How to Sort Google Drive by Size and Find Large Files

Check Google Workspace

Before cracking on with our fixes, you should first check the Google Workspace Dashboard.

Google Drive is pretty good when it comes to uptime, and it’s very rare that the service itself isn’t working. However, check the Dashboard for any outages to Google Drive before taking matters into your own hands. If you see that Google Drive is down, it’s just a case of waiting it out until it’s working again.

Also read:The Best Tips and Tutorials for Google Classroom



Install it with the following command:

After that, you can download any file from Google Drive by running one of these commands:

Example: to download the readme file from this directory

The file_id should look something like 0Bz8a_Dbh9QhbNU3SGlFaDg. You can find this ID by right-clicking on the file of interest, and selecting Get link. As of November 2021, this link will be of the form:

Restart/Reinstall Google Drive App

Another solution within the Drive app is restarting or even reinstalling the app. Click the Google Drive icon in the notification area, then click the Settings cog and “Exit”.

To reopen it, type “google drive” into Windows search in the Start menu and open the desktop app from there.

Alternatively, you can reinstall Google Drive altogether. Uninstall it by right-clicking the Start menu, clicking “Apps & features,” uninstalling it from the list, then reinstalling it by downloading it here.

7. Clear Cache on Android

If you are checking the available storage from an Android phone, clear the cache for the Drive app. Clearing cache will not delete the files as it is different from clearing data.

To clear cache for Google Drive, open Settings on your phone and go to Apps & notifications or Installed apps. Look for Google Drive under All apps. Tap on Storage inside Google Drive. Finally, tap on Clear cache. Restart your phone.

Tip: You should also clear the cache for Google Drive web.

Limitations of using Google Drive to receive files

Seems easy peasy, right? But here’s what’s important to know:

If they have a Google account, they’ll click “open” and see the folder the same way that you see it, with options to upload files and folders.



If they don’t have a Google account, this is what they’ll see:

The problem with using Google Drive shared folders

The problem with using Google Drive shared folders for receiving files is that your clients need to have a Google account to be able to upload. 

Ideally, you want to go with a tool that’s barrier-free for your clients. When you make matters easy for them, you also make life easy for you by avoiding delays. 

Send Large Files From iOS

If you're using the Gmail app on an iOS device, do this:

These steps apply to the Gmail app for iOS devices, not the built-in email client called Mail. The process for attaching files in the iPhone Mail app is different.

  1. Open the message you're replying to or forwarding, or start a new one, and then tap the paperclip or attachment icon at the top of the screen.

  2. Scroll down to the Drive section and select the file you want to send via Gmail. Tap the arrow to search and browse for files. Repeat these steps to add more files.

  3. When you're done writing the email, use the send button to email the large file via Google Drive.

Sep 2021

  • First, extract the ID of your desire file from google drive:

    1. In your browser, navigate to

    2. Right-click on the file, and click "Get a shareable link"

    3. Then extract the ID of the file from URL:

  • Next, install gdown PyPI module using pip:

    pip install gdown

  • Finally, download the file using gdown and the intended ID:

    gdown --id <put-the-ID>


  • In google-colab you have to use ! before bash commands. (i.e. !gdown --id 1-1wAx7b-USG0eQwIBVwVDUl3K1_1ReCt)
  • You should change the permission of the intended file from "Restricted" to "Anyone with the link".

3. Delete Orphan Files

Sometimes, when you delete a folder from Google Drive, the files within it aren’t deleted. Such files are known as orphan files. They aren’t visible directly in Drive. You can view them by searching the keyword ‘is:unorganized owner:me’. If files show up, delete them if not needed or move them to a folder to make them visible.

Tip: On the web, you can delete the files by dragging them to the Trash folder.

How to Share File Access on Your Mobile Device

If you're using the mobile app, you'll see a prompt first. Tap More Options to manage the sharing. You'll see the following options:

  • Recipients only lets you share the file with the email recipients. They must log in to their Google account to access it. You can give them view, comment, or edit permissions.
  • Anyone with the link is for giving anyone access, even if they don't have a Google account. You can give them view, comment, or edit permissions.
  • Continue without sharing shares the file without giving them permissions.