Have you ever needed to send a PDF to someone that you've stored in your Google Drive? Usually, this can be managed by sharing the document with this individual, but what if you want to ensure that they actually download their own copy of the document? You can actually create a special link to a shared Google Drive file that forces the recipient to download a copy of the file rather than just viewing it in their web browser. Here's how to do it:


First, you need to make sure your recipient has permission to view the file in question; if they aren't listed as a collaborator, or if your document isn't public, this trick won't work. Second, select the file in Google Drive, then click on the 'sharing button':



Next, copy the link that's displayed into a text editor (like Microsoft Word). You should see a long string of what looks like gibberish:



You'll need to edit this link before sending it to your recipient, mostly by deleting parts of it. Basically, you want to save the file's ID (the long string of letters and numbers in the middle), and delete a lot of the other stuff:


This should leave you with just the 'drive.google.com' address and the file ID:




Now, to make the recipient download your linked file, you'll need to add a few magic words to the URL. I've highlighted them in green below:

And that's it! You can now send your newly-created link to your recipient; when they click on it, their computer will download the file you've linked to.


Here's the article that I first read explaining this method: https://milanaryal.com/2015/direct-linking-to-your-files-on-dropbox-google-drive-and-onedrive/




-RBB