How to download and install Google fonts

You may already know that Google maintains a selection of fonts (named, as expected, Google Fonts) for use in their Android operating system. You may also have ran across this website that allows you to preview all the fonts that are available. However, you can’t download them directly from there, which is a real bummer. Fortunately, all of them are available on GitHub for you to download and use.

How to download Google fonts from GitHub

Go to Google fonts’ GitHub repository and click on the link on the right side named Clone or download, then select Download ZIP, as shown in the image below.

Download Google fonts from GitHub.

The zip file is quite big (around 300 MB), so you may need to be patient while it finishes downloading.

How to install Google fonts

Our series of guides on how to install fonts is a great starting point. There’s one for Windows, one for macOS and one for Linux which tries to be as distribution-agnostic as it gets. However, the ZIP file you can download from GitHub has a few quirks that you should know about.

First and foremost, fonts are contained in folders named after the license they use. Knowing this may be important if you plan on using one of them in, say, an app, but isn’t terribly relevant if all you need them for is private use. I suggest you install them in bulk and to do this, you’ll need to move all files with a TTF file extension at once.

On Windows

Extract the ZIP file somewhere and open the unpacked folder. Type

*.ttf

in the search bar on the top right corner. This will return all the files ending with a TTF file extension.

Now, open a new File Explorer window and go to C:\Windows\Fonts. Select all files in the search window and drag and drop them onto the other one. This will install them.

NoteNote: Since we’re trying to move many files at once, your PC may hang up when you try to drag and drop them, especially if your computer isn’t very powerful. In order to prevent this from happening, select all font files with Ctrl + A and select Copy after right-clicking, then paste it inside C:\Windows\Fonts.

On macOS and Linux

We’ll have to resort to the command-line to install all these fonts in bulk. On macOS, open a Terminal window and use the following command

find ~ -name *.ttf -exec sudo cp {} /Library/Fonts \;

Whereas on Linux, the syntax is slightly different:

find ~ -name *.ttf -exec sudo cp {} -t /usr/share/fonts \;

This command can be very slow, so be patient!

About Andrea Luciano Damico 117 Articles
Andrea Luciano Damico is a freelance translator from Italy. Among his interests are linguistics, technology, video games, and generally being a chill guy. He runs Let's Translate.it and Tech4Freelancers.net.