How to Fix Google Drive Won’t Download Files

Can’t figure out why Google Drive won’t download files?

Google Drive is one of the best cloud storage services in the world. It has over 900 million users and offers plans up to 2TB of storage. 

With all the features Google Drive offers, businesses and individuals prefer using it to share files and documents. 

However, it can get annoying if Google Drive won’t download files on your computer. 

google drive wont download files

In this guide, we’ll show you a few methods to resolve this issue on Google Drive. 

Let’s begin!

1. Restart Your Browser. 

If you encounter problems with Google Drive, the first thing you should do is restart your browser. 

This should refresh your session and clear up any errors that may have occurred on your account. 

Simply close all the tabs on your browser and relaunch it after a few seconds. 

Go back to Google Drive afterward and see if you can now download your files. 

2. Restart Your Computer. 

You can also try restarting your computer if you still can’t download files on Google Drive. 

This way, you can rule out temporary issues on your system that prevent your browser from downloading files from the internet. 

For Windows users: 

  1. Click on the Windows icon on the Taskbar to open the Start Menu
  2. Now, access the Power Options tab. 
  3. Choose Restart from the pop-up menu. 
Restart PC

If you’re using a Mac: 

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. After that, choose Restart from the drop-down menu. 
  3. Confirm your action by clicking Restart again. 
Restart Mac

Try downloading files from your account to check if the problem is solved. 

Related: How to Fix Access Was Denied Error on Google Drive

3. Check Google Drive Status. 

Problems with Google Drive’s servers could also prevent you from downloading files. 

Since Google Drive is a cloud storage, it relies on its servers to store and deliver files to end users. 

You can use Google’s dedicated status page to check if there are issues or scheduled maintenance with the service. 

google drive wont download files

Sadly, server-related problems can’t be resolved on your end. If the servers are down, the only thing you can do is wait. 

On the other hand, you can proceed to the next step if the servers are online. 

4. Check Your Network Connection. 

An unstable internet connection could also be the reason Google Drive won’t download files on your computer. 

To confirm this, run a test on your network using to measure its bandwidth.

If the result indicates a problem with your connection, restart your modem or router to re-establish the link with your ISP. 

  1. Disconnect your router’s power cable from the outlet. 
  2. Wait for 5 to 10 seconds. 
  3. Plug back in the power cable and wait for your router to initialize. 
Restart Router

Run another test afterward to confirm if restarting your router solved the issue. If not, report the issue to your provider. 

5. Check Your Storage. 

Another reason why you can’t download files from Google Drive is if you’re running out of storage. 

Since you are using cloud storage, we assume that your device has a limited amount of storage. 

Try checking your drive and see how much storage is left. Make sure to leave at least 5 to 10 GB of free storage when downloading files to avoid issues. 

6. Clear Browsing Cache and Cookies. 

Browsers store temporary data on our computers which are called caches and cookies. These data are used by browsers to speed up website loading times and improve performance. 

Unfortunately, caches and cookies can accumulate and get corrupted. 

If you encounter problems using Google Drive, try clearing your browsing data to remove corrupted caches and cookies. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Access your browser’s settings. 
  2. Go to Privacy and Security
  3. Click on Clear Browsing Data
google drive wont download files
  1. On the pop-up window, change the Time Range to All Time
  2. Include caches and cookies by clicking all the checkboxes. 
  3. Click on Clear Data to start the process. 

Restart your browser and check if the problem is solved.

Related: How to Delete Files from Google Drive on iPhone

7. Refresh Your Account Data. 

Refreshing your account data might also help resolve temporary issues that may have occurred on your account. 

To do this, you’ll need to sign out of your Google account and log back in after a few minutes. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Open Google Drive on your browser. 
  2. Now, click on your Profile in the upper right corner. 
  3. Choose Sign Out of All Accounts and follow the prompts. 
google drive wont download files
  1. Wait for 2-3 minutes before logging back in. 

Try downloading another file afterward to check if the problem is solved. 

8. Disable Extensions. 

Third-party extensions could also be the reason Google Drive won’t download files on your computer. 

Extensions provide additional features to your browser, which improves user experience. 

However, some extensions are not optimized and could cause problems to websites it doesn’t support. 

Try turning off your extensions and see if you can download files from Google Drive. 

  1. Open your browser and go to Settings
  2. Next, access the Extensions tab from the side menu.
  3. Disable all your browser extensions. 
google drive wont download files
  1. Restart your browser. 

Go back to Google Drive to check if the problem is solved. 

9. Try Another Time. 

If you still can’t download files from Google Drive, there might be an unreported problem with the service. 

We suggest downloading your files some other time and see if the same issue occurs.

Make sure to check Google’s status page from time to time so you’ll be updated when a problem is reported. 

That ends our guide on how to fix Google Drive if it won’t download files on your computer. If you have questions, please leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it.


  • Jake Kovoor

    Jake is the Editor-in-Chief of Saint and an independent software developer, with a Bachelors in Computer Science from Lancaster University, UK. He loves trying out various tech from the Flipper Zero to coding Raspberry Pis for automation. He started Saint back in 2016, having written over 100 posts, with the sole purpose of creating guides for software that had yet to exist back then to help users navigate around their technical problems.

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