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How to download files and folders from Google Drive

How to download files and folders from Google Drive

Google Drive logo.

Google Drive lets you download a single, multiple, or all of your files from your account to your desktop or mobile phone. You can even download documents, sheets and slides in compatible formats on your computer. Here’s how to do it.

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

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Download a single file or folder from Google Drive

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

When you find the item you want to download, right-click it and select “Download”.

If your folder is too large in size, it will take some time for Disk to create a ZIP file.

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

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

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Download multiple files or folders from Google Drive

To download more than one file or folder, first find these items on Google Drive.

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

Select more items.

Once your items are selected, right-click on an item and select “Download.”

Google Drive will zip your files and allow you to store this ZIP on your computer. You’re ready.

Download all files or folders from Google Drive

If you want to download everything from Disk at once, use Google’s Takeaway service to do so.

Start by launching the browser and opening the Google Takeaway page. There, sign in to your Google Account.

After logging in, from the top of the item list, select “Remove All”.


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


Scroll down the page completely and click “Next Step.”


From the “Delivery Method” drop-down menu, select “Send Download Link via Email.” This way you get a link to download all the contents of Disk 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 select “ZIP” or “TGZ”, depending on the format you prefer. (If you are using Windows, you will probably want ZIP.) Then click the size drop-down menu and select the maximum size for each archive. You can leave this at the default value if you wish.

Finally, at the bottom, click “Create Export.”

Select file type and size.

Google will start dumping your Disk content. Once this is done, you will receive a link to your email address to download the dump.

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Download documents, spreadsheets and slides from Google Drive

Just like your files, 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 the Microsoft Office format.

To do so, check out our dedicated Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations section. They will show you, step-by-step, how to download your online office files in various 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 the file manager. Keep in mind that as of this writing, you will not be able to 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.

Locate the file you want to download to Disk. Then tap the three dots next to the file.

Select the three dots next to a file.

In the menu that opens, to make the file available offline, tap “Make available offline.” To download the file to the file manager, select “Download”.

Make the file available offline or download it.

Google Drive saves the file on your phone accordingly. Enjoy!

If you want to upload files to Google Drive, it’s just as easy. Check out our guide for step-by-step instructions.

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