How to Fix ‘Failed-Forbidden’ Error when Downloading From Google Drive?

Google Drive is a service developed by Google which is used for File Storage and Synchronization. This service was first introduced in 2012. Google Drive has developed an application which can be used across multiple platforms and it also has a web version. The service offers up to 15 GB of free storage per user and up to 30 terabytes of storage with paid plans.

Quite recently, a lot of reports have been coming in where users are unable to download a file from their own Google Drive account and the “FailedForbidden” error is observed while trying to do so. In this article, we will discuss some of the reasons due to which this error might be triggered and also provide you with viable solutions to fix it completely.

Failed – Forbidden Error while downloading a file

What Causes the “Failed – Forbidden” Error?

After receiving numerous reports from multiple users, we decided to investigate the issue and devised a set of solutions to fix it completely. Also, we looked into the reasons due to which this problem is triggered and listed them as follows.

  • Hardware Acceleration: In some cases, there might be a glitch with the hardware acceleration feature of the browser that you are using. If Hardware Acceleration is turned on it can sometimes prevent certain files from being downloaded due to security reasons.
  • Security Reasons: In certain scenarios, Google Drive might anticipate that the security protocols are being breached by the presence of other users on the network or in the browser’s database. It can also be spooked and prevent the downloading process if the browser is tracking your history through cached data.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the nature of the problem, we will move on towards the solutions. Make sure to implement these in the specific order in which they are presented to avoid conflict.

Solution 1: Turning Incognito Mode On

Chrome includes a handful feature where the user can turn on “Incognito” mode which prevents the browser from tracking the user’s internet activity. This is useful because in this situation it will prevent the website from tracking other users on the browser. In order to activate incognito mode:

  1. Open Chrome and launch a new tab.
  2. Press “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “N” to open an incognito tab.
    Shortcut to open an Incognito Tab
  3. Sign in to Google Drive, try to download the file and check to see if the issue persists.

Solution 2: Disabling Other Accounts

Google Drive sometimes experiences a glitch where the download is prevented if multiple users are logged into the browser while initiating it. Therefore, it is recommended that you log out of all other accounts on the computer before trying to download the file from Google Drive. For that:

  1. Open the browser and click on the “Account” icon on the right side.
  2. Select an account that isn’t associated with Google Drive.
  3. Click on the “Account” icon again and select “Sign Out“.
    Clicking on the “Sign Out” option
  4. Repeat this process for all accounts except the one associated with Google Drive.
  5. Once all the accounts have been logged out, sign in to Google Drive and try to download the file.
  6. Check to see if the issue persists.

Solution 3: Using Shareable Link

There is a workaround to this situation where the user can obtain a link which can be used to directly download the file in question. In order to do that:

  1. Sign in to Google Drive.
  2. Right-click on the file that has to be downloaded.
  3. Select the “Get Shareable Link” option.
    Clicking on the “Get Shareable Link” button
  4. This link will automatically be copied to the clipboard.
  5. Paste this link in a new tab and the file can be downloaded directly.

Solution 4: Disabling Hardware Acceleration

There have been reports of the Hardware Acceleration feature causing issues with downloads through Google Drive. Therefore, in this step, we will be disabling it completely. For that:

  1. Open Chrome and launch a new tab.
  2. Click on the “Three Dots” in the top right corner.
  3. Select “Settings” from the list, scroll down and click on the “Advanced” button.
    Clicking on the “Advanced” option
  4. Under “System” heading, click on the “Use hardware acceleration when available” toggle to turn it off.
    Clicking on the “Use Hardware Acceleration Feature When Available” toggle to turn it off
  5. Try to download the file from Google Drive and check to see if the issue persists.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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How to Fix ‘Failed-Forbidden’ Error when Downloading From Google Drive?

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