How To Download Scribd Documents For Free

Originally marketed as the “YouTube” for documents, Scribd began its operation as a way for anyone to publish and host their documents and writing online. Born out of the need for one of the site’s creators to host his father’s medical research without having to pay for publication and wait over a year for the documents to be published, the site gained notoriety in 2009 after signing a deal with several publications, including The New York TimesHuffington Post, TechCrunch, and several other blogs and publications to host their documents, as well as for their Scribd Store, which allowed users to sell digital copies of their work online.

Since then, Scribd has morphed into an online subscription service, built to read millions of eBooks, comics, and more online with a Netflix-like subscription service. Despite this refocus on more mainstream titles and novels, Scribd is still used by millions of people daily to host and share online documents using the platform built by the site itself. In the site’s documents section, you’ll find historical papers, political documents, poll results, and plenty of other information for use in your college assignments, term papers, or just as a general document of interest. And while viewing these articles is free by itself, albeit with some limitations on certain documents, downloading this information to your computer is limited for often than not.

While you should avoid downloading and using others’ documents without paying for a monthly Scribd decision, at the end of the day, certain users—students specifically—may find it difficult to pay for the research and other documents provided on the website. Luckily, there are some ways around these restrictions. Though the two methods outlined below are both occasionally hit or miss, they often can be used to bypass the Scribd security and subscription measures, making it easy to view the documents necessary for your next project or paper. Here’s what to do.


Method One: Uploading Documents

Our first method for downloading Scribd documents on the web today relies on uploading a document of your own to a Scribd account, in order to gain access to the document you want to download. We’ll be performing our test in Google Chrome, though you should be able to accomplish this in any modern browser, including Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. Start by heading over to and signing up for a new account. Alternatively, if you already have an account with Scribd, you can use your existing account by logging in. Scribd supports accounts with both Facebook and Google sign-ins, so starting a new account is as easy as clicking a button and linking your account. Once you’ve signed in, find the document you want to download and copy the URL down to an outside source, like a Google Keep note or Word document.

From here, you’ll want to click the “Download” option on the right side of your display. This will automatically redirect you to a page designed to help you set up your Scribd subscription, complete with a 30-day trial. Above this page, however, you’ll see an option to upload files from your computer, with a button that reads “Select Files to Upload.” Click this button and, on your computer, prepare any kind of document. If you have a word processor installed on your computer, like Word or Apple Pages, you can use that to create a short, meaningless document. Alternately, you can use Google Docs to create a free document on your computer, and download it to your device. The document can contain anything, including straight gibberish; we recommend using a Lorem Ipsum generator if you’re having trouble figuring out what to write. When your document is uploaded, provide a title for the new file and hit “Save.”

Now, grab that URL we saved earlier in this process and paste it into the address bar at the top of your web browser. A download button should load on your device, and you’ll be able to save the Scribd document to your computer.

Method Two: Using the Page Source Code

The second of two methods used for viewing Scribd documents, this involves using Google Chrome to view the page’s source code to gain access to the page’s info. As mentioned above, we’ve experienced some hit or miss results with this method, but since it only takes a couple minutes of your time to try, it’s worth trying anyway. You’ll know this method has failed if you receive a message that announces an invalid key error. Otherwise, let’s get going with your Scribd document. This was originally our top-recommended way to download Scribd documents without paying for a membership, but we’ve heard from enough users having difficulty with this process to demote it to a backup method.


Start by navigating Chrome (or your browser of choice, though we’ve only tested this in Chrome) to the Scribd document you’re looking to save to your computer. Though Scribd also carries full-length novels and other works of fiction, we recommend only using this for nonfiction documents and other sources for your projects, papers, and research. Inside your document’s preview, right-click the document and select “View Page Source” from the menu. This will open a new tab in your browser, displaying the source information for your Scribd target.

In this new page, hit Ctrl+F to open the Find in Page UI in Chrome. In this field, enter the phrase “access_key,” and upon finding the result in the Scribd source code, highlight and copy the code to your computer. It should be an alphanumerical code, and appear as ‘key-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.” Now head back to the original document page in your browser and look at the URL in the top of the browser. This time, we’re looking for the document ID number in the URL of your specific page. Unlike the access key, the document ID is listed in the URL, and consists of several numbers. The URL should appear as “‘ TITLE.” We’ll be using the number portion of that link in a moment.

Now, open up a new tab in Chrome. We’re going to create a new URL using the information provided us by both the access key, the document ID number, and the following partial URL: “”. When you’ve pasted this URL into your new tab, replace the number section with the document ID and the access key area with the access key you grabbed earlier. Following this, you’ll have to wait a few minutes for the page to load as your documents begins to download from the Scribd servers. Once your document has finished loading, use the print option to print to PDF, and your document will be saved to your computer.

If this method doesn’t work for you, and you receive some form of error message from Scribd, retry using the first method listed above. Users have reported to us that their preferred method uses the document upload method listed above.



These are far from the only two methods for saving Scribd documents on your computer, but they’re by far the most simplistic and most reliable. And while other options exist, including using Greasemonkey as a script editor inside Chrome or Firefox to download the documents without workarounds, both methods above keep your browsers clear of any unwanted plugins while also providing a fast method to unlock Scribd information from your account. Neither method is perfect, but both have seen their fair share of success. Finally, we’ve also updated the above methods to make sure users are trying the method with greater success first, so make sure to follow along to ensure that you’re putting effort into the correct method.

Posted by Jamie on November 16, 2017

30 thoughts on “How To Download Scribd Documents For Free”

struggling says:
just try method 2 guys, much simpler – from a desperate person who has been struggling for 15 mins to download one single file
Anon says:
A method that works currently is simple. You see, they load the pages then put the block over it. in firefox, you can go to tools, page info, media, and it will show you all loaded pages.

So scroll all the way through the document, then select all the image files in the media section that are actually pages, and you’ll have your data

febri says:
Thank you, you make my day.
if someone confuse with 2nd option just try this.
1. sign up to scribd
2. upload whatever file use generator to fillc contain with word
3. if done, then open your url that you want to download, it will be downloadable
Daniel says:
Where does the download button appear I can’t see it?
Dave says:
Do you see all the way on the right side and almost all the way at the top, how there is an icon of four arrows, pointing away from each other? Then immediately to the left is a printer icon, and to the left of that, an arrow pointing down. The arrow pointing down is the download. Good luck!
johnny says:
how do you download from method 1 thru firefox?
Nath says:
From :

“To view the source code of a web page in Mozilla Firefox, follow the steps below.
Press Ctrl+U on your computer’s keyboard.
Open Mozilla Firefox and navigate to the web page of your choice.
Press the Alt key to bring up the browser’s menu bar.
Select Tools, Web Developer, and then Page Source.
Tip: With the latest versions of Firefox, pressing the F12 key or Ctrl+Shift+I brings up the interactive developer tool. This tool provides much more interaction with the source code and CSS settings, allowing users to see how changes in the code affect the web page immediately.
View a section of the page’s source code
Highlight the portion of a web page for which you’d like to view the source code.
Right-click that highlighted section, and then click View Selection Source.
Tip: Use the Firebug add-on to not only view the source code of a page but change and view those changes live through the browser.”

Hyuga says:
thumb up for 2nd method..TQ
kezzy jones says:
How did you get it to work? any help here please.
ididthistoavoidgivingoutmyinfo says:
Method 2 still works even though they seemed to have redesigned their site a little and some of the button names have changed.
daniel says:
Pls what is the new representations on their site
Raissa says:
The second method worked for me. On moment that I clicked on “done” on the upload page, appeared a window with the desired file for me to download it.. Thanks
Gracias says:
Thanks a lot .
Method 1 worked for me after pasting the genrerated url in Mozilla firefox browser.
anonymous says:
thank you so much……
the second method worked like charm.
i have been looking for the PDF in internet for sometime torrents everything you name it.
at last i found it in scribd but cant download it due to trails and finally with your method i got the file.I am really happy cheers.
Sandun says:
Thanks a lot.. you are wonderful.. Method 2 Works for me
Jason says:
Method 2 works fine for me……thanks a lot
Sky says:
Thanks!! Option 2 worked with Internet Explorer for me
Abdullah Khan says:
Method 2 worked, even in google chrome…
Thanks so much <3
Kaya says:
Method 1 worked fine in Internet explorer but the download option did not work. So you can read it online only. Anyway Thanks man!
aseem says:
method 2 works. Thanks buddy
dudewa says:
method 2 works
John Stamos says:
PEOPLE Method#1 works just fine so long as you open the link in INTERNET EXPLORER not GOOGLE CHROME.
Nath says:
OH thank u! I was wondering why it wouldn’t stop “typesetting”, “rendering”… lol
G says:
Method 1 works on IE. Method 2 is no longer an option.
Elly says:
Both methods work for me.
BUT, 1st method doesn’t let me download the file only print it or simply read it online.

I did manage to get my file with method two 🙂
Thank you

Funk Dawoop says:
Hello, method 2 worked for me!
Nachiket says:
None is working for me.
1st method downloads a generic ScribdViewer.swf file.
2nd method doesn’t even show the ‘download’ option in bullet#4.

Please help!

darius says:
i think you downloaded from google chrome… right.. use IE
Pete says:
#1 doesn’t even work with the deprecated IE which shouldn’t be used anymore.
Deepika says:
For me, none are working – can someone help me download one document
Arno says:
Option 2 works ! Thanks man 😀
zztse says:
Seems method 1 and 2 are now being fixed by Scribd. Method 2 is not allowing to replace the Url with the desired url. Method 1 hold up for excessive long time forces to leave.
Paige says:
We’re you able to have any success? I did access key URL and it seemed to start working but then was denied.
cctse says:
Scribd has been sending email to me on the BookID they are checking for plagilism. So even they are nmot allowing upload and download on checking every documents I uploaded.
L says:
option two surprisingly works thanks soo much.
Diego says:
2nd method worked just fine, cheers
MasTTer says:
I try the first method and it’s working, thanks! 😀
Z says:
2nd works like a charm! I owe you one.
Giorgi R. says:
First isn’t working! 🙁
Toshik says:
thanks man, you are life saver

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