a file available offline or you can download a file to your phone.

In the first option, your file is made available for offline use, but you must use the Google Drive app to access it. In the second option, you get the actual independent file to work with in your file manager. Keep in mind that as of this writing, you cannot download folders from Google Drive to your phone.

To start the download process, launch the Google Drive app on your phone and sign in to your account.

In Drive, find the file you want to download. Then, next to this file, tap on the three dots.

Select the three dots next to a file.

In the menu that opens, to make your file available offline, press “Make available offline”. To upload the file to your file manager, select “Upload”.

Make the file available offline or download it.

Google Drive will save the file to your phone accordingly. Enjoy!

If you’re looking to upload files to Google Drive, that’s just as easy to do. See our guide for step-by-step instructions.

RELATED: How to upload files and folders to Google Drive


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