Is it possible to download all folders from a shared Google Drive folder? I don't want people to have to download > 300 files individually. I am sending this to people that don't have Google accounts, so they can't just press the blue Google Drive button I assume.

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The simple answer to your question is: if the person you are sending the link to does not have a Google account, they will not be able to download all the files in the folder at once.

Obnoxious? Yes. Yes it is.

Edit 9th Aug, 2017

As pointed out by qweruiop (thanks!), this feature is now (finally!) available:

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    Accepted. At least the people looking for this information will know it is not possible. In the mean time I also enquired with Google support. But they didn't seem to have any interest to fix this. – tobias47n9e Feb 27 '15 at 20:27
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    No changes?! still no way to do it? – Sam Jan 21 '16 at 17:56
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    This feature is now available.See imgur.com/a/VoAH4 – qweruiop Aug 9 '17 at 17:11
  • @qweruiop thank you for pointing it out! Added the new info (and your image) to the answer. – Gabriel Aug 9 '17 at 17:21

2016 update . This still isn't possible in Google Drive, and, judging by the frosty response from Google when asked about it, it seems to be by design. It honestly looks like if you're sharing with friends, family or colleagues who might not have Google accounts, Google wants the user experience to be bad.

If you're the person receiving the shared folder, you're stuck. Google says no.

Since the question is from the point of view of the person creating the shared folder, there are two workarounds I'm aware of:

  • Similar to Victor's suggestion: create folders as normal, and also, into your master folder, upload a massive ZIP file containing all the files, so that everyone can browse the files in Drive but non-Google "heretics" can also still download conveniently despite Google's efforts. If bandwidth or file capacity isn't an issue, and if people will be happy with the choice between one-at-a-time downloads or everything-at-once downloads and nothing in between, this might be an acceptable compromise.
  • Forget Google Drive and set up a free OneDrive account intsead. This is how I'm solving the problem - it has exactly the feature I wish Google Drive had. Here's a screenshot from a shared folder viewed by someone with no account not logged in who simply followed a link:

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Clicking that "Download" button with nothing selected simply downloads everything, as one zip file. Or you can select and download individual folders. Nice!

The only downside I noticed in switching from Google Drive to OneDrive is, OneDrive's web view doesn't (currently) have a handy "Upload folders" option, like Google's. If you're using the web view, you have to create the folders manually, then select all in your folder and upload the contents. It's not too bad though, 5 clicks instead of 1.

There's one other big advantage to OneDrive from a content creator's point of view: you can chose a sort order, including manual sort, and save it to be the folder's default sort order for people viewing it. Viewing users can choose and save a different sort order for themselves, if they want, but you can control the default order.

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    Google give 15GB free across an account's Drive, Gmail, etc, then charge for more. Microsoft give 5GB free (was 15GB when this was written) for Onedrive, then charge for more. If you prefer Google and want to disallow folder downloads to anonymous users, go ahead, means absolutely nothing to me. This question asked how to allow users without accounts to download folders, which Google Drive can't currently do. – user56reinstatemonica8 Aug 5 '16 at 22:03

You can create a compressed folder of the files and share a link to that compressed folder for them to download.


Step 1: Put your Drive into list view

Step 2: Click the first file in the list, then hold shift and down to highlight the rest of it.

Step 3: (Optional) Hold shift and click on anything you don't want to include in your e-mail in order to un-highlight it and keep it out of the downloaded file.

Now that you have your files highlighted, some new icons should have appeared in the toolbar on the top right side of your Drive. Not the toolbar with the round picture of you (or a generic blue dude) on the right-hand side of it. The toolbar directly beneath that one with the little gear on the right-hand side.

Step 4: Click on the icon that looks like this three dots stacked on top of each other.

Like this --->⋮

Step 5: Select "Download" from that dropdown menu.

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    Did you try that out while NOT being logged in with a Google Account? The question is not about what a person can do while being logged in. – tobias47n9e Jul 16 '15 at 8:53
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    This answer is suitable for those having google account. – AjayKumarBasuthkar Feb 23 '16 at 14:56
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    @Conor, this doesn't answer the question. -1 – Ligemer Aug 5 '16 at 21:27

If you do have a google account the UI is a bit different. There are breadcrumbs at the top showing the path to the folder you're in. After the current folder's name is a caret with a drop-down menu with a Download option. Clicking on that opens a little pop-over at the bottom showing the progress of zipping the folder into a file. When that is complete, your browser begins downloading the zip file.

caret menu


If you just want to download some files, you can click on them using CTRL and SHIFT for multi-selecting. Then there is a vertical dots button at the top right with a download option that does the same thing.

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Use the download feature. Select the files you want to download. Choose the More and select Download...

A window will popup asking what format you want to download the files in. Make your choice, then click the blue download button.

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Note: this was found in Google Drive Help.

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    I think that is something that only works when one is viewing the files inside Google Drive and not the shared folder view. I can't even select the files and there is no "more" button in the shared view. Probably have to cancel my Drive subscription and move my stuff to Dropbox or something else. – tobias47n9e Nov 6 '14 at 20:52
  • If these files belong to your Google Drive account, you should be able to do this. If it is shared to you from another account, these features may not be available. Are those features available in a different folder that is not shared? – CharlieRB Nov 6 '14 at 22:50
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    I don't think that people without Google accounts have of those features. It is really the dumbest sharing service imaginable. I might as well send 300 emails with one attachment each. – tobias47n9e Nov 7 '14 at 8:24
  • The account owner may have set the share permissions specifically to avoid what you are doing. That being said, you might ask the owner of the account to grant you full access so you can download the files. – CharlieRB Nov 7 '14 at 12:20

You can actually select all the pictures shared with you and click on ADD TO MY DRIVE. And then locate the pictures in your current my drive folder and select to download the entire folder! ;-)

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    To clarify the reason for the downvote (not mine): OP said the recipients don't HAVE Google accounts, and thus no "My Drive" of their own. For anyone else, this is the only way to download shared folders. – kaay Jul 3 '15 at 6:34

ATM you can add the shared content to your drive (option on top right) and from there you can download the folder which will be automatically zipped.

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