I've stored some images in Google Drive, and I'd like to view them on my tablet. The problem is, I can only view them one at a time and the procedure goes something like this:

  1. Open Drive.
  2. Navigate to image folder.
  3. Select image to view.
  4. View image.
  5. Press back.
  6. Select another image to view (while trying to remember which image I just viewed, so I don't view it again).
  7. Repeat steps 3 - 6.

If I could download the files onto the tablet, I could view them in the default image viewing application and the procedure is more like this:

  1. Select image to view.
  2. Slide left/right to view next/previous image.

Is there a way to download the files stored on Google Drive to an Android device?


I found a slightly awkward workaround. If you login to Google Drive using a web browser, clicking on the image will download it to /storage/sdcard0/Download/. You can then view the images using the default image viewer application.


After this question was asked, there have been many updates to the Google Drive app. Saving files to the device is now quite easy.

  • Click the three dot menu button below a file, and choose Download.
  • Long Press to select the file. Press the three dot menu button of the app, and choose download (can be used on multiple selected files).
  • Probably other ways I haven't described here.

Also, the primary problem I was having has been solved. You can now swipe to view the next/previous photo.

Thank you for all the answers, but this question is now obsolete.

  • You can use third-party apps like FolderSync to to fully download a Google Drive folder.
    – iOS
    Mar 1, 2013 at 17:04

6 Answers 6


You can use ES File Explorer.

To get connected:

  1. Press the settings button on the phone, or the app.
    Settings icon
  2. Expand the Network list, and click Cloud.
  3. Click New, and choose Gdrive.
    New iconGdrive icon
  4. Enter your Google credentials, accept the terms, and you're all set up.

To copy a file to the phone:

  1. Locate the file on Gdrive through ES File Explorer.
  2. Long press the file.
  3. Press More, then Copy to.
  4. Select the location to copy the file to, and press OK.


  1. Locate the file on Gdrive through ES File Explorer.
  2. Long press the file.
  3. Press Copy.
  4. Navigate to the location you want the file.
  5. Press Paste.
  • This answer might have been right at the time, but it needs updating. On my Android table, the Network settings referenced here don't exist Jul 16, 2015 at 16:21
  • For Total Commander users (personally recommended file explorer for Android) there is now an official plugin to seamlessly explore Google Drive (from the top menu accessible by floppy disk icon in the left upper corner). Just select and copy files or folders to your local storage.
    – trybik
    Oct 7, 2015 at 12:47
  • You saved my time....Tks
    – Ruban
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:45
  • Does Total Commander allow you to save directly to SD card @trybik? Apr 26, 2017 at 22:06
  • yes, just copy selected files or folders to a selected local folder (either SD card or internal memory)
    – trybik
    Apr 28, 2017 at 7:12

This may not be helpful, but when I long press any file and set it to "Make available offline", it ends up in /storage/sdcard0/Android/data/com.google.android.apps.docs/files/pinned_docs_files_do_not_edit/{hexadecimal string}/.

From there you should be able to copy them to some other location.

  • The problems with this approach are 1.) It's time consuming to make files available offline, as you can't make files available offline in bulk. 2.) It's awkward and time consuming once they are "offline", since you'll have to locate and move each file individually. Also when I locate the "offline" file and click on it, it says "Unable to load photo".
    – Tester101
    Mar 1, 2013 at 16:38
  • 1
    @Tester101: I don't disagree. It's a suboptimal solution.
    – ale
    Mar 1, 2013 at 16:51
  • I found the Google Drive files which I had made available offline on my android device. But, even though they maintained the original filename (e.g. filename.jpg), the system would not be able to open them, whether from the original location (e.g. /storage/sdcard0/Android/data/com.google.android.apps.docs/files/pinned_docs_files_do_not_edit/{hexadecimal string}/) or from another folder to which I had copied them. Depending on which app I tried to use to open the images, it would say "Media not found," or "Could not load image" or would simply display a broken image icon.
    – user51875
    Jan 28, 2014 at 1:11

It's actually very simply. Drive has that option built in. You just go to the options and click on download a copy. It will download the file into your download folder.

  • If you had 500+ images in your Google Drive, would you want to do that with each image?
    – jp2code
    Jan 28, 2014 at 22:36
  • I wasn't saying that it is the most efficient way for a situation like that but that Google drive does have that functionality built in. Jan 28, 2014 at 23:59

If you want to automatically keep a sub-set of your Drive synced to your device (as in, everything that shows up in selected Drive folders gets automatically downloaded to your device), you might look at DriveSync from MetaCtrl. I've used their equivalent app for DropBox for years and their stuff works great.

Once configured, it will automatically (you set the check time) download items from your Drive to your device and vice-versa.


I'd recommend using a file manager, e.g. the Astro File Manager. There you can access your dropbox, google drive, box, ... and copy files and whole folders to a local folder.


Astro File Manager with Clouds works great. Took less than 5 minutes to install and start copying folders from Google Drive to my Android.

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