How to directly download shared files from Google Drive

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December 31, 2012How-To Guides20 Comments

Although Google Drive lets you download any Google Doc or Google Viewer files with your shared users, it is not very obvious like the Dropbox’s download button. You often have to instruct users to go to the File menu and then click Download As to download the file. This is very frustrating when you email or IM the Google Drive file link. The most common response from a user with whom you have shared a download file link is an email from Google Drive asking you to change the sharing settings. It would have been useful if Google Drive included a “Download” button next to the “Comments” and “Share” button. Until then you would have to be content with this little force download URL hack. An example of the URL that Google Drive generates for a doc will be something similar to

https://docs.google.com/document/d/0Ajm8mDIuTqeGdDl6LVdQeWJFTEdQQ2hfa0FXWVk2OUE/edit

To make Google Drive document downloadable you will have to know two things 1. The file code or id, which is a 44 character alphanumeric value in the shared URL that uniquely identifies that file. 2. The desired file format. These URL and formats are specific to the Google Drive file type Document. Below is a table which shows the different documents types, their download URL, and their respective formats.

Also Read: How to free GBs of space on an iPhone without deleting photos, apps, and files using the Cleopatra trick

Non-Google doc File : https://docs.google.com/uc?id=[FILE_ID]&export=download
Format : none

Google Document : https://docs.google.com/document/d/[FILE_ID]/export?format=[FORMAT]
FORMAT : docx, odt, rtf, pdf, txt, html

Google Presentation : https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/[FILE_ID]/export?format=[FORMAT]
FORMAT : pptx, pdf, svg, png, jpg 

Google Drawings : https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/[FILE_ID]/export/[FORMAT]
FORMAT : pdf, svg, png, jpg

  • guest

    Thanks for a great tip!
    Do you know how to directly download shared Google Spreadsheet?
    I tried to figure it out myself, but I failed.

  • Raza Jarrar

    Thank you 🙂

    I too need to download spreadsheets via same process… please guide

  • SHIDHIN

    for spreadsheet (xlsx) file??

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  • LONG

    Hi! Every one . This is good.
    Fasting speed : Download file from google driver with IDM Fast speed
    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNiZIx2gcuE

  • Hugo

    I wanted to download a vedio that send by my friends from docs.google, but its ID just 28 alphanumeric value only. I can watch it online but can’t download through the way that you suggest. Any idea on that? Thanks

  • Right away I am ready to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming again to read additional news.

  • Ram

    Is there a way where we can provide a name to the file while downloading.

    I am usnig BITSAdmin to download some files from FTP and I am able to download them successfully.Now, I would like to use the same feature for downloading google spreadhseets. Is it possible ?

  • Joe

    When I download a shared video from Google Drive, the quality is MUCH more poor than the version that was shared. The video is a song, which looks and sounds fine. The version that is downloaded has the video and audio out of sync, and the video plays upside down. :-\

    Any idea how to remedy that? I can use another program to flip it right side up, but the syncing thing is beyond me.

  • Fred

    3.5 years later and it doesn’t look like they have fixed this.

  • Fred

    Every comment shows up as “December 31, 2012” :\

  • hm

    what about .zip

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  • Soham

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8wZFXkzxxbeZF9IX3YzM2ZnWlE/view
    How to download the embeded item from the above site?? Pls Help

  • Jawad Ahmed

    Now Google drive web view allow you to download entire folder, just right click and hit Download, it will convert all contents to PC usable formates (i.e. xlsx, pdf, docx etc…) , zip and download in one shot.

  • ..

    Please tell how to download undownloadable files… it comes…Sorry, the owner hasn’t given you permission to download this file.

    Only the owner and editors can download this file. If you’d like to download it, please contact the owner

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  • Abh

    I dont understand why things are so complicated in this virtual world.Simple things like download are made so complicated in Google.

  • Michael

    Thank you very much!
    Took me hours to find how to connect to xlsx file with Power Query.
    Thanks to you I was able with this url:
    “Non-Google doc File : https://docs.google.com/uc?id=%5BFILE_ID%5D&export=download

    Thanks a lot!
    Michael

  • Faruk

    its working thanks for sharing information

  • Aqua

    I am using following version:
    Non-Google doc File : https://docs.google.com/uc?id=%5BFILE_ID%5D&export=download
    Format : none

    Does anyone know what “uc?” mean in there? The link does download the file but it is opening as read-only for me with filename: uc. The tool I am using these links in, needs to open multiple files from google drive but with all of them named “uc”, it’s not possible. Is there a way to open files by the name they are stored in drive?