How To Create Direct Download Links Of Files Stored In Google Drive


Whether it is a document, video, picture or anything, you can virtually store anything on Google drive and also share it with people you care about using the super easy inbuilt sharing features.

Added to that you can easily view each and every file within your browser using your web viewer. But are you aware that you can use Google Drive to host files and provide your users with direct downloads of them instead of just letting them open it in their browsers?

When you click on the link of a file stored in Google drive then you are taken to the preview page where you can view the file and if the uploader who has shared it with you allows it then you can even download it.

Using one simple tweak you can enable Google to begin  a download when someone clicks on a Google drive link by making just a small change to the shared URL.

In this article I will show you how you can do that and once you finish reading you will have much things to be shared  with your friends.

A regular (for viewing) shared Google drive file URL looks like this

I have removed the file ID and replaced it with FILE_ID you can replace it with the ID of your file and bring it into use.

If you want to start a download of the shared file when anyone (with whom the file is shared) click on the link then instead of sharing the link in the default format above share the link the below customized format.

This will send a request to Google to export the file and initiate the download of the file instead of opening it into the viewer.

You can also do the same with Google Docs, which is a part of Google’s platform to provide cloud office to everyone. Whether it is a word document or a presentation you can start a download using the same kind of URLand go ahead and edit as we have done above.

The default URL of a Google doc of type word document looks like this,

If you notice carefully in the URL above, you will see that this URL itself commands Google Drive that the file has to be opened in the editor and the link is shared.

Using this same way the link commands drive to show the editor to start a download. All we would need to do is replace the last few words in the URL with new ones.

I mean,( replace edit?usp=sharing with export?format=pdf and the file will be exported into pdf format).You can also replace the last letters pdf with doc, txt or html to download the file in different respective formats.

This same tweak can also be applied to Google presentations and Google spreadsheets. As the format of the URL is same for them, all you need to do is just replace document in the default URL with presentation or spreadsheets and change the file ID with the one’s you want to download.

So, how did you find this simple little tweak with a decent application? Do let us know via comments and don’t forget to share it with your friends.

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