Can’t Upload Files to Google Drive? Here Are Some Fixes

We have all the fixes for when your files aren't uploading to Google Drive as they should be.

Can Upload Files Google Drive Fixes Hero

Google Drive is one of the most important tools in any computer worker’s shed, giving you seamless access to your files irrespective of the device you’re using. Earlier this year, Google’s “Backup and Sync” tool, which let you manage your Google Drive from your PC, was replaced by the more aptly named “Google Drive” tool, which means that things work a little differently to how they used to.

It can also mean that you may run into problems uploading your files if you haven’t updated to the now software. Thankfully, we’re here with all the fixes for when your files aren’t uploading to Google Drive as they should be.

Check Google Workspace

Before cracking on with our fixes, you should first check the Google Workspace Dashboard.

Cant Upload Google Drive Workspace Dashboard

Google Drive is pretty good when it comes to uptime, and it’s very rare that the service itself isn’t working. However, check the Dashboard for any outages to Google Drive before taking matters into your own hands. If you see that Google Drive is down, it’s just a case of waiting it out until it’s working again.

Fix Video Upload Problems in Google Drive

An all-too-common problem among Google Drive users is that when they upload videos to Google Drive, they can’t play them back, with the message “Unable to process this video” popping up.

Can Upload Files Google Drive Fixes Processing

While there’s no consistent fix for uploading videos to Google Drive without this message appearing when you try to play them, there are a few workarounds.

  • Refresh your browser
  • Click the Options (three-dots) icon next to the video file, then click Download, and once it’s downloaded, watch the video from your preferred video player app.
  • If you have Google Drive on your PC, then you can just browse to the video through File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) and open it through that instead of your browser.
Cant Upload Files Videos Google Drive 2
  • Use a different browser. Strangely, Google Chrome has often proven to be volatile, even with Google-made sites and services, and users have reported that using the new Microsoft Edge (Chromium version) resolves the issue of a video not processing. Or you can try Safari on Mac, Firefox, or any other browser.

If none of the above work, then it is possible that the video is corrupted, and you may need to reupload it.

Force Stop Google Drive (Android/iOS)

If you’ve started an upload, and it’s been stuck at one point for a long time, there’s a good chance something has gone wrong with the upload and that it has crashed (assuming you’re in a place with stable Internet).

You may have to restart the upload, and the best way to do that is to restart the Google Drive app.

To do this on Android, go to “Settings -> Apps & notifications -> See all apps.” Find Drive in the list, tap “Force Stop,” then try your upload again.

Google Drive Cant Upload Files Force Stop

On iOS 13, double-click the Home button, swipe right until you find Google Drive, swipe up on its preview window to close it, then restart your upload.

If you have an iPhone without a Home button, swipe up from the middle or bottom of the screen and hold until you see the app switcher, then swipe right until you find Google Drive. Swipe up on its preview window to close it.

On an iPad without a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Home screen, then swipe up from the bottom right. Swipe right until you find Google Drive, then swipe up on its preview window to close it.

Disconnect and Reconnect Google Account

If you’ve downloaded the Google Drive app, there are a few things you can try to get your files uploading again as they should.

The first option is to disconnect and reconnect your Google account to the app. Open Google Drive by clicking its icon in the notification area at the bottom-right corner of your screen. Then click the “Settings cog -> Preferences”.

Cant Upload Google Drive Settings Cog

Click the Settings cog again, then “Disconnect account”.

Cant Upload Google Drive Settings Disconnect

Once your account is disconnected, click the Google Drive icon again, and go through the account connection process.

Restart/Reinstall Google Drive App

Another solution within the Drive app is restarting or even reinstalling the app. Click the Google Drive icon in the notification area, then click the Settings cog and “Exit”.

Cant Upload Google Drive Exit

To reopen it, type “google drive” into Windows search in the Start menu and open the desktop app from there.

Alternatively, you can reinstall Google Drive altogether. Uninstall it by right-clicking the Start menu, clicking “Apps & features,” uninstalling it from the list, then reinstalling it by downloading it here.

Fix Google Drive on macOS

If you have the Mac version of Google Drive, then you may have encountered errors that include uploads and downloads not working, as well as the app not working altogether. This OS-specific problem does have a solution however.

Go to “System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Full Disk Access.”

Once you’re here, check the “Google File Stream” box in the pane on the right.

Google Drive Cant Upload Files Full Disk Access

Alternatively, if you get a message on your Mac that Google File Stream was blocked, you can go to “System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> General,” then click the “Allow” button.

Google Drive Cant Upload Files Security General

One of the above should fix your Google Drive woes on macOS.

Disable Ad Blockers for Google Drive

Ad blockers like AdGuard and uBlock Origin should in theory work fine with Google Drive. They generally rely on blacklists that block known sources of ads and should allow you to upload files to Google Drive.

Fix Google Drive Upload Ublock

However, over the years, various problems have been reported with browser extensions like AdGuard, which can sometimes block uploads or even block Internet access for all your Google apps.

If you’re having trouble uploading files and have an ad blocker, try disabling it when you’re on the Google Drive website. Remember, don’t disable the ad blocker outright – just for Google Drive specifically (and other Google sites if experiencing problems).

Split Your Upload into Smaller Parts

Google is designed to handle individual files as large as 5TB (unless they’re Google file formats like Docs or Sheets, in which case they’re 50MB). Generally, Google is fine handling single large files and folders, though your Internet may not like it if you try to upload a massive folder with hundreds of GB of data all at once. As you probably know, uploads put much more strain on a network than downloads.

cant-upload-files-google-drive-individual-files

If you find that uploading large folders leads to the Google Drive upload timing out or crashing, then try going into the folder, selecting everything inside, and uploading everything as individual files. Google Drive will queue them up automatically and may handle the files better.

A good idea is to create the folder you want to put the files in on Google Drive before the upload, then chuck the files straight in there so that you don’t have to organize them later.

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 may affect your regular browsing. Just open a private window in your browser and log in to Google Drive. After, upload the file again and see if it works.

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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.

Shown here is how to clear the data in Chrome. If you are using a different browser, then check 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.

Cant Upload Google Drive Clear History

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, then try uploading files in Google Drive.

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Use a Different Browser

If the above solutions didn’t help, then try using a different browser. For me, Opera and Chrome work fine, so 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 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, as it may 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 may be able to use it for editing and viewing data, but uploading and downloading won’t work. Read this article about disabling images in your browser to learn how to both enable and disable images in Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

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Is It a Network Issue?

There may 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 turning off the firewall. Using a VPN may also affects the upload process, so make sure your VPN is turned off.

If you are sure it’s a network error, then resetting your router may 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.

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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 before you 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 may also want 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 may interrupt the upload process.

Want to further polish your online experience? See our list of the best Google Chrome Flags. You may also enjoy our guide on how to add a signature to Google Docs.

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