With some upgrades, Google Drive can hold up to 5TB of your data that you can view or edit. But, if you want to download a large file and store it locally, you’ll probably get the ” Download size requires Wi-Fi” prompt on Google Drive. If you are really in a rush and have enough mobile data to get the file, make sure to follow the steps below to force Drive to use mobile data when downloading large files.
Table of contents:
Does Google Drive have a download size limit?
1. Check the Drive settings
By default, Google Drive will limit the data download and upload to Wi-Fi so you’ll need to enable unlimited data in order to download large files. You can do that in Drive settings. It goes without saying that this is not advised in case you have a limited data plan, but you probably wouldn’t be looking for ways to overcome this if you did.
Here’s how to enable download over mobile data in Google Drive:
- Open Google Drive.
- Tap on the hamburger menu and open Settings.
- At the bottom, disable the “Transfer files only over Wi-Fi” option.
- Try to download files again on mobile data.
On the other hand, if the “Download size requires Wi-Fi” appears in Google Drive while on Wi-Fi, there’s a chance that you set your Wi-Fi network as metered. What you can do is navigate to System Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi and open the settings for your Wi-Fi network. Once there, set the network as Treat as unmetered.
2. Disable Data saver
Another thing you should check is the system-wide Data saver. When enabled, it can block downloads of large files on your Android device. Regardless of the app in use. So, what you need to do in this scenario is to disable the Data saver, at least temporarily.
Here’s how to disable Data Saver on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Connections.
- Select Mobile data or Data usage.
- Disable Data saver.
The exact steps might vary but you can always just open Settings and search for Data saver in the search bar.
3. Copy the file to your Google Drive
Now, this one applies to those who wanted to download a large shared file but either get the aforementioned prompt or get notified about the download quota (for Google Drive, this is 750GB per day). What you can do in this scenario is just copy the file to your Google Drive and download it from there. Obviously, because all Google Drive files from all users are on the same servers, this won’t be recognized as a download.
A nifty workaround we learned from Drive users from Reddit so kudos to them. To copy a shared file, select it and choose to Make a copy from the contextual menu. Save it to your Drive so you can later download it.
4. Settle for Wi-Fi
Finally, if there’s no other way around it, you just might need to settle for Wi-Fi and download the file when there’s Wi-Fi available. It happens rarely but Google Drive can glitch out and it’s not a stranger to server-side issues.
Thank you for reading what was, hopefully, a helpful read. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. Your feedback is more than welcome.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in May 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.