Google Drive is definitely a reliable backup and sync solution with a bunch of handy features to make your life easier. However, Google Drive is notorious for upload issues, whether it is extremely slow upload speed or files not uploading at all.
Countless times I’ve been slapped with an error while uploading files to Google Drive, although I have always managed to fix the issue with a little tinkering. If you also seem to be having issues uploading files to Google Drive, then keep reading, and I’ll share all the solutions that usually help me out.
Note: the below instructions are for the web version of Google Drive, as it’s prone to upload issues. Although unlikely, if you are facing upload issues with the desktop or mobile version of Google Drive, then shoot away in the comments, and we might be able to help.
Use Private/Incognito window
This is usually my first solution for fixing many web problems, including the upload issue. A private window is isolated and doesn’t use stored cookies that might affect your regular browsing. Just open a private window in your browser and log in to Google Drive. Afterwards, upload the file again and see if it works.
To open a private window, the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + N or Ctrl + Shift + P is used in most browsers, although you can also manually open the private window from the main menu of your browser.
Clear browser data
Your browser saves cookies, cache, and other data to make it easier and faster for you to browse the Web. However, sometimes this data can also create browsing problems, like being unable to upload files. You should also go through this step if using a private window solved your problem.
I am going to show you how to clear data in Chrome. If you are using a different browser, then check to the instructions in this article.
From the Chrome main menu, click on “History” or press Ctrl + H. Click on “Clear browsing data,” and the options will open up. Alternatively, you can also paste
chrome://settings/clearBrowserData in the address bar and hit Enter to directly access this window.
Select “All time” next to “Time range” and ensure all three options are checked. Optionally, you can uncheck the “Browser history” option in case you want to keep the browsing history. Now click on “Clear Data” to delete the browser data, and then try uploading files in Google Drive.
Use a different browser
If the above solutions didn’t help, then try using a different browser. For me, Opera and Chrome work fine, you can try using one of these browsers and see if it fixes the problem. Additionally, the error might be occurring due to a temporary support issue with your browser or because your browser simply doesn’t support Google Drive. However, the latter can’t be true for popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge.
If you are using one of the above-mentioned browsers and changing the browser fixed the upload problem, then try updating your browser to the latest version. If that doesn’t help, then wait for the next version update that might fix this issue.
Make sure images are turned on
For some reason, Google Drive stops working properly if images are turned off in the browser. You might be able to use it for editing and viewing data, but uploading and downloading won’t work. You can check my article about disabling images in your browser to learn how to both enable and disable images in Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Check Google services status
Although very rare, there is a chance Google Drive might be temporarily down. You can check the G Suite Status Dashboard where the current status of all the Google services is listed. If it’s down or there is a problem, it would be explained here.
Could be a network issue
There might be an issue with your network instead. This is especially true if the file uploads but gets canceled in the middle with a network error. Restarting your router usually solves this problem. If that fails, try changing your IP address and also turn off the firewall. Using a VPN may also affect the upload process, so make sure your VPN is turned off.
If you are sure it’s a network error, then resetting your router might fix this. There should be a reset button (usually inside a hole) on your router that you can press and hold for five to ten seconds to reset the router.
The file might have an issue
To confirm this, try uploading three types of files separately and see if they upload. If the files upload, then it’s definitely a problem with the file you want to upload. In that case, try changing the name and format of the file if possible. Also, make sure there are no characters in the file name (like ? < >\ / ).
If the file is huge in size (over 2 GBs), then try splitting it and then upload. A tool like 7-zip can help you with this task.
The above solutions should be enough to solve most upload issues in Google Drive. You might also like to try signing out of your Google account and logging in again. This helped me once for an odd reason, although there is a rare chance an authentication issue might interrupt the upload process.
Image credit: Closeup on personal Google drive folders magnified with magnifying glass by DepositPhotos