How to Download from Google Docs Shared With Me

198503 How to Download from Google Docs Shared With Me

Google Drive allows users to easily share files and folders with others. When someone shares a file or folder with you, it appears in your “Shared with me” folder in Google Drive. You can view and access these shared files directly within Google Drive.

However, sometimes you may want to download a copy of a shared file to your own drive or computer. Here are the main ways to download files from Google Drive that have been shared with you:

View the File in Google Drive

The easiest way is to simply open the shared file directly within Google Drive:

  1. Go to and login to your Google account
  2. On the left sidebar, click Shared with me
  3. Locate the file you want to view and click to open it
  4. You can now view the file, but if you want to edit it you’ll need to make a copy (see next section)

Note: If the owner has disabled downloading for the shared file, you won’t have an option to download it directly.

Make a Copy to Your Own Drive

Rather than downloading, you can make a copy of a shared file which saves it to your Google Drive:

  1. Open the shared file in Google Drive
  2. Click File > Make a copy
  3. Google Drive will now make a copy and save it to My Drive
  4. You can now edit, download and share this copied file as needed

Making a copy lets you obtain the shared file without having to download it, while still allowing full editing capabilities.

Download a Shared File

If you specifically need to download a copy of a shared file, use these steps:

  1. Open Google Drive and go to Shared with me
  2. Right-click on the file and select Download
  3. The file will now download to your computer

Some key points:

  • You can download folders shared with you as a ZIP file
  • If the owner has disabled downloading, this option will be greyed out
  • The download format may differ based on file type (e.g. PDF, Word doc)

Download Multiple Files

To download multiple shared files at once:

  1. Go to Shared with me in Google Drive
  2. Check the boxes next to files you want to download
  3. Click the More button > Download
  4. Select ZIP to download folders or multiple files as one ZIP archive

This allows you to obtain all the files you need in one download rather than having to do each one individually.

Download from the Share Link

Sometimes a Google Docs file or folder is shared with you via a shareable link rather than directly shared to your Google Drive.

To download from a share link:

  1. Copy and paste the entire share link into your browser
  2. Add /copy to the end of this link
  3. Press Enter – this will open a copy of the file in your Google Drive
  4. You can now download this copied file as needed

So a share link like would become to create a copy.

Download from Google Docs Preview

If you open a Google Docs share link and it shows a preview of the document, use these steps:

  1. In the document preview, click the File menu
  2. Choose Download > select file format
  3. The document will download to your computer

This lets you directly download the shared Doc while viewing the preview, without needing to open the full document in Google Drive.

Request Edit Access to Download

If the owner has fully restricted access to the shared file, you won’t be able to view, preview or download it.

In this case you can:

  1. Go to Shared with me in Google Drive
  2. Right-click the file and select Request edit access
  3. The owner will receive your request and can choose to enable downloading
  4. Once enabled, you’ll be able to download the file

So if you can’t access a shared file at all, you’ll need to specifically request permission from the owner.


There are a few different ways to download a Google Drive file that someone has shared with you:

  • Make a copy to retain it in Google Drive
  • Directly download for use on your computer
  • Download multiple files at once as a ZIP
  • Use the share link if provided to create a copy
  • Request edit access if the file is fully restricted

Remember that the original owner determines the share settings, so downloading may be restricted. But using these tips you should be able to access files shared with you in most cases.