Can’t upload to Google Drive on Android? Top 5 solutions

Statistically, most uploads to Google Drive are done on the desktop client and Drive for Web. However, sometimes the need arises to upload something on your handheld device, and some users weren’t able to do that. Reports are coming from users that can’t seem to upload to Google Drive on Android. If you’re among them, we provided a few applicable solutions below. Hopefully, they’ll help you address the problem completely.

Google Drive not uploading from the phone

There are a few reasons why your Google Drive uploads fail:

  • Temporary server-side issues on Google’s side.
  • Not enough storage space to store new files.
  • Network issues or lack of permission to use mobile data.
  • App data corruption.
  • A system glitch that is fixable by a simple reboot.

To fix these problems, restart your Android and force-stop Google Drive, make some room for new files, check the network, or reinstall the app. Learn more below.

1. Restart your Android and force-stop Google Drive

Most system glitches can be resolved with a simple restart. However, if that doesn’t work, try to force stop Google Drive and upload the files again. You can also clear the cache in the app or system settings.

Here’s how to force-stop Google Drive on your Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Open Drive.
  4. Tap Storage and clear cache.
  5. Tap Force stop.
  6. Open Google Drive and try uploading files again directly from the app. Tap on the + icon and select files from the local storage.

2. Make sure that you have enough storage space

This goes without saying but the storage space tends to fill up in no time. So, make sure to clear up some storage space before uploading files. If you’re not inclined to spend a few dollars monthly and get a storage upgrade, you can delete some files. Google Drive storage is shared between Google Photos, Gmail, and Drive and it can fill up quite fast.

You can clear some data from Google Drive by simply emptying Trash or deleting large video files from Google Photos. 15 GB is not a lot if you have a lot of multimedia files. Also, you can create and add another Google Account and get another free 15 GB of storage space.

3. Check the network

Another obvious reason why you can’t upload to Google Drive. Make sure that you’re connected to a stable Wi-Fi network and, if you use Mobile data, ensure that the Data usage setting limiting uploads and downloads to Wi-Fi is disabled. If you notice that the internet connection is broken, you can usually fix it by disconnecting, restarting the router and your Android, and connecting again.

Here’s how to disable the Data usage option in Google Drive settings:

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Tap on the hamburger menu at the top left corner and open Settings.
  3. Scroll down and disable the “Transfer files only over Wi-Fi” option.can't upload to google drive
  4. Confirm when prompted.

4. Clear cached data from Google Drive or uninstall updates

If the previous steps failed and you can confirm that the network and storage space are not causes for this issue, we can move on. We recommend clearing all locally-stored data from Google Drive or, even better, reinstalling the app (uninstalling updates if Drive is a system app).

Here’s how to clear cached data from Google Drive on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Open Drive.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Clear data and restart your device.can't upload to google drive
  6. Open Google Drive and try uploading files again.

If you still can’t upload files to Google Drive, consider reinstalling Google Drive in Play Store. Open Play Store, locate and expand Google Drive, and tap Uninstall. After that, just install or update the app.

5. Use Google Drive on the web

Finally, the only thing that comes to mind is to use the Desktop site feature in Chrome (or other browsers) and try uploading files to the Drive on the web. There’s no guarantee that this will work but it’s a viable option if you can’t upload files to Google Drive on Android. To use, open Chrome and tap on the 3-dots menu. Check the Desktop site box and then navigate to Google Drive.

Also, a good idea is to wait it out a bit since this might be a temporary server-side problem. Don’t forget to send Feedback from the Google Drive app. Open Drive > hamburger menu > Help & feedback > Send feedback.

That should do it. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions with us and other readers. You can do that in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in March 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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