How to download protected/view only files from google drive ?

👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 13 Jul 2022    📁 TECH

Sometimes you may have faced a situation like your friends or teachers has given you pdf, google docs, google sheets or video files with google drive links and when you open it you can preview the content of those files but when you try to download you will not get any download, copy, or print button because google has intentionally created those files with no download or print feature.

In general, these types of files are view-only or protected google drive files. Suppose you like download those files and save them locally then without a hack you cannot achieve. Don't worry guys I will help you. In this article, I will be explaining to you how to download protected view-only files from google drive.

Warning: For educational purposes only.

Check the file is view only or protected by google drive files?

You can easily check whether files are view-only files for this just preview the file and hover your mouse cursor then at the top you will find no download button and print features are disabled as shown below.


Also, click on the 3 dots located at the top right corner. Then click on Details


 Steps to Download protected/view-only pdf files from google drive?

1. Open or Preview Any view-only or protected files from google drive.

2. Open Developer Console.

   If you are previewing in Google Chrome or Firefox

     Press Shift + Ctrl + J ( on Windows / Linux) or Option + ⌘  + J (on Mac)

   If you are previewing in Microsoft Edge 

     Press Shift + Ctrl + I 

   If you are previewing in Apple Safari

     Press Option + + C

Then you will find yourself inside the developer tools.

3  Navigate to the "Console" tab.

4  Paste below code and press Enter

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];
if (!/^blob:/.test(img.src)) {
continue ;
let canvasElement = document.createElement( 'canvas' );
let con = canvasElement.getContext( "2d" );
canvasElement.width = img.width;
canvasElement.height = img.height;
con.drawImage(img, 0, 0,img.width, img.height);
let imgData = canvasElement.toDataURL( "image/jpeg" , 1.0);
pdf.addImage(imgData, 'JPEG' , 0, 0);
} "download.pdf" );
jspdf.src = '' ;

as shown below:


5. Now, the pdf file start to downloads.

Note that it may take a long time for downloading if the size of the pdf is large because each page in the pdf is generated in the form of an image. Also, it doesn't guarantee the content quality of pdf remains the same.

So, if you want a high-quality pdf then try zooming out the pdf and then apply from steps 2 and below.

Technical Concept:

On-page load each Image tag on the page is search, and 
if the image is not found then continue finding the Image tag on the next page of the pdf.
Else if found: then with the help of Canvas those images are created with the drawImage() function and here we are creating images in JPEG format and later these images are added back to pdf instance by addImage() function. After that, with the help of addPage() new page is created and the same repeats until reaching the end of the page and finally pdf is downloaded.
And this is all possible by the use of the jsPDF library which is provided by Cloudflare. Actually, this jsPDF library is Javascript open-source library for generating PDF files.

 Steps to Download protected/view-only video files from google drive?

 You can even download protected/view-only video files share with you by someone else. Here are the steps:
1 Preview the video you want to download
2  Play the video.
3 Then Press Ctrl + Shift + C keyboard combination.
4 Then hover over the image and click on it.
5 Then you will navigate to the 'Elements' tab in the developer console.
6  Click inside the src tag's content and then select "Open in a new tab" from the dropdown menu. You will now be navigated to new windows with video.
7 Click on 3 dots present in the lower right corner and click on "Download".Now the video starts to download.
Note: The owner of the video files is not notified that the file has been downloaded.

Steps to Download protected/view-only google docs files from google drive?

You can easily download protected/view-only google docs files from google drive easily with below steps:
Method 1: Converting into Mobile View Mode
1 Open Protected/view-only google docs.
2 Look at the Url of google docs you will find '/edit' in the URL. Just replace it will '/mobilebasic' and press Enter.
3 Press CTRL + S from keyboard combination and replace extension from .html to .doc and click on "Save" button.
4 Hurry google docs file is downloaded to your laptop/computer.
Note: The owner of the google docs is not notified that the docs file has been downloaded.

Steps to Download protected/view-only google sheet files from google drive?

Protected View only Google Sheets are those sheets that only allow others to view them. So, if someone sends you protected Google Sheets, you will only be able to view them. You can neither edit it nor download it.
How do identify Google Sheet as view only file?
When you open a Google sheet, you will see a green button with the label "👁️‍🗨️ View Only" in the toolbar.  If you find this button then you will not be able to download and edit the content of that particular google sheet.
fig. View only google sheets
But do not worry guys I will provide you simple solution to it.
Here is one of the protected Google Sheets file shared with me by my friends. And its URL simply looks like this:
When I open this link, It gets open in view-only form. So 
So, first of all, you have to replace "edit" with preview in the URL and press Enter. Now your should look like this:
fig. Rename "edit" to "preview" in the URL
Now you copy the content by pressing Ctrl / Command + A, Ctrl / Command + C and create a new google sheets document and paste it there.
In this way, you can download view-only protected google drives files.