How to Download Books From Google Books

Dan Price Updated 08-12-2019

Google offers a vast repository of ebooks via Google Books. There’s the Google Books search engine and Google Play Books store. Both services let you save copies of books so you can read them offline. So here’s how to download books from Google Books.


Google Books Search Engine

Firstly, let’s look at how to download a book from Google Books for free.

What Is the Google Books Search Engine?

The Google Books search engine has been around since 2004. It lets you search more than 30 million titles, each of which Google has scanned and converted into text using OCR. Several magazines are also included.

When you click on a search result, you’ll see the scanned pages, information about the book (such as author, publication date, and blurb), and links to buy the title in either ebook or print form.

You can also add your own review and save the book to your library.

Can You Download Any Title on Google Books for Free?

No. Each title on Google Books is assigned one of four access levels. They are:

  • No Preview: If Google has not yet scanned the book, you will not be able to see any of its text. You will, however, still have access to its metadata and ISBN.
  • Snippet: If Google does not have the necessary copyright permissions, you will be able to see up to three snippets of text. The snippets show a few sentences on either side of a specific query. No snippets are shown for reference books like encyclopedias and dictionaries.
  • Preview: Most books on Google Books fall into the Preview category. They are available for books that are still in print and for which Google has expressed permission from the copyright owner. If a book is in the Preview category, you will be able to browse a variable number of pages. All the pages are watermarked, and you cannot download, save, or copy them.
  • Full View: Google assigns the Full View category to books that are no longer in print and which are in the public domain. A small number of in-print books are also included. This is the only category from which you can download books from Google Books.

How to Download Books From Google Books

So, how do you download books from Google Books that are in the Full View category?

Unless you know which out-of-print title you want, we’d recommend using the Google Books Advanced Search feature. It lets you enter several specific parameters, one of which is the category of the book. Obviously, you need to choose Full View.

You can also enter keywords, preferred publishers, authors, ISBNs, ISSNs, and titles. When you’re ready, hit the Google Search button in the upper right-hand corner.

download google books free ebooks link


From the list of results, click on the title of the book you’re looking for. The book’s information page will load. You can find the download link in the upper left-hand corner. It is labeled as EBOOK—FREE.

By hovering over the link, you can see which devices you can read the book on, and which additional features (such as flow reading and scanned pages) the book supports.

download google books for free

When you click on the link, you’ll receive an additional prompt to confirm your decision. Select Read, and the book will become available in the My Books section of the Google Play Store. To download it, click on the three dots on the listing and select Download PDF or Download EPUB (depending on availability).


Google Play Books

Google Play Books is Google’s ebook store. It’s the second-largest ebook shop on the web behind Amazon. It offers more than six million titles for purchase. You can also use the platform to buy audiobooks and rent textbooks.

How to Download Books From Google Play Books

Google Play Books lets you download any book you own so you can read it offline. The options available to you will vary depending on whether you bought the book of if it was free.

If you have free ebooks in your library (either because you saved them using from Google Books using the previous method or you took advantage of a free ebook offer on the store itself), you can download a PDF or EPUB version of the file. You can then copy, reproduce, and share the file as you wish.

For paid books, however, you can only download a copy onto your device for reading when offline. You will not be able to access the PDF or EPUB file.


To download the books, you will either need the Google Play Books smartphone app (for mobile devices), or the Chrome browser and the Play Books extension from the Chrome Web Store (for desktops).

Download Google Play Books on Android or iOS

To download a book onto your mobile device, follow the instructions below:

  1. Grab a copy of the free Google Play Books app from the appropriate app store.
  2. Ensure your device has an internet connection.
  3. Tap on the Library tab at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Tap on the book you want to save for offline reading.

The download process will start automatically. When it’s finished, you will see a tick appear on the book’s thumbnail.

To see which books you have already downloaded from Google Play, go to Menu > Downloaded Only.

Download: Google Play Books for Android | iOS (Free)

Download Google Play Books on Windows and Mac

google play books extension download ebooks offline

If you’d prefer to download a book on your desktop machine instead, use these instructions:

  1. Download Google Chrome for your preferred operating system.
  2. Download the Google Play Books web app for Google Chrome.
  3. Open Chrome and access the Google Play Books app.
  4. Find the book you want to download for offline reading.
  5. Hover your mouse over the book’s thumbnail and click on Make available offline.

If you want to remove the book in the future, just untick the same checkbox.

Download: Google Chrome (Free)
Download: Google Play Books for Google Chrome (Free)

Other Ways to Download Free Books Online

The methods described in this article will help you to ensure you always have plenty of reading material to hand, even if you’re going to be offline for an extended period of time.

And remember, Google Books is not the only place where you can find free ebooks. If you’d like to learn more, here are some websites with free ebooks that don’t suck 5 Sites With Lots of Completely Free Ebooks That Don't Suck If you know where to look, you can snag free ebooks to read online, download to your computer, or transfer to your Kindle. Read More and the best websites to get free ebooks The 10 Best Free Ebook Download Sites Want free ebook downloads? Here are several of the best sites for downloading free ebooks. Read More .

Related topics: Download Management, Ebooks, Education Technology, Google Play, Google Play Store, Reading.

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  1. kot
    April 7, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Works. Download images of all AVAILABLE pages.

  2. G
    January 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    This software does not work. Nor does Leech Book, they are all fake. :(

  3. lkjh
    January 6, 2010 at 11:15 am

    GBD is dead. Pity! it used to be the best. Now all we have for now is the infamous Greasemonkey script, which almost never works with google preview books.

  4. Titans
    August 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Please Help Me I have GBD but Some Problems


  5. Frank H
    August 6, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Hello guys... The GBD (alpha8) doesn´t work anymore. Maybe Google has change something.

    But, the greasemonkey script works fine.

  6. mojtaba
    June 26, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    can any one send googlebook downloader for me please?
    i cant download it.
    my mail is : golshanimojtaba@gmail.com

  7. boeriec-aja
    June 2, 2009 at 8:27 am

    aya orang burujul euy....pipilieun nyasar.
    "i'm using SP3, unable to run the app"

  8. Squall
    May 16, 2009 at 4:13 am

    It's take too long to download my book. This is normal or I do something wrong.
    My book have 900 pages.

  9. Gendeng
    May 13, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Waduh itu siapa komen pake basa lokal? I can not use it either.

  10. ryuka
    May 12, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Aduh,,teu ngarti
    susah pisan downloadna
    "I can't allow the intruction,, I can't get what I need, I can't use it well!

  11. Lili
    May 1, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Varun,
    Thanks alot, I download it & it was very good.
    But it was a trial version.
    Can you please tell me how to re download it again.
    It stopped working.
    I think they banned my IP.
    I need it so much, please help me

  12. Benny
    April 12, 2009 at 5:09 am

    What about this book?


    ID: E9PDg8-TFlUC (right?)
    This ID resulted in the endless loop ... Can you please help me?

  13. YECID
    March 31, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Please help me
    I want to download

    but i cant see the pages...

    i'd wait 200Mb and nothing....

    • ahmad
      January 9, 2015 at 6:05 am

      the code is between 'id=' and '&'

  14. sandy
    March 21, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    how to get book code?

  15. Elmer
    March 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    How do you know where the Book Code is? Where do you find the Book Code?

    • Varun Kashyap
      March 22, 2009 at 2:42 am

      When you search for a book and then click on it to view its page the url in the address bar has a part "id=xxxxxxxxxx"
      that is the code you need

      • kamini
        October 30, 2009 at 11:04 am

        please tell me how to download google book. i have installed greesymonkey but it didnt work

  16. Robert
    March 13, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Many thanks for your sharing. I really need it.
    I tried but it does not work on my XP.
    Can you let me know what is "book code"
    I check a book, it has ISBN and OCLC number.
    Is any one of them book code?
    Many big thanks for your reply!

  17. cyberst0rm
    March 9, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Been using this method for a while now.
    Hasn't failed me yet!

  18. Top Internet Blog
    March 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    great source of free books, thanks for posting

  19. Thrifter
    March 4, 2009 at 1:25 am

    There is a Greasemonkey script that does an even better job at this: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/37933

    • well
      May 18, 2009 at 10:50 am

      I'm not sure that the Greasemonkey script does the job better. At least this downloader is supposed to download the entire book even if it is a limited preview ;-)

    • pishko
      May 25, 2009 at 3:41 pm

      thanks, it works :)

  20. dga5000
    March 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Is this legal?

    • Jonathan B.
      March 3, 2009 at 8:49 pm


  21. Declan
    March 3, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I've downloaded books from Google Books, but I've never used this or any application. Most book preview have a little link down along the right to download them as PDFs in their entirety if that's available.

    • k_n
      October 30, 2009 at 11:03 am

      please tell me whats the software to download google books and also give me link for downloading this software

  22. El
    March 3, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    too bad it doesnt work on my laptop. i have windows xp sp3 with net 3.5.

    whenever i run the application, it seem to be no respond. like nothing open and happen.

    • ReferIndia
      July 22, 2009 at 8:33 am

      Please, Help me… I have already download google book downloader but it is not workinng. What i have to do ???

      Are there any link for that??
      And what type of instruction required ??