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How to Download Protected PDF from Google Drive?

Looking to Download Restricted Google Drive PDF File from Google Drive? Here are the Best Methods to Download View Only Protected PDF on Browser.
Download View Only Protected PDF Google Drive

The owner of the file has the power to disable the download option for a shared file. This means you can only view the file as a preview in your browser or Google Drive app, but there will be no download button. Now, if you wish to download the View Only Protected PDF from Google Drive, you can implement a small JS Code in your browser to download the file.

Similarly, you can download view-only protected Google Drive Video and Google Docs using separate methods. But today, in this post, I will highlight how you can download PDF files without a download option.

It is interesting to note that Google Drives splits the pdf into separate images as a Blob, and when the download is requested, then it compiles the images together and gives you a PDF to download. Therefore it is not very easy to download the restricted PDF from Google Drive that does not have a download button. But you can use JS code into your Chromes Dev tool to download the file as a PDF with only a few clicks.

Steps to Download Restricted Google Drive PDF

Here are the Simple Steps to Download View Only Protected PDF from Google Drive Using Chrome Browser

  1. Open the PDF file on your Chrome Browser.
  2. Let the file load completely.
    Download Button Missing
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page.
  4. Now open Developer Console by pressing Ctrl + Shift + C for Windows or Cmd + Shift + C for Mac.
  5. Click on Console Tab.
    Console Tab
  6. Now paste the JS code (Below) in the console and hit Enter.
    Enter JS Code in Console
  7. Done! The PDF file will be downloaded.

JavaScript Code

let jspdf = document.createElement("script");
jspdf.onload = function () {
let pdf = new jsPDF();
let elements = document.getElementsByTagName("img");
for (let i in elements) {
let img = elements[i];
console.log("add img ", img);
if (!/^blob:/.test(img.src)) {
console.log("invalid src");
let can = document.createElement('canvas');
let con = can.getContext("2d");
can.width = img.width;
can.height = img.height;
con.drawImage(img, 0, 0, img.width, img.height);
let imgData = can.toDataURL("image/jpeg", 1.0);
pdf.addImage(imgData, 'JPEG', 0, 0);
jspdf.src = '';

Alternative Method 1

The above JS method works for Simple PDF files, but if you wish to download Large PDF files with complex orientation in HD quality, then the simple JS code may not work that great, here you can try this advanced trick to save the download protected Google Drive PDF.

Use this method only if the above method does not give you desired PDf File

  1. Download the Zip file and extract the content.
  2. Open Method_1_Script.js.
  3. Copy the JS Code.
    Copy the Code
  4. Now open the PDF File.
  5. Go to Dev Console and Paste the copied JS Code, and hit enter. (You can change the file name in the Scriptlet pdfDocumentName = "BytesBin_PDF";)
    Paste the JS Code
  6. The script will self-scan all the pages and download PDF_DataFile.
  7. Now copy and paste the DataFile in the Input folder of the Extracted Zip.
    Paste PDF DATA File
  8. If you are using Windows, then navigate to the “Windows” folder and double click on “GeneratePDF.cmd” or if you are using Linux, then navigate to the “Linux” folder and execute “GeneratePDF”.
  9. A successful message will be shown once the whole process completes.
  10. A new output folder will be generated, navigate to the “Output” directory to check your created PDF.
  11. Done! 😀

Alternative Method 2

Use This method if PDF with less than 20 pages

  1. Open the URL of the protected view-only PDF File into your browser.
  2. Open the script “Method_2_Script.js” and copy all the JS Code.
  3. Open the browser web console.
  4. Paste the copied script into the console and press enter.
  5. The script will scan all the pages and after a few seconds, the browser will prompt you to save the PDF file.
  6. Save the file and enjoy! 😀

Using Chrome Extension

You can use Screen Capture Chrome Extension to Capture a complete PDF File on the Website as a Screenshot and then download the screengrab as a PDF. Here’s how you can do it;

  1. Add GoFullPage Chrome extension to your Chrome Browser.
    Add to Chrome GoFullPage
  2. Open Restricted PDF file.
  3. Now click on the GoFullPage extension icon.
    Click on GoFullPage Icon
  4. The extension will auto-scroll the webpage to capture everything on the screen as a screenshot. It may take time depending on the length of the PDF.
    The extension will auto-scroll the webpage to capture everything on the screen as a screenshot
  5. Once the process is completed, you can Download the screenshot as a PDF document.
    Download the Screenshot as PDF
  6. To remove the extra dark border from the PDF, use an online tool like Crop PDF to trim the borders, apply changes and download the cropped PDF file.
    Crop All Pages
  7. If the PDF file is too large, then the extension will take two or more screenshots of the file. That you can further merge together using 3rd party online tools.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

How to Download View Only PDF from Google Drive?

Yes! You can download View Only Protected PDF from Google Drive using a JavaScript Code that complies the PDF images into a Single PDF File to Download.

Why Download Button is Missing for PDF in Google Drive?

If the Download Button is Missing for a PDF file in Google Drive then the Owner of the File has Set Download Restriction for the file to Prevent it from Downloading.

How to Download Protected Google Drive PDF Shared with me?

If the PDF File is Disabled for Download, then you Cannot Save it. You Need to Run a Script from Browser Console to Save the PDF File.

Why Download Option Missing from Google Drive App for Android?

The owner of the file has disabled the download permission for the file, you cannot download the PDF file directly.


With this simple guide above, you can Save the Download Protected Google Drive PDF File. The method best works for the Desktop browser.

99 thoughts on “How to Download Protected PDF from Google Drive?”

  1. It works! but I have something in mind, does this notify the owner that I was able to download the file through this mean or not?

    1. Hey, you will need to download the Zip file link available on method 1 and extract the zip then you will get the script to copy.

  2. Downloaded the Data File but – dont know the next step .
    what do you mean by – If you are using Windows, then navigate to the “Windows” directory and double click on “GeneratePDF.cmd” this msg

    1. Hey,

      Once you paste the DataFile in the Input folder of the Extracted Zip, to download the PDF you need to open the Windows Folder. There you will find the option of “GeneratePDF.cmd”. When you double click the GeneratePDF.cmd option, the PDF is generated, you can grab the generated PDF from the Output folder (the images available in the post will help you understand better).

  3. hey I just pasted the js code on the console tab but as the file gets download it gets distorted and the entire pdf isn’t downloaded
    pls help 😊

      1. can’t get past the input window
        what to do in Mac as you have told in case for windows and linux I’m new to Mac so don’t know how input output works also when i open file that is download Mac says that it doesn’t have application to open it and any application is not available to open in my country

  4. Processing Document.PDF_DataFile
    Generating Document.pdf 2021/08/16 20:31:24 Document.PDF_DataFile, Cannot decode line “1” as it contains invalid PNG Base64 data

    1. It is important to understand that the PDF in Google drive preview is stored as blob:image file for each individual page and when the download is requested the images are compiled together to form a PDF for download. If you are receiving this error then it may be that it trying to convert to base64. unfortunately, the dart cannot convert this type of string. Sorry, to say but it seems to be difficult for you to get the file in PDF.

        1. You need to try alternative methods. If that doesn’t work then you need to try some 3rd party tool/web to convert portrait into landscape mode.

  5. I got this error while applying the alternative method 1, Can you please help out?

    VM2486:28 Uncaught RangeError: Invalid string length
    at generatePDF_DataFile (:28:38)
    at :86:25

    1. Alt Method 1 has some limitations, if the file is too large with complex quality, it may be hard for the code to execute the PDF.

    1. What does exactly are you willing to know? If you want to know whether the owner of the file get notified, then feel free. The owner will not be intimated.

  6. I was able to get it to work but the pages are cut off on the right margin. Changing percentage size doesn’t help. any ideas? Thanks!

  7. Hi please help. Running generatepdf cmd wont do anything. It says the system cant find the given path. Could u please help a struggling student out

  8. I double-clicked PDF Generator, it opened Console with

    0 “.PDF_DataFile” found!

    Nothing in output folder.

  9. Alternative Method 1 works great, but it requires to open the protected document in a new window and then execute the script in console. Amazing job! Thanks.

  10. Getting following error
    Refused to load the script ‘’ because it violates the following Content Security Policy directive

    1. Content-Security-Policy is the name of an HTTP response header that modern browsers use to enhance the security of the document. If you are trying to download a secure document with Content-Security-Policy then the error is evdant.

  11. Hey i just downloaded a restricted file… in my login portal of a course which im studying.. I just downloaded following the method 1. Is there any possiblity that anyone from their side will get to know or its like completely anonymous and safe. Thanks for the tricks though.

  12. I got the same error VM2486:28 Uncaught RangeError: Invalid string length at generatePDF_DataFile (:28:38) at :86:25
    Is there a work around this like scan first the first half then the second half?

  13. hi man, thank you!!! it worked, I was wondering if you have try it out and know if the owner will know that I downloaded it. thank you

  14. Hope you can help. The file is too large for preview and not shared. Black screen is seen with text “Couldn’t preview file. This file is too large to preview”. I tried alternate method 1, didn;t work. Console – after JS input, said “No Scroll”. No images are downloaded. Please help.

  15. I want to download some large pdf files of 60 pages, therefore i try to use alternative method one. Everything works untill step 8 where i double click the windows command prompt. ” If you are using Windows, then navigate to the “Windows” folder and double click on “GeneratePDF.cmd” “. My computer opens the command prompt and shows only the following message in Dutch:
    Het systeem kan het opgegeven pad niet vinden.
    Meaning “The system can’t find the provided pad”. Therefore it doesn’t give me a final output pdf. Can you please help me fix this?

  16. Could you help me with the alternative method 1. After step 8 it doesn’t work for me when i double click the command prompt file. “If you are using Windows, then navigate to the “Windows” folder and double click on “GeneratePDF.cmd” ”
    Nothing happends and i don’t get an output

  17. I downloaded my PDF successfully. However, I had to download 2 files. When I downloaded the 2nd one it got merged with the 1st. Is there any way to avoid this? Thank you so much.

  18. Thanks you! this worked for me!

    I had a bit of a problem in step 6, because I use Mac OS (and the picture in the tutorial is also Mac OS). Everyone MUST USE Windows or Linus, after downloading the file in step 5, open the folder downloaded in step 1 > Generate_PDF folder > Input folder > paste the downloaded file in step 5. Go back to the Generated_PDF folder > Windows/Linux folder (your Os) > run the GeneratedPDF file.
    Good luck!

  19. I used to Alternative Method 1 to download it and it worked. But the letters are a bit blurry, so is there a way to increase the resolution?

    1. zoom in using the magnifying glass as much as possible before running the script, but fair warning this will take up a ton of ram when you run the .cmd file, but you will get a really high resolution file.

  20. Alternative method 1 by far gives the best quality compared to the other methods as you can zoom a lot into the file but it will still capture the whole page. Only tiny issue is that with very big documents it can take a lot of ram when running the .cmd, but that’s no issue for me personally. Any chance of releasing the source code for it? Looks like something that can be packaged neatly into a chrome extension or someth.

  21. Hello, I’ve been doing this to save files but recently, I could not download it anymore and it says like this,

    This document requires ‘TrustedScriptURL’ assignment.
    (anonymous) @ VM471:23
    VM471:23 Uncaught TypeError: Failed to set the ‘src’ property on ‘HTMLScriptElement’: This document requires ‘TrustedScriptURL’ assignment.
    at :23:11

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