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Google Drive Unable to Open Files or Folders? Here’s why

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Google Drive is a go-to cloud service for so many users worldwide. Not uncommon considering everyone with a Google account has access to it, meaning the majority of Android users. Sharing files is usually simple, as long as the owner grants the necessary permissions to you.

But, some users report that Google Drive won’t open files or folders although they have access to them. If you are affected by this, check the solutions we listed below.

Why Can’t I Open Folders in Google Drive?

1. Check the network

The first thing you should do is check your network connection. Make sure that you are connected to a stable network before moving to other steps. If you are using Mobile Data, ensure that you are not out of the limit cap and that Mobile Data access is not limited. You can check that in Settings > Apps > All Apps> Google Drive.

It’s also worth trying to disable Offline Access and re-enable it if necessary. You can do that from the contextual menu when tapping on a three-dot menu next to the file.

Now, if you do experience some system-wide connection issues, check the article where we wrote about ways to solve this. On the other hand, if you don’t have any issues with the network but still can’t open files in Google Drive, check the next step.

2. Check if you have permissions

If you are accessing a shared file you don’t own but rather have limited access permission, make sure that the permission is not revoked. You can request access to the file again and the owner will be notified about it.

In some instances, files can be removed so make sure to refresh the Shared section and look if the file is still there.

3. Clear Google Drive’s local data

Due to possible local data corruption, you might get into problems with Google Drive for Android. What you can do is clear the local data or, as an alternative, reinstall the app.

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

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications.
  3. Expand all apps.
  4. Open Google Drive from the list of available apps.
  5. Tap Storage.
  6. Tap Clear data, confirm, and restart your device.clear cache and data google drive

And this is how to reinstall Google Drive:

  1. Open Play Store.
  2. Look for Google Drive.
  3. Tap Uninstall.
  4. Restart your device and download Google Drive from the Store again.

4. Sign out and sign in again with a Google account

This might help, especially if you are using multiple accounts to access various files on Google Drive. Ensure you are signed in with the account with access permissions. If you can confirm that that’s the case, try removing the Google Account and signing in again on your Android device.

You can do so in Settings > Accounts > Google. Once you remove the account, sign in again and give it another try. If Google Drive still won’t open files, try with the web-based client.

5. Try Google Drive for web

Finally, if none of the previous steps worked for you, you can try Google Drive on your PC or use Chrome for Android with the Desktop site mode.

If that doesn’t work and you are still experiencing issues with Google Drive, report them to Google support.

That’s it. Thank you for reading and we hope you find this a helpful read. Don’t forget to share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions with us in the comments section.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in July 2021. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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