How to Download and Watch Google Drive Movies

It's easy to watch and even download videos hosted in the cloud.

Google Drive is great for hosting and sharing spreadsheets, documents, presentations, and photos, but did you know you can also use Google Drive for movies? You can also find other publicly listed videos to download to your computer or play them directly from Google Drive.

The instructions in this article apply to Windows and Mac computers.

Where to Find Google Drive Movies

Google Drive lets users share movies directly with others or publicly to the web. With this in mind, you may find movies listed on a host of websites and online communities. Make sure you have the necessary permissions to share or download content.

One way to find movies on Google Drive is with a Google search using this search: site:drive.google.com movies.

Google Drive's Terms of Service dictate all users must comply with local laws, including copyright restrictions. Google explicitly warns against uploading content for which you don't have the necessary sharing permissions and also warns that violations may lead to account suspension. Adding copyrighted files to your Drive or downloading them to your computer may also trigger punitive measures.

How to Play, Save, and Download Google Drive Movies

After you find the link to a film you want to watch, you're only a few steps away from playing your movie, saving it to your Google Drive, or downloading it directly to your computer.

When you choose to download a Google Drive movie to your computer, Google runs a virus scan on the file. However, many files are too large for Google to scan, in which case you see an advisory notice. It's good practice to exercise caution and only download movies from sources you trust.

  1. Select the link to open a Google Drive movie file. You are taken directly to the player screen.

  2. Select the Play icon to watch the movie.

    A movie in Google Drive player with the play button highlighted.
  3. To download the movie to your computer, select the Download icon.

    A movie in Google Drive player with the download button highlighted.
  4. To save the movie to your Google Drive, select the Add to My Drive icon.

    A movie in Google Drive player with the Add to My Drive button highlighted.
  5. Once the film is added to your Google Drive, you can always opt to download it later. To do this, find the file in your Google Drive and either right-click or double-click it to open the additional options menu. Select Download and choose where you want to save it on your computer.

    A movie file in Google Drive with the Download button highlighted.

    Not all videos that can be streamed can also be downloaded; you might hit a "quota exceeded" page if too many people have recently downloaded the file.

How to Download Google Drive Movies Using Google Backup and Sync

If you want to download movie files saved to your Google Drive, you can use Google's Backup and Sync desktop app to do this in the background. It's also a good way to download a batch of movies or other content you've saved to your Google Drive.

  1. Download the Back up and Sync app from Google.

    The Google Backup and Sync webpage with the Download Backup and Sync button highlighted
  2. Install the app.

  3. Once Backup and Sync is fully set up, you'll see the app icon in the system tray area of the taskbar (Windows) or in the menu bar (Mac). Select it to see an overview of activity and quick launch icons.

    Mac desktop with Backup and Sync launched
  4. Select the three-dot options menu and then select Preferences.

    MacOS desktop with Backup and Sync launched. The additional options menu is open and Preferences is highlighted.
  5. In your Backup and Sync preferences, select Google Drive. Choose the folder or folders in which your movies are stored, select Sync only these folders and click OK.

    Google Drive preferences with the Google Drive folder highlighted

Your Google Drive movies download in the background to your computer.

How to Play Google Movies Saved to Your Computer

There are a slew of video formats, not all of which are naturally supported by desktop media players. Fortunately, VLC is a media player that works with a variety of formats and has versions for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

To install VLC on a Mac and use it to open a movie file:

  1. Go to the VLC website and select Download VLC.

    VLC website with Download VLC button highlighted
  2. Install the app.

  3. Launch VLC.

  4. Locate the movie on your computer and either drag it into VLC or select Open media on a Mac (or Media > Open File in Windows) to launch the file selector.

    VLC app with the media target field

Once added, your movie automatically begins to play. Your movie remains in the VLC playlist until you remove it.

You can add additional movies by dragging and dropping files or select File > Open file and using the file selector.