Get a direct link to files hosted in Google Drive

March 19th, 2014

Update: I haven’t had trouble myself but some have reported that this no longer works now that Google has updated to the ‘New Google Drive’.

Imagine you want to use a QR code so guests at Parents’ Night can scan the code and stream video or audio straight to their mobile device. If you share the files in Google Drive, users will be taken to a Google page where they have to download the file first. But if you can create a link that points directly to the file, users can access the content right in their mobile browser.

Direct link files in Google Drive

Direct link to files in Google Drive

Turns out you can do this while still using Google Drive. Any public folder in Drive can host files and provide direct links to the files.

How to create the hosting URL:

This will provide a folder that will give direct links to files inside the folder.
Note: hosting view will not display files created in Google Docs.


Once in the hosting folder, you can right click on any of the files to get a direct link to the file.


  1. […] exploring Google Drive’s ability to host files and provide direct links, I wanted to see if Copy could do the same thing. Turns out it can for most files (not html). below […]

  2. Andrew Legrandon 19 Aug 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Is this still working for you, Dale? I’m receiving a 404 error when I try to append the folder ID to the URL.

  3. Andrew Legrandon 19 Aug 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Answered my own question. The folder needs to be shared publicly on the web, otherwise the folder won’t work.

  4. Daleon 19 Aug 2014 at 3:19 pm

    :) it happens

    Check out this bookmarklet… it does the copy and pasting for you

  5. Casuon 17 Sep 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Direct links like this for files doesn’t work for me since today :/

    Any idea why? Folder and files are set to be public.

  6. Mogsdadon 17 Sep 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Like Casu, this has stopped working for me.

    The Drive UI still shows a “Hosting” URL – but it yields a 403 (permission deinied).

  7. Daleon 17 Sep 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Bummer- this no longer works now that Google has updated to the ‘New Google Drive’ :(

  8. Johnon 03 Nov 2014 at 11:02 am

    This works:

  9. Eka Awaludinon 09 Nov 2014 at 1:14 am

    Thank you.

  10. killerpoton 29 Dec 2014 at 4:05 pm

    i share and .mkv in piblic the streaming not work and the download said 404 error!

  11. Joshon 31 May 2015 at 8:42 am

    You can also just plug the file ID itself into the hosting URL scheme (sharing must be set to either Anyone with link or Public on the web).

  12. Daleon 31 May 2015 at 8:53 am

    @Josh Yes. That’s what I wrote above.

  13. Alexon 03 Jul 2015 at 4:45 am

    It only works for a certain time (calls) with “/host”.
    After that it redirects to a 404 page!

    Any solutions?

  14. Daleon 07 Jul 2015 at 11:52 am

    @alex, I still don’t have trouble with this. It works every time.

  15. Auroraon 30 Jul 2015 at 5:23 pm

    OMG. Thank you. I finally got it to work!

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