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Why I Can't Download Shared Files from Google Drive?

► "In Google Drive, why can't I download a shared file. My friend shared a movie with me. I don't want to use the Google Drive video browsing tool to view the file. I decided to download it and found that it could not be downloaded. What should I do?"
► "How do I download a shared file from Google Drive without losing it. I was trying to download data from shared folder by using download an archive of... well everything. I deselected everything, just archived Google Drive, it allows me to choose the maximum download size. I unzipped it, but I didn’t get the shared folder I was looking for."

When the first problem above occurs, you may not have the proper access rights. Maybe someone gave you "can view" access instead of "can edit" (if it's a file) or "can only view" access instead of "can organize, add, and edit" (if it's a folder). If you want to download a file, you can ask the owner of the file to change the access permissions assigned to you "can edit" (for files) or "can organize, add and edit" (for folders).

In the second case, you need to understand that if you use the download archive service page "https://takeout.google.com/", you will only download your own files. It clearly states that "the data contained are files you own that have been stored in My Drive and computer." For example, only when you add folder Share With Me to My Drive not shortcut, you can select it for archiving. 

In a word, you can download shared files or folders directly from Google Drive web. But if the owner prohibits the download, you cannot do so. Next, this article proposes appropriate solutions for the two situations with and without download permissions.

⬇️ Built-in option in Google Drive: You can use the "Download" option to get shared files with/without permission.
🗄️ Cloud file manager: MultCloud supports adding Shared with me and downloading files with permission from it everywhere.

How to Download from Google Drive Shared With Me (having permissions) 

Download from Google Drive Shared With Me
Download from Google Drive Shared With Me

1. Use Google Drive's Built-in Download Option

If you do have permission to download Shared With Me folder, the user interface will be different. There are breadcrumbs at the top, showing the path of your folder. After the current folder name is a caret for a drop-down menu with the "Download" option. 

Clicking on it will open a small pop-up window at the bottom showing the progress of compressing the folder into files. When finished, your browser will start downloading the zip file.

Download Option in Shared With Me Folder
Download Option in Shared With Me Folder

If you need to download a single shared file, you need to do this:

Step 1. Go to the Google Drive web page and log in with your Google account (if you are not already logged in).
Step 2. Click "Share with me" in the main menu on the left. You should see a list of all the files and folders that others have shared with you.
Step 3. Right-click (or Ctrl+click, if you are using a Mac) the file you want to download, and then click "Download".

Download Option in Shared With Me File
Download Option in Shared With Me File

Warm Tips:

  • If you just want to download some files, you can use CTRL and SHIFT for multiple selection. Then click a vertical dot button in the upper right corner, there is a download option, you can do the same thing.
  • If you are downloading a folder, Google Drive will convert it to a .zip file before downloading. You need to keep this browser tab open until the conversion is complete, then you are able to see the progress in the lower right corner of the screen.
  • If you want to download a single file. You should need to keep the browser open until the download is complete. Most browsers will display the progress in the lower left corner of the screen.

After the download is complete, you can find the file or folder you just saved on your computer. And, the storage location of the file or folder (for most people, it will eventually appear in the "downloads" folder) is determined by your browser settings. 

2. Download Shared With Me File Using Cloud File Manager

Here is a multiple cloud storage manager --- MultCloud, this tool can help you manage one or more Google Drive accounts. In addition, MultCloud also supports adding other cloud storage services commonly used by users, such as Dropbox, Dropbox Business, iCloud Photos, iCloud Drive, Google Workspace, Google Photos, OneDrive, MEGA, Flickr, FTP, Box, pCloud, Amazon S3, NAS and FTP/SFTP etc. In this way, you can manage multiple cloud storage accounts at the same time in one place.

So, how to download from Google Drive Shared With Me with MultCloud?

Step 1. First, you need to register a MultCloud account. You can register with your frequently-used email address, or you can directly register an account with your Google, Facebook or Apple ID.

Sign Up
Sign Up

Step 2. Add "Shared with me" of Google Drive. Go to the back-end interface of MultCloud, click "Add Cloud", and then select "Shared with me" to add. In this process, you need to grant MultCloud access to Google Drive.

Add Shared With Me
Add Shared With Me

Step 3. After the addition is successful, open "Shared with me" in MultCloud, select the file to be downloaded, and then click the right mouse button to select the "Download" button (you can also select it directly from the upper toolbar).

Download Files from Shared With Me
Download Files from Shared With Me

When the file is downloaded successfully, you can view or edit the file directly on your local device. In addition, in the process of using MultCloud, you can also use other functions it provides, such as Cloud Transfer, Team Transfer, Cloud Sync, Cloud Backup, Remote Upload, and Email Migration.

  • 🌼Cloud Transfer can support you to transfer files or folders in one cloud drive to another, such as movimg Shared With Me file to My Drive permanently, without uploading and downloading steps. You can also choose to migrate data between other cloud drives.
  • 🌷Team Transfer can support you in migrating sub-account data across different business accounts. For example, you can easily merge 2 Google Workspace accounts.
  • 🌻Cloud Sync can support you in syncing files or folders in two or more clouds in real time. There are 9 sync modes to choose from, such as "Real Time Sync", "Two-way Sync", "Simple Sync", "Mirror Sync", "Move Sync", "Cumulative Sync", "Update Sync", "Incremental Sync", "Full Backup Sync".
  • 🌺Cloud Backup can support you to back up important data in a cloud storage service to another. For example, you can directly back up pictures in Flickr to Google Drive, or backup NAS to Google Drive, etc.
  • 🪻Remote Upload can support you to directly upload network files (URLs, torrent files, magnet links) to cloud drives, without downloading additional parsing tools for operation.
  • 🏵️Email Migration can support you in smoothly downloading emails and attachments to local storage space or migrating them to your cloud accounts.

With the aid of these features, you can easily manage the data in multiple clouds with only one MultCloud account. File migration, sync or backup can also be operated directly on MultCloud without frequent account switching, which can save a lot of precious time to do other meaningful things. And, from now on, you can use the MultCloud Save extension to convert HTML to PDF or PNG directly, then save them to local or cloud.

How to Download from Google Drive Shared With Me (no permissions)

If the owner does not provide you with copy or download permissions, how to download a shared file from Google Drive?

Google Drive provides an option to prevent shared files from being modified, edited, and downloaded, so as to maintain the originality of the file, avoid copyright and prevent abuse. Therefore, the owner of the file can disable editing and download options for files (such as images, videos, music, PDF, Google Docs, slides, tables, etc.) stored in Google Drive.

If Google Drive file permissions are set to private, there is no easy way to download. So, you need to proactively ask the owner to give you download permission. In the following guide, the tested method and detailed operation steps will erase a lot of trouble for you.

Step 1. First check whether you have the right to download the file.

No Download Option in Shared With Me File
No Download Option in Shared With Me File

Step 2. Ask the owner to change the copy or download permission of the file in Google Drive.

Check Download Print and Copy Option
Check Download Print and Copy Option

Step 3. Check again if you have the download permission. If it appears, you can download the file directly.

Download Option in Shared With Me File
Download Option in Shared With Me File


If you don’t know how to download from Google Drive Shared With Me, the 3 practical methods mentioned in the article can solve your doubts, and the detailed steps can also help you complete the task better. When you have the download permission, you can use the built-in download option of Google Drive, or MultCloud to complete the operation; if you do not have the download permission, you need to actively seek permission from the sharer.

When you have multiple clouds, you can use MultCloud to manage multiple cloud accounts in a unified manner. When it comes to file transfer, sync, backup, and even remote uploading of files to a cloud drive, you can also use the related functions provided by MultCloud to easily complete the entire operation.

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