Printing is Disabled for this File Error on Google Drive – Reasons and Solutions

Google Drive allows you to download, edit, and print files directly to your system. However, there are times when printing is disabled for a file. If this is something you have been experiencing as well, you can have a look at this guide to know more about it.  In this article, we are going to discuss why this happens in the first place, along with the solutions to print such files.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started –

Printing is Disabled for this File Error- Reasons and More

Google Drive is amongst the most popular cloud storage services out there. One of the main reasons it grew so big is that it gives users complete control over their data. One such feature of Google Drive lets you disable copying, printing, and downloading for any file that you share with others.

This feature is available for almost everything that you have inside your Google Drive. For example, let’s suppose you have a PDF file in your Google Drive. You want to share them with others, but you don’t want to allow them to download or print the file. They can only see the file as a reader.

You can do this simply by following these steps before sharing your files –

  • Launch Google Drive and right-click on the file you want to share with others but without giving them the ability to download or print the file.
  • From the options menu, select the share option.
  • Now, click on the Gear icon to open advanced sharing settings.
  • Here, you have to uncheck the option that says, “Viewers and commentators can see the option to download, print, and copy.”
Printing is Disabled for this File Google Drive

That’s it. After doing this, you can share the file. However, note that you have to provide them access as the Viewer or Commentator, not the Editor. People who have access to edit the file will also be able to download or print the file.


Even though this is a very solid feature, it has some limitations that include –

  • You cannot disable one or two options. either enable all three options that will give users access to download, print, or copy files or completely restrict them from performing any of these actions by disabling it in the settings.
  • You cannot disable these options if you are not the file owner.
  • Doing this will restrict downloading, printing, and editing the documents and files in Google Drive and other platforms such as Google Docs, Sheets, etc.

The main idea behind introducing this feature to Google Drive was to give the file owners complete control of how their files can be distributed or shared.

However, if you want to download any such file that is protected from downloading, printing, or copying, there is a way to do that. You can follow the below-mentioned guide to print such files.

Read How to Request Edit Access in the Google Drive Folder

How to Print Documents after getting the error “Printing is Disabled for this File”?

Even though you might have come across this error multiple times on your Google Drive, you can still choose to download the file through this method. It might look complicated but it can be easily done. Let us see how.

  • Open a desktop web browser and go to
  • Open the file that you want to print.
  • Now, you have to open the web developer tools. You can go to your browser’s settings to open it or press CTRL + Shift + I.
  • Now, navigate to the Console tab and paste the below-mentioned code, and hit 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 = '' ;

After doing this, you will notice that the download and print options are available. Now, you will be able to download or print the file very easily.

This technique turns the document into an image file, and therefore, it can take a bit more time and space than a usual document file. Plus, it works the best for PDF files, but the content quality will be compromised a bit.

However, if you want to print a view-only document file, there is a simple and much better technique to download or print that. Follow the below-mentioned guide to download or print the protected document file.

Read How to Backup iPhone to Google Drive

Steps to Download or Print Protected Google Docs files from Google Drive

Downloading Google Docs files that are protected is quite simple and easy.

You just have to follow these simple steps –

  • Open the file.
  • Now, look at the URL of the file, and at the end of it, you will see the /edit part. You have to replace /edit with /mobilebasic and press enter. This will open the file in the mobile view mode.
Printing is Disabled for this File google drive
  • Now, you just have to press the CTRL + S button on your keyboard and replace the extension from .html to .doc and save it.

That’s it. That Google document is now saved on your computer, and you can print, edit or modify it the way you want.

Read How to Hide a Folder in Google Drive

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I print a disabled PDF from Google Drive?

To print a view-only PDF, you have to follow the above-mentioned guide. However, note that the above-mentioned technique will turn your PDF into an image file. Therefore, you will not be able to use the file as a PDF, and there are chances that the quality will also reduce a bit. You will be able to print that PDF, though.

2. Why can’t I print something from Google Drive?

If the file is not protected or available in view-only mode, you will be able to print that file. However, sometimes an error can be caused due to poor installation of printer software or browser. So, see if that is the issue.

Closing Comments

There you have it – a detailed guide on how the Printing is Disabled for this File error can be solved and what causes it.

Google Drive is one of the favorite cloud storage solutions, especially for personal uses. One of the main reasons for that is that Google Drive always comes up with new features that make it quite easy to use and highly functional. The file-sharing feature of Google Drive is also quite robust as it gives users plenty of options to control their files.

This feature lets users protect their files using the view-only mode is also great. However, this feature has some loopholes that allow receivers to download these files very easily. If you are a sender, you probably have to wait for some time until Google Drive fixes this issue.

However, if you are a person who wants to download such files, the guide mentioned above will be the way to go.

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