How to Fix “Couldn’t Preview File” Error on Google Drive

Stuck with the couldn’t preview file error on Google Drive? Well, yes, it’s a common issue that can be easily fixed using a few workarounds.

Google Drive supports a wide variety of file formats and offers an interactive working space. As we are all aware, Google Drive offers a “Preview” feature that allows you to get a quick view of images, documents, and other files without having to open or download the file. Google Drive’s preview feature is quite useful, isn’t it? It allows you to get a sneak peek at the file’s content in the form of a pop-up window. In the Preview mode, you can take a quick look at the file, zoom in or zoom out and even print the file as well.


Image source: Google Support

However, you may get interrupted in accessing any file on the drive due to the “Couldn’t preview file” error. Wondering how to fix this issue? You’ve come to the right place. In this post, we have listed a few solutions that will allow you to resolve the “Couldn’t preview file error” on Google Drive.

Let’s get started.

Also read: How to Fix a Google Drive “Refused to Connect” Error

How To Fix Google Drive Couldn’t Preview File

Solution 1: Check the File Format

Google Drive supports almost all major file formats. However, the preview mode only supports limited ones. Hence, you can visit this link to know all about the supported file types that you can use on Google Drive. Some of the general supported file types include ZIP, RAR, MP3, MPEG, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, and so on.

Solution 2: Open File in New Window

Here comes another smart hack to resolve the “Couldn’t preview file error” on Google Drive. Here’s what you need to do:

In the Preview mode, tap the three-dot icon on the top-right corner and select the “Open the File in New Window” option.


If you are unable to view a file in the preview mode, you can use this method instead to view the file’s content.

Also read: How to Use Google Drive and Scan the Cloud Storage for Duplicate Files

Solution 3: Log out and Log in Again

Yes, this solution may sound pretty simple but it works. Log out of our Google Account and then sign back again to start afresh.

Tap on your profile icon placed in the top-right corner and hit the “Sign Out” button.


Now, launch any web browser and sign in to your Google account again to check whether the issue was resolved.

Also read: How To Uninstall Google Drive From Mac

Solution 4: Disable Extensions

Is your web browser installed with any third-party extensions? Well, there may be a slight possibility that some of the third-party extensions or add-ons may interfere with Preview’s functioning. To make sure whether that’s the case, you can try disabling the extensions and see whether this method works.

Launch Google Chrome and enter the following URL in the address bar:



Now, toggle off the switch for each third-party extension to disable them from running on the browser. After turning off the extensions, relaunch Google Drive and try opening a file in preview mode to check if you’re still encountering the “Couldn’t preview file” error.

Also read: How to Find Duplicate Photos In Google Drive

Solution 5: Clear the Browser Cache

A corrupt cache file may also trigger the “Couldn’t preview file” error on Google Drive. Hence, in our next workaround, we will try removing the browser cache and other junk files on Chrome.

Tap on the three-dot icon on the top menu bar and select “Settings”.

In the Settings window, switch to the “Privacy and Security” section from the left menu pane.

Tap on “Clear Browsing Data”.


Select a time range, select all the items that you need to remove, and then hit the “Clear now” button to proceed.

Solution 6: Check the Internet Connection

Poor network connectivity might also trigger the “Couldn’t preview file error” on Google Drive. Make sure your device is connected to a strong and secure WiFi network. You can also try rebooting the WiFi router in case the Internet is troubling you. Some of Google Drive’s features might not work when offline.

Image source: How to Geek

So, connect to a WiFi network, reload the preview and check if the issue was resolved.


Here were a few simple methods to fix the “Couldn’t preview file” error on Google Drive. You can use any of these simple tips and tricks to resolve the issue and resume your workflow. Google Drive is one of the best cloud storage platforms that allow you to access your data and files from anywhere and on any device. Do let us know which method did the trick for you. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Good luck fellas!

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