Convert Google Drive files online without downloading them first

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 29, 2013
Updated • Jun 23, 2019
Google Chrome

The files that I host on Google Drive have many different extensions. The documents alone are a mixture of Microsoft Office, LibreOffice and Google formats, and while that is not really an issue unless you want to access files while you are offline, you sometimes may run into problems accessing files.

File conversions come into mind in this case, but none seem to make the operation easy and straightforward. Most Google Drive users are probably converting the files locally which should work well if the right tools are at hand for the job. But what if you are not on your local PC or Mac that you sync Google Drive with? You can still download the files and use an online converter before your re-upload the files to Google Drive or transfer them.

Update: Drive Converter is no longer available. You may want to use something like the Chrome extension Convertio instead as it offers similar functionality.End


convert google drive files online

The Google Chrome extension DriveConverter makes things easier, provided that you are running Google's browser and do not mind using a third party converter to change the file format of select types.

The service supports the following file types:

  • Documents: convert docx, doc, txt, rtf to pdf, xml, doc, docx, html or txt
  • Spreadsheets: convert xlx or xlsx to pdf, csv, txt, html or xlsx
  • Images: convert png, jpg, gif, bmp or tiff
  • Audio: convert mp3, mp4, m4a, flac, wav or off

As you can see, lots of formats but unfortunately not the document formats that Google uses natively.

Note that you need to be signed in to your Google account to add the application to the web browser. The app requests the following permissions:

  • View basic information about your account.
  • View and manage Google Drive files that you have opened or created with the app.
  • Perform these operations when I'm not using the application.

To convert a file on Google Drive, right-click it in the file listing and select Open with > DriveConverter from the context menu. This launches a page on the Drive Converter website that you can use to customize the output.

Select the desired output format in step one and whether you want the converted document to be saved to Drive automatically after the conversion. A click on the convert button starts the conversion, with the process of it displayed on the page. The converted file appears immediately on Google Drive if you have selected the option. A download link is also displayed on the page so that you can download it to your local system as well.


DriveConverter is a useful application for Google Chrome that offers two main features to make life easier. The first improves the handling of file conversions of files that you have hosted on Google Drive, the second makes available those conversions without you having to download the original files first to your local system.

Some users may not like that you need to sign in to a Google account to add the app, and that you need to authorize it to access the select Google Drive file and basic account information. In addition, I do not recommend using the service, or any other online service, for the conversion of important documents. (via)

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  1. Gary said on April 30, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Don’t convert files. It won’t be smart. I installed rollapp extension into Chrome browser and it allows me to open almost any type of file

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