Sorry, you can't view or download this file at this time is an error message that you may get when you try to download files on Google Drive.
The explanation for the error message is simple: while users are free to share files publicly, or with a large number of users, quotas are in effect that limit availability.
If too many users view or download a file, it may be locked for a 24 hour period before the quota is reset. The period that a file is locked may be shorter according to Google.
If a file is particularly popular, it may take days or even longer before you manage to download it to your computer or place it on your Drive storage.
While you may wait until the file becomes available again, doing so may be risky. If the file is pulled in the meantime, you won't be able to download it anymore. Also, if you require the file right away, for instance for work related tasks, waiting may not be an option.
There is a workaround that allows you to bypass Google Drive's 24 hour limit. How that is done depends largely on what you see on the screen.
The most common error is shown on the screenshot above. It simply shows the error message but no other controls or options.
Basically, what this does is create a copy of the file on your own Drive account. Since you are the owner of the copied file, you may download it to your local system this way.
Please note that this works only if you are signed in to a Google Account. Also note that you are the owner of the copied file and will be held responsible for policy violations or other issues linked to the file.
Now You: How do you handle file downloads on the Internet?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.