Do you keep files in Google Drive? You can share files with people, which usually forces them to view the file in a browser window. But if you want your friend to just directly download the file, you can provide a different link. This is a great tool for storing large web files on Google, making them available to the public on your website, social media, etc, without hogging your own website’s bandwidth or storage.

When you share a google drive file, the link looks like this:

SHARING
https://drive.google.com/file/d/ID_HERE/view?usp=sharing

The link will have a long string of characters between “d/” and “/view”

That string is the file’s ID. Copy that ID and create the following link:

DIRECT DOWNLOAD OF NATIVE FILES
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=ID_HERE
(note that you simply inserted the ID at the end)

DIRECT DOWNLOAD A CONVERTED DOC, SPREADSHEET OR PRESENTATION
https://docs.google.com/document/d/ID_HERE/export?format=pdf

At the end of that link you will see “pdf” which makes it a PDF download. If you’d like, you can change it to doc, xlsx, or pptx depending on the file type you are offering. This way, your google drive file will be accessible to users of Office, etc.