1. I've an image in my Drive URL = "https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7Qr0kRr6yOOLXB1OE5lUUxBRjQ"

  2. I converted it to "https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B7Qr0kRr6yOOLXB1OE5lUUxBRjQ"

Replaced "open?id" with "uc?export=download&id"

  1. The modified URL from step 2 above is in Sheet1!A1.

At Sheet1!A5 when I use =Image(A1,1) it doesn't work but when I use:


it works. This shows up image.

What's the reason that when I use direct URL with IMAGE Function it works but when I give cell reference of containing URL it won't?

  • 1
    The image require permission to be accessed but it should public to be used by IMAGE. Create a demo spreadsheet shared with anyone with the link showing both cases. Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 14:14
  • Just tried Google Sheets image() function. It doesn't work at all. 👎🏻
    – Jonny
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 3:52

2 Answers 2


Remove the quotes on A1.

The above because referenced text values should not contain quotes.

Please bear in mind that the

  1. The image should be shared with anyone with the link.
  2. Google Drive might block the access to the image for a while if it is downloaded too many times. If your spreadsheet / image regularly have this problem you should consider to upload the image to another service like Google Sites, Google Blog, a web hosting, etc.

One detail that may be causing an issue: additional whitespace characters at the end of the URL. The Image function won't give you an error, but it also won't display the desired image if there are spaces at the end of the URL in the referenced cell.

One easy way to get rid of spaces is to use the TRIM function. For example, if your URL is in A2, using =IMAGE(TRIM(A2), 1) may produce the image when =IMAGE(A2, 1) does not:

Screenshot showing image appearing when TRIM function is used, but not otherwise, for URL with spaces at the end

The TRIM function will only remove spaces, but if you highlight the full URL in the formula bar, other whitespace characters may become more apparent and therefore easier to remove.

Highlighting entire URL in formula bar with extra spaces at the end circled

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.