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How to Download View-Only Files From Google Drive

How to Download View-Only Files From Google Drive

Saving files in Google Drive is among the best ways to store important data. While it is easy to share your entire Google Drive with others, there can be instances where someone has shared a view-only file and you need to download it. Thankfully, there are workarounds you can try to download view-only files in Google Drive. Follow this guide to learn about them.

How to Download View-Only Docs From Google Drive  

You can easily download View-only documents from Google Drive in which you are not provided edit access. The process is the same as downloading a standard file. 

  1. Open the file that you want to download from Google Drive. 
  2. Click the File option from the menu bar. 
    Google Docs File option
  3. Select Download from the drop-down menu. 
    Google Doc Download option
  4. Choose the format you would like to save the file in. This can be PDF or word format.
    Google Doc format options
  5. Hit the Save button. 
    File Save button

Once downloaded, you can easily edit it and save the changes as and when needed. Do remember that whatever changes you make won’t be made to the Google Docs file. Instead, they will be made to the document you downloaded and saved locally on your PC. However, if the sender transfers the file ownership in Google Drive to you, the original file will be editable. 

How to Download View-Only Locked PDFs From Google Drive

Things get a bit complicated when you want to download a locked PDF from Google Drive. The download option is not available in such instances, so you have to use a workaround.

  1. Open the PDF file you’d like to save from Google Drive. 
  2. Let the file load and then scroll down to the bottom of the file. (Ex: If the file has 200 pages, scroll down to the end of page number 200)
    Locked PDF
  3. Access the Developer Console. For Google Chrome, press Ctrl + Shift + C on Windows and Cmd + Shift + C on Mac.
  4. Click the Console tab from the menu at the bottom. 
    Google Drive Locked PDF Console Tab
  5. Paste the code mentioned below and hit Enter/return
    Google Drive Locked PDF downloaded


let jspdf = document.createElement(“script”);

jspdf.onload = function () {

let pdf = new jsPDF();

let elements = document.getElementsByTagName(“img”);

for (let i in elements) {

let img = elements[i];

console.log(“add img “, img);

if (!/^blob:/.test(img.src)) {

console.log(“invalid src”);



let can = document.createElement(‘canvas’);

let con = can.getContext(“2d”);

can.width = img.width;

can.height = img.height;

con.drawImage(img, 0, 0, img.width, img.height);

let imgData = can.toDataURL(“image/jpeg”, 1.0);

pdf.addImage(imgData, ‘JPEG’, 0, 0);




jspdf.src = ‘’;


That’s it. The PDF should start downloading locally on your device.

Save Restricted Files From Google Drive

That’s it. Now, it should be easier for you to download restricted and locked files from Google Drive to your device. If you have just switched to Google’s cloud storage service, here is how to transfer your OneDrive files to Google Drive

You should also know how to scan documents directly to Google Drive.


Q. Can someone download a file from Google Drive as a view only?

A. Yes. The view-only option allows others to check the file without being able to make any additional edits or contributions. However, they can still download, print, or make a copy of the file and edit the document. 

Q. How do I download a video from Google Drive with view only?

A. To download a video from Google Drive, click on the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner and select the Download option from the list. Select the location where you would like to store the media and hit the Save/Download button. 

Q. How do I access restricted files on Google Drive?

A. You can open pretty much any file shared to Google Drive as long as you have at least view-only access to that file. However, you won’t be able to make changes to that file. 

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One thought on “How to Download View-Only Files From Google Drive”

Godwin Starks says:
Can I use the code for PDF to download PowerPoint files?

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Ronil Thakkar

Nov 23, 2023

Ronil is a Computer Engineer graduate who has a knack for writing about consumer technology. He has been covering news and guides about consumer electronics for around three years. His work has appeared on esteemed publications such as MakeUseOf, 91Mobiles, FossBytes, and Greenbot.

89 Articles Published