Download files and folders from Google Drive

Google Drive logo.

With Google Drive, you can download single, multiple, 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 to do that.

Before you start downloading your files, make sure that your device has enough free space for 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 find the file or folder you want to download. If you choose to download a folder, Drive will compress it to a ZIP file.

Once you find the item you want 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 download, your computer’s standard “save” window will open. Here, select where you want to save your downloaded content and then click ‘Save’.

Select a folder and click "Save."

Your downloaded file or folder will be available in the folder you specified and you’re all set.

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Download multiple files or folders from Google Drive

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

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

Select multiple items.

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

Right click on an item and choose "to download."

Google Drive ZIP your files and allows you to save this ZIP on your computer. You are done.

Download any files or folders from Google Drive

If you want to download everything from your Drive at once, use Google’s Takeout service to do that.

Start by launching your web browser and opening the Google Takeout site. Log in to your Google account there.

Once you’ve signed up, choose “Deselect All” at the top of your item list.

Select "deselect everything" on the top.

Scroll down and enable the “Drive” option. This ensures that only your Drive content is exported.

Activate the "To ride" option.

Scroll all the way down the page and click ‘Next step’.

Select "Next step" At the bottom.

From the “Delivery method” drop-down menu, choose the “Send download link via email” option. This way you will receive a link to download all the contents of your Drive via email. From the ‘Frequency’ drop-down menu, select ‘Export Once’.

Select the delivery method and frequency.

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

Finally, click on ‘Create export’ at the bottom.

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 that dump.

Download Docs, Sheets and Slides from Google Drive

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

Check out our dedicated Docs, Sheets, and Slides pieces for this. They will show you step by step how to download your online office files 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.

The first option will make your file available for offline use, but you’ll need to use the Google Drive app to access it. The second option gives you the actual independent file to work with in your file manager. Please note that you cannot download folders from Google Drive to your phone at the time of writing.

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 tap the three dots next to that file.

Select the three dots next to a file.

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

Make the file available offline or download it.

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

If you want to upload files to Google Drive, you can do it just as easily. Check out our guide for step-by-step instructions.

RELATED: How to Upload Files and Folders to Google Drive

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