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Google Drive is a great tool overall. Personal accounts get 15GB of free storage; Basic corporate accounts get 30GB. You can edit all kinds of documents, including Microsoft Office documents, right in the application. You can even share files with others and download them too. However, the download part is sometimes interrupted. Do a quick search online and you will see many messages asking for help like “Google Drive won’t allow me to download my files.”
But despite the resounding success of Google Drive, the platform is not perfect. One of the most common problems with Google Drive is that your files may be compressed but ultimately cannot be downloaded. In some cases, downloads may start only halfway through. You may have a huge zip file that will never open.
Google Drive compressing but not downloading
Over the years, Google has made some changes to the way it handles file downloads. For example, it used to be a challenge to download more than 2GB at a time. The process would stop in the middle, leaving you with large files that were inaccessible or with an error message.
Today, Google’s advanced algorithms break large files into smaller chunks that can be easily downloaded. However, this did not solve all the download problems. Your files may be compressed and not yet fully downloaded.
If you have come across this problem, it can be a bit disappointing to find that the solution is not easy. It’s more of a trial and error process where you try various troubleshooting methods. But the good news is that many people almost always solve the problem. Here’s what to do if your Google Drive gets compressed but won’t download.
Downloading files in incognito mode prevents your browser from caching download errors, cookie information, and download history. Most browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, cache all or a significant portion of what you see online. If your browser caches broken or corrupted files in memory, these files may prevent you from loading new pages or downloading new files. Downloading in incognito mode avoids any obstacles and cache checkpoints that may be active.
In some cases, errors while downloading zip folders from Google Drive can be reduced to malware or some other malicious program that you have unknowingly downloaded. Such programs work by tracking your download history and placing barriers and other malicious commands that corrupt all incoming files. Using incognito mode helps your browser stay away from such programs because the browser does not use your download history, cookies, or other data temporarily embedded in memory. In most browsers, starting incognito mode is relatively easy.
- Click on the three dots in the upper right corner.
- Select “New Incognito Window” from the drop-down menu.
In Microsoft Edge:
- Click the ellipsis (three small dots) in the upper right corner.
- Click “New inPrivate Window” from the drop-down menu.
In Mozilla Firefox:
- Click on the Firefox menu in the upper right corner.
- Click on “New Private Window”.
Sign out and sign in again
One method that has been effective in solving download problems from Google Drive is to sign out of your account and then sign in again. But what is the secret behind it? Google acceleration.
Google Acceleration refers to the intentional slowing down of speed on certain Internet services. Big tech companies like YouTube and Google use this tool to reduce congestion and provide better service for everyone on their networks.
If Google detects too many downloads linked to your account, it can reduce the bandwidth available to you. When this happens, you will experience slow download speeds and downloading large zip folders can be excruciatingly slow. When the speed is too low, your files are unlikely to download completely. You will likely end up with empty folders or broken files that cannot be opened.
If you log out and log back in after a few minutes, you will effectively restore your bandwidth. You will then be able to enjoy relatively higher download speeds, which will make downloading zip folders easier. While not a guaranteed solution, logging out and then logging back in can be a useful way to initiate new contact with Google’s servers and lock in good enough bandwidth to support compression and large downloads.
Uninstall and reinstall Chrome
Although Google Drive works well with most browsers, Chrome is its most reliable companion. This is because Chrome is more stable, more secure, and offers faster performance than its competitors. It also offers extensive privacy features, something you need when it comes to large-scale data storage on the Internet.
However, Chrome is not immune from bugs, glitches, and unwanted program infiltrations. Download problems can be caused by malicious programs that have been accidentally downloaded to your device and are domiciled in Chrome. When you reinstall Chrome, you remove those programs and start with a clean slate.
Additionally, Chrome caches your download history to allow you to save data to your local storage. In this way, it is not necessary to obtain the data from the Internet every time it is needed. Chrome saves website data so that web pages and platforms like Google Drive can be reloaded quickly. The browser doesn’t have to get the same data from a remote server multiple times.
But this comes at a cost: If some of the cached data is corrupted or broken, the page startup and operation sequence may not succeed. This can distort normal browser operations and result in temporary barriers that can prevent zip files from being downloaded. Uninstalling and reinstalling Chrome helps to remove any broken cache files from your system, paving the way for successful downloads.
Download specific files instead of the entire folder
Although this scenario is rare, problems downloading zip files can be caused by individual files within a folder. To identify files that are having problems, you can try downloading each file individually or subdividing them into smaller groups and then downloading each group one at a time.
Sign in to the correct Google account
Signing in to more than one Google account simultaneously in your browser can affect how quickly and efficiently your files are downloaded from Google Drive. To work around this problem, log out of all accounts except the one that contains the files that you want to download.
Try a different browser
Your download problems can be isolated to a single browser. To find out if your browser is the problem, you need to log into your Google account with a different browser and then try to download the zip files. If the files download successfully, your old browser is most likely the culprit. In this situation, you may want to consider permanently switching browsers or reinstalling the faulty one again.
Restart your computer
Before trying anything complex, you may want to shut down your computer and then turn it back on after a few moments. Whenever a file is not downloaded properly, the broken file or corrupted data ends up in your device memory temporarily.
Most likely, your operating system is designed with self-cleaning tools that can try to remove bad data right away. However, most of the time, this does not remove all the junk from the system. Restarting your device is usually the only way to clean everything clean. After restarting, your computer reestablishes a connection with Google’s (and other) servers to get clean, downloadable copies of your files.
If you want to make sure your computer’s memory is 100% clean, you can try using a program like Bleachbit or CCleaner (both free) that are designed to clean junk files and corrupted registry entries. These programs force clean copies to download from servers on the web and overwrite what is listed locally with files that are likely to be less faulty.
Final words: How to Fix ‘Google Drive Not Downloading Files After Zipping’ Issue
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