By Nicky / Last Updated January 12, 2021


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Unable to preview file on Google Drive!

“Hello! Yesterday I had plugged in my memory disk from my camera into my laptop and dragged all of the images into my file folder called ‘photos’ on my Google Drive. I continued to let them download until it said that it was complete. However, out of the 500 photos that were downloaded about 8 of them show up. When I try to click on the other remaining pictures but find that Google Drive image preview not working. Is there anything that I could do in order to view them? Please help me!”

The preview feature of Google Drive

Generally, the Preview feature in Google Drive allows you to view a document without opening it or converting it to a standard Google office format (GDOC, GSHEET, and GSLIDE). Most documents can be previewed. So, users can use Google Drive’s new “Preview” feature to take a quick look at a file - or an entire folder.

Meanwhile, there’s no editing in Preview mode, but you’re free to zoom in share, and even print, as well as switch between files within a Google Drive folder. Please check the steps to preview files on Google Drive first:

1. Go ahead and open Google Drive website in a browser.

Google Drive Main

2. To preview a single file, just right-click it within Google Drive and select “Preview” from the pop-up menu.

Preview Files in Google Drive

Note: If you try to open an image, video, or PDF in Google Drive, it’ll open in Preview mode automatically.

Why can't I preview files on Google Drive sometimes?

As the case shows, if you are a user of Google Drive, chances are that you may find that Google Drive image preview not working sometimes. Actually, there are so many reasons for this issue. if you are facing this Google Drive no preview available issue right now, the first thing you should do is to check if you preview your files in the right way.

If you follow the right steps to preview files on Google Drive but find that you are unable to preview file on Google Drive, you should try some effective solutions to this issue. In the next part, you will learn specific solutions with detailed steps. Please read on.

How to solve “unable to preview file on Google Drive” issue?

More often than not, the Google Drive file preview error might have something to do with the browser. Therefore, you can try some effective solutions below to solve the Google Drive no preview available issue.

Solution 1. Open Google Drive in another browser

First of all, you can try to open Google Drive in another browser and see if you can preview files in other browsers. Therefore, please open the file in Google Drive in another compatible browser. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge and Safari are the four browsers that can use Google Drive.

Other Browsers

Solution 2. Update your browser

Please note that the compatibility of Google Drive is also limited to the two latest versions of the supported browsers. Therefore, if your browser is not updated, the drive viewer may not open the files. You can update the Chrome browser with the following steps:

1. Click Help in the menu bar, and then click About Google Chrome.

Upgrade Browser

2. On this page, the browser will automatically help you check whether there is an updated version and download it.

Upgrade Browser

3. After the update is complete, click Relaunch, restart the browser, and then continue to complete the file download operation.


Solution 3. Clear the cache in the browser

Clearing the corrupted browser cache can solve the loading and formatting problems on the website. Therefore, when Google Drive no preview available, it is worth clearing the browsing cache. You can learn how to clear the cache in Google Chrome in the following:

1. Click on the three vertical dots from the upper-right corner of your window.

2. Select More tools > Clear browsing data.

Clear Cache

3. Choose a relevant time range or select All time to clear everything.

4. Select the checkboxes next to Cached images and files and Cookies and other site data.

5. Click on Clear data.

Clear Cache

Solution 4. Turn off browser extension

Google Drive file preview errors may be related to browser extensions. To make sure that this is not the case, please turn off all browser extensions. Let’s take Firefox as an example to show you how to turn off browser extension:

1. Open Firefox. In the upper-right corner of the window, click the Open Menu icon.

2. In the menu, click Add-ons icon in Firefox.

3. On the left side of the Add-on Manager tab, click Extensions.

4. Under Manage Your Extensions, locate the extension you want to disable or remove and click the blue toggle switch Firefox toggle off so it turns gray Firefox toggle off.

Disable Extensions

Solution 5. Convert the file to a compatible viewer format

As most users know, the Google Drive viewer is compatible with a relatively limited number of file formats and Google Drive does not support so many third-party software file formats. These are some of the audio, video, image, text, Adobe, and Microsoft Office formats you can open in Google Drive.

Audio: MP3, M4A, WAV, and OGG

Microsoft Office: DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, and PPTX

Text: TXT

Pictures: JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, WEBP, and GIF


Adobe: PDF, PSD, and AI

If you cannot preview files in Google Drive, you may be trying to open an incompatible file format.

Therefore, you can convert incompatible presentation, document, and spreadsheet file formats to Google's native format in Google Drive first

1. Right-clicking on the incompatible file in Google Drive and select the "Open with" option. Then choose to open it using a table, document, or slide.

2. This will create a second copy of the spreadsheet, document, or presentation in a compatible native format, which you can preview in Google Drive.

Open With

Solution 6. Compress or split files

If you are trying to preview a document on Google Drive, please note that Google Drive also has file size limits for documents and presentations. Therefore, Google Drive Viewer may not open documents and presentations that exceed the file size limit. GD limits Google Doc documents to 50 MB, and slide presentation files to 100 MB.

Thus, compressing or splitting files to reduce file size is also a way to fix Google Drive document preview errors. You can split up a text document into two or more. To compress files, you can rely on a tool that can compress PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and PDF file formats.

Solution 7. Switch to other cloud storage

If you need to see your files in Google Drive but all the methods above failed, you can migrate your files from Google Drive to another cloud storage you have and preview these files on another cloud storage normally. If there are so many files you need to move between cloud storage, you can obtain help from a professional cloud backup tool like CBackupper.

CBackupper allows you to create an account to do cloud to cloud backup freely and easily. In addition, there are many useful features that can improve your backup efficiency. Follow the steps below to switch Google Drive to other cloud storage with ease:

1. CBackupper is a web-based service so you don’t need to download or install any app. Just go to the website of CBackupper, get started to type your email, password, and name to create an account and sign in.

Sign Up

2. Now, you are on the main page of CBackupper, click “Add Clouds” under the “Clouds” tab to select the clouds you want to add and click on “Add”. Then, you will be led to sign in your public cloud storage account and authorize CBackupper to access your account.

Add Google Drive

3. To backup data, click on the “Tasks” tab at the top of the page, then, click the “Create Task” button to create a backup task.

Create Task

4. Name your backup task in order to distinguish. Click the “Add Source” button to add Google Drive (you can choose the entire cloud storage or just certain files in this cloud storage here) as the backup source. Click “Add Destination” to another cloud as a backup destination and click "Start Backup".

Add Source and Destination

Bonus tip: turn to another cloud backup service

Preview is an important feature of cloud storage, if your Google Drive preview not working, you can consider using another cloud backup, which allows you to preview files normally. If you are a Windows user and need a recommendation, you can consider CBackupper. Besides the cloud to cloud backup/sync feature, it also offers a PC cloud backup service for Windows PCs.

With it, you can backup your Windows PC to its cloud called AOMEI Cloud in an easy and secure way. After backing up, you can see the backup versions on CBackupper and restore them at any time. What's more, CBackupper is very cost-effective. The pricing of CBackupper is $6.00 per month (1000GB), $60.00 per year (1000GB) as well as a 15-day free trial.

cBackupper Sign Up


Contents above show 7 solutions to the “unable to preview files Google Drive” issue, you can try them according to your situation. If you don’t want to waste time on fixing this issue, you can try the last solution to switch to another cloud storage with CBackupper and preview your files on other cloud storage without any error.