Google Drive Direct Download Link Generator | Paperform

Google Drive Direct Download Link Generator

Google Drive is one of the best ways to store files in the cloud. A sizable amount of storage is free, sharing documents and links is simple, and you can use your Drive to save all sorts of files, from Google Docs and MP4s to a PDF copy of your latest eBook.

Want to share files from your Drive? All you’ve got to do is open the individual file and click on the Share button. You’ll be given a URL link, alongside multiple permissions options, to allow others to access that specific file.

Once people have the URL they’re free to download the file to their own devices. This process works well, but there’s an easier and faster way to achieve this: with a direct download link.

Why Create Direct Download Link?

This link sharing process works well for sharing Google Drive files with family and friends, or to collaborate with colleagues. But it’s not the most professional look for if you want to share documents with clients or customers.

Direct download links offer a better, simpler way to automate this process. There is a way to do this by tweaking the “file_id” of your shared file, but that’s all a bit technical—we want to make it easier, not more difficult.

This is why we created a direct download link generator. All you need to do is copy the link. That’s all. You’ll have an automatically generated URL that triggers a download as soon as it’s clicked.

There’s one thing to note before we move on to the quick tutorial. This tool doesn’t work for Google Apps (e.g. Google Documents, Google Sheets, Google Forms or Google Slides) that are created inside Google Drive.

If you need to create a direct link for these types of files, download them to your computer and re-upload them to drive.google.com. It’s a bit of a hassle, but a limitation Google hasn’t gotten around to addressing yet.

Paperform’s Direct Download Generator

Generating direct downloads from Google Drive can be a pain. That’s why we used Papeform to put together a tool that does this for you automatically. See it for yourself below. Continue with the guide to learn how to use it.

How To Use Our Direct Download Generator Form

We created this handy tool to help you quickly create direct download links for files stored in Google Drive. Rather than opening a Google Drive link and then clicking to download the file, the generated direct download link immediately begins downloading the file.

Step 1: Get The Google Drive Share Link

Go to your Google Drive and right-click the file you wish to share, then click on "Share".

Sharing links via Google Drive

Step 2: Change Google Account Permissions

A window will appear. Now change the visibility to "Anyone with the link". This means that anyone that receives this link can view and download the files.

Changing the permissions in Google Drive

NOTE: Ensure the file's visibility in Google Drive is set to "Anyone with the link". If it is set to "Restricted" then only people who are logged in to Google and have been granted access to the file will be able to open the direct download link.

Step 3: Get Shareable Link

Click "Copy link" to save it to your clipboard.

Copying the sharable link in Google Drive

Step 4: Use Our Google Drive Download Link Generator

Paste the link into the text box and click "Generate".

Using Paperform's Google Drive direct download link generator

Step 5: Share Your Direct Download Link

You’ve gotten your direct download link. It’s time to share it. Just highlight the link, copy it to your clipboard and share it where you wish. We would just recommend not sharing the link on public forums or posting it on social media.

Tip: If your file is large (say, a video), the direct link might open a webpage with a prompt that the file is too large for Google to scan for viruses. You can avoid this by applying for a Google Drive API key, but it’s not strictly necessary. This page will still include a button to download the file.

Create Your Own Custom Generator With Paperform

A Google Drive direct download link is just one example of the many custom generators you can create with Paperform. Here’s an idea of some of the other forms you can create:

Link Generator

Link generators are one of the most common online generator tools. You can create a simple URL link generator to correctly format a shareable link. These can be formatted to use certain words (e.g. your business name) and help create more distinct links to share via social media or anywhere online.

To build a link generator you need to use Paperform calculations. Calculations use simple Excel-style functions and mathematics to combine and transform responses within a form field. To configure a Calculation field to format a link:

  • Add a question field to your form asking the submitter to paste the link
  • Create a new Calculation field and open the Configuration menu (the gear icon)
  • Write the formula for your calculation using the built-in documentation as a guide

For the Google direct download link generator, we used a simple formula to trim the submitter’s link so all that’s left is the file ID. We then added another calculation to add the file ID to the end of “https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=”.

Learn more about Calculation fields here.

Name Generator

Coming up with names is difficult. An online name generator looks after this for you by helping you brainstorm name ideas for any occasion—from business names to one for your new pet.

With Paperform calculations, you can generate a name based on question responses. Let’s use our Dragon Name Generator as an example. In this form, we use respondents’ first and last names, as well as the names of their parents, to generate their ‘dragon name’.

The steps are similar to the link generator above:

  • Add relevant question fields (first name, last name, mother’s name, father’s name)
  • Create a new Calculation field
  • Open the Configuration field by clicking the gear icon

Now we need to generate the ‘dragon’ name. To do so we create a simple calculation to capture the first two characters of the first name, last name and mother’s name, then the last two of the father’s. These are combined for the end result.

For example:

  • First name - Alex
  • Last name - Noles
  • Mother’s name - Penelope
  • Father’s name - Tim

This leaves us with the dragon name: Exnopeim the Ravenous! Mystical indeed.

Dummy Text

Dummy text (otherwise known as lorem ipsum text) generators allow web designs to quickly fill design mockups and prototypes with placeholder text. You can auto-generate this using Paperform’s Conditional Logic (or just use the template below).

Conditional logic changes how your form behaves based on specific actions. It allows you to dynamically customise the form experience based on your respondents’ answers—no code or technical knowledge necessary.

To create a dummy text generator:

  • Create question fields asking the submitter how many paragraphs are needed and how large they want these paragraphs
  • Create the paragraphs based on the options

Now there are two options: you can ‘hide’ dummy text paragraphs in either a page break or a dynamic success page. Either way, when a respondent selects an option, they’ll be met with a page with the generated text.

To adjust conditional logic on a page break, enter the configuration settings. Toggle the visibility logic feature ‘on’ and set the appropriate conditions. The process for success pages is similar.

Using conditional logic in Paperform

Find out more about configuring breaks.

Learn how to create and configure a dynamic success page.

Alternative Direct Download Link Generators

Not a Google Drive user? That’s okay. We’ve got you covered no matter what cloud platform you use. You might prefer our Dropbox or OneDrive direct download link generators.

Final Checklist

Before sharing or using your form there are some finishing touches to apply. From the editor, head to the Theme settings (the water drop icon located on the top right of the form builder) to customise your form. Here you can adjust everything about your form’s look and design.

Next, head to Configure > Details to edit how the form appears when shared online. You can add a title, description and cover image, as well as your own unique URL. This ensures your form looks professional.

Finally, you want to check your form is working as expected before sharing it. On the top right of the form editor, you’ll see an eye icon. This lets you see the live view of your form. Click on this and run a test submission.

If you’ve followed this tutorial everything will run smoothly. Congratulations! Be sure to get in touch with our 24/7 customer support team if you have any questions—happy form making!