How to Use Kaggle Datasets in Google Colab

Simplify your data science journey by integrating Kaggle datasets into your Google Colab workflows. Our easy-to-follow tutorial will guide you through the process of authenticating Kaggle access, downloading datasets, and extracting them for use in your analysis and machine learning projects.

If you’re a data scientist, you’re probably familiar with Kaggle, the popular platform for data science competitions and datasets. And if you’re a user of Google Colab, the cloud-based Jupyter notebook service, you may have wondered how to use Kaggle datasets in Colab. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the process of accessing and using Kaggle datasets in Google Colab.

Table of Contents

  1. Prerequisites
  2. Step-by-Step
  3. Pros and Cons of Using Kaggle Datasets in Google Colab
  4. Common Errors and How to handle
  5. Conclusion


Before diving into the integration process, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • Kaggle account
  • Kaggle API key
  • Google Colab account


Step 1: Install the Kaggle API

The first step in using Kaggle datasets in Google Colab is to install the Kaggle API. This can be done with a simple command in a code cell in Colab:

!pip install kaggle

This will install the latest version of the Kaggle API, which is required to access Kaggle datasets.

Step 2: Download the Kaggle API Key

Next, you’ll need to download your Kaggle API key. This key is used to authenticate your access to Kaggle datasets. To download your API key, go to your Kaggle account settings and click on "Create New API Token". This will download a file called "kaggle.json" to your computer.

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Step 3: Upload the Kaggle API Key to Google Colab

Once you’ve downloaded your Kaggle API key, you’ll need to upload it to Google Colab so that you can authenticate your access to Kaggle datasets. You can do this by clicking on the folder icon in the left sidebar of Colab and selecting "Upload". Then, select the "kaggle.json" file you downloaded in Step 2.

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Step 4: Make sure kaggle.json stays in the right place

# copy kaggle.json to /root/.kaggle/ folder so that kaggle cli can access it.
!mkdir /.kaggle
!mv kaggle.json /.kaggle
!mv /.kaggle /root/
!chmod 600 ~/.kaggle/kaggle.json

Step 5: Access Kaggle Datasets in Google Colab

Now that you have the Kaggle API installed and your API key uploaded to Colab, you can access Kaggle datasets in your Colab notebooks. To do this, you’ll need to use the Kaggle API command-line tool to download the dataset you want to use.

For example, if you want to download the “Titanic: Machine Learning from Disaster” dataset, you can use the following command in a code cell in Colab:

!kaggle competitions download -c titanic

This will download the dataset to your Colab workspace. Alt text

You can then unzip the dataset using the following command:


This will unzip the dataset into a folder called “titanic” in your Colab workspace.

Step 6: Use the Kaggle Dataset in Your Colab Notebook

Now that you have the Kaggle dataset downloaded and unzipped in your Colab workspace, you can use it in your Colab notebooks. For example, you can load the “train.csv” file from the Titanic dataset into a Pandas dataframe using the following code:

import pandas as pd

train_df = pd.read_csv('/content/train.csv')


   PassengerId  Survived  Pclass                                               Name     Sex   Age  SibSp  Parch            Ticket     Fare Cabin Embarked
0            1         0       3                            Braund, Mr. Owen Harris    male  22.0      1      0         A/5 21171   7.2500   NaN        S   
1            2         1       1  Cumings, Mrs. John Bradley (Florence Briggs Th...  female  38.0      1      0          PC 17599  71.2833   C85        C   
2            3         1       3                             Heikkinen, Miss. Laina  female  26.0      0      0  STON/O2. 3101282   7.9250   NaN        S   
3            4         1       1       Futrelle, Mrs. Jacques Heath (Lily May Peel)  female  35.0      1      0            113803  53.1000  C123        S   
4            5         0       3                           Allen, Mr. William Henry    male  35.0      0      0            373450   8.0500   NaN        S    

This will load the train.csv file into a Pandas dataframe called train_df, which you can then use for data analysis and machine learning tasks.

Pros and Cons of Using Kaggle Datasets in Google Colab


  • Seamless Integration: Easily access Kaggle datasets without leaving the Google Colab environment.
  • Free GPU: Google Colab provides free GPU resources, allowing for faster data processing and model training.
  • Collaboration: Share your Colab notebooks effortlessly with others.


  • Internet Dependency: Requires an internet connection to access Kaggle datasets.
  • Limited Storage: Google Colab provides limited storage space for your datasets.

Common Errors and Troubleshooting

Here are some common errors you might encounter and how to handle them:

  • API Key Issues: Ensure your Kaggle API key is correctly uploaded and has the necessary permissions.
  • File Not Found: Double-check the path and filename when loading the dataset.
  • Storage Limit: If you run out of storage in Colab, consider downsampling your dataset or using external storage options.


Using Kaggle datasets in Google Colab is a powerful way to access and analyze large datasets without needing to download them to your local machine. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily download and use Kaggle datasets in your Colab notebooks. Happy coding!

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