How to save Google docs to your computer

Have you ever struggled with poor network connectivity and lost sync with the document editing process in Google Docs? In this post, I will show you, how to save Google docs to your computer.

Just imagine yourself typing things all the way and at some point, you feel mislead or not in sync with the connectivity that the results are not as expected. It becomes even worse when a document is a shared one. 

Not just this one case, Have you ever felt like having an offline copy of your document in your local computer memory for perusal? Of course, not all would be comfortable working online. Moreover, say you are in need to share the document with someone who doesn’t prefer Google Docs and using a different editor of his choice. What would you consider?

Cool, you can always download the document and share it with him via any common external disks like Pendrive, CD-ROM’s, etc. Google lets you handle all such cases elegantly without much hassles in Google Docs. The steps are quite simpler and let’s explore all possibilities in this article briefly. 

How to save Google Docs to your computer directly without any conversions?

Google Docs has evolved a lot from being a basic document editing application. You can easily save any document directly to your local machine without any conversion in much simpler steps. The inbuilt download option available with Google Docs lets you do that on the fly.

Let’s see the steps with screenshots clearly below how to save Google docs to your computer directly.

Steps to save Google Docs to your computer directly:

Step 1: Open Google Docs in the browser of your choice. 

If you aren’t logged in already, Google will prompt you to login with your credentials to continue working with. 

Note: Google Docs is an amazing application with lots of flexibility in cross-browser compatibility. Thus the below steps will be the same in all the major modern browsers out there. 

Step 2: Now open the document which you wish to save to your computer. 

Note: In case if you haven’t created the document yet, choose the Blank from the list at the top. 

Step 3: After opening, make sure the contents are present. If not type in your content and wait for the document to be saved automatically. 

save Google docs to your computer
save Google docs to your computer

Step 4: Now click on File -> Download

You’ll be presented with a new side menu with various document types for you to choose from. 

Step 5: Choose one from the list that suits your requirement. 

How to save Google docs to your computer
How to save Google docs to your computer

Your document will start downloading automatically in your default download location. You can also change it as per your requirement in your browser settings. 

Various use cases for the download option

You’ll be noticing a bunch of document types to choose from. All those are aligned to match your specific requirements. You may require one or another based on the current need. Let’s see the most common possibilities. 

  • In case if you want the document to be editable and hoping to use it in an offline editor like MSWord you should download in Microsoft Word (Docx) format. 

Note: Please note the Google Docs by default will not be in Docx format even though it looks similar to word files. 

  • Sometimes you might be in a need to save the document as pdf so that it won’t be tampered with by anyone and existing alignments are preserved. In such a case, choose to download as a PDF. 

These are the two most common formats you would work with often when dealing with Google Docs. If really your work demands others feel free to give a try, they are pretty straight forward. 

How to make a copy of a shared document and save it to your computer?

Sometimes you might be in a need to work with a shared document. Say, you wish to do some modifications and voice your own opinions on it to your manager. However, it won’t be appropriate to touch the master copy directly.

Instead what you can do is that you can easily make a fresh copy of the document, modify it as per your need and then later save it to your local machine as prescribed above if required. 

Steps to make a copy of a shared document: 

Step 1: Open Google Docs in the browser of your choice. 

Note: If you aren’t logged in already, Google will prompt you to login with your credentials to continue working with. 

Step 2: Choose the shared file which you wish to make a copy

Step 3: Before making any edits, click on File -> Make a copy to make a fresh copy of the document. 

How to save Google Docs to your computer directly
How to save Google Docs to your computer directly

Step 4: This would open up a new popup where you can name your copy of the document and save it to any preferred location of your choice. 

Note: You’ll also notice three other checkboxes that let you customize further if needed. They are pretty straight forward and I’ll leave it to you to play with. 

How to make a copy of a shared document and save it to your computer

Step 5: Then click on the Ok button. This will open up the new copy of the document in a brand new tab. 

Now, you can follow the same steps to work and download it to your computer. The steps are as follows, 

Step 6: After opening, make sure the contents are present. If not type in your content and wait for the document to be saved automatically. 

Step 7: Now click on File -> Download

You’ll be presented with a new side menu with various document types for you to choose from. 

Step 8: Choose one from the list that suits your requirement. 

Your document will start downloading automatically in your default download location. You can also change it as per your requirement in your browser settings. 

A special note for the mac users trying to save the document into your computer:

If you are a Mac user, you’ll not have Microsoft docs to work with. If the document you’ve downloaded in DOCX format you can alternatively use the Pages application to work with. 

How to save Google Docs to your computer using drag and drop?

Although, the previous approach is clear and concise. You might love to adopt a much simpler approach if you the one who tends to use such actions often in your documenting process with applications like MSWord. 

However, you can’t directly drag and drop documents to your local computer folders in Google Docs. 

Note: If you are experiencing any trouble with downloading a file. The problem would be on the owner’s end. The owner might have disabled options to download, print, or copy for people with viewing and commenting access. In such a case, please do contact the owner of the document and solve it. 

How to download Google Docs on your iPhone?

How to download Google Docs on your iPhone? iPhones are in heat at present. Who doesn’t want to own a classic iPhone nowadays? However, there is some limitation when it comes to using Google Docs on iPhone. You can’t directly download Google Docs directly to your iPhone just like on desktop/laptop. What else can we do then?

Yep, you can make it available offline so that you can view and edit the document even when you aren’t connected to the Internet.

Steps to download Google Docs to your iPhone: 

Step 1: Tap on the Google Drive app icon on your iPhone to open the app. 

If you aren’t logged in already, Google will prompt you to login with your credentials to continue working with. 

Step 2: You’ll be presented with your list of docs to choose from. Scroll through the list to choose the one you wish to download from the list. 

Step 3: Now tap ⋯. It’s normally shown at the right of your Google Doc file. This would open up a new pop-up menu. 

Step 4: There will be a list of options. Just scroll down the list and toggle the “Available Offline” switch. Make sure the switch turned blue stating it’s enabled now. 

Thus one can now access the document even offline which is almost like having an own offline copy on your device. 

How to download Google Docs on your android mobiles?

How to download Google Docs on your android mobiles? However, with android, you are not limited to just an offline copy. You can easily download the document just like in desktop apps. The steps are as follows, 

Step 1: Tap on the Google Drive app icon in your android explorer to open the app. 

If you aren’t logged in already, Google will prompt you to login with your credentials to continue working with. 

Step 2: You’ll be presented with your list of docs to choose from. Scroll through the list to choose the one you wish to download from the list. 

Step 3: Now tap ,  It’s normally shown at the right of your Google Doc file. This would open up a new pop-up menu. 

You can also choose to long-press the document’s thumbnail. The results would be the same. 

Step 4: Finally, Tap on the  Image titled Android7download.png Download option from the drop-down menu displayed.

Note: If that was your first time downloading files from Google Drive onto your Android device, you’ll be prompted by Google to allow access to all your Android files in the memory.

Step 5: Thus tap ALLOW if prompted.

This will automatically start downloading the document to your device.

You may like the following Google docs tutorials:

Cool, thus we have seen almost all the possible tricks related to saving your Google Docs to your local devices easily. The next time when you are in need of an offline copy, feel free to try these tricks and you’d definitely love it. Keep exploring!

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