How to change browser download settings for PDF files

Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope
PDF

By default, most downloaded PDF files open in the Internet browser currently in use, usually in a new window or tab. This document contains steps on how to make the browser download PDF files automatically, rather than open in a new tab. To proceed, select your browser from the list below and follow the instructions.

Tip

To change the name of a PDF file you want to download, right-click the download link and select Save As.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge does not download PDF files by default and this setting cannot be changed. However, Edge does give you the option to save a PDF after it opens in the browser.

  1. Browse to the PDF file you'd like to view or download and click it.
  2. The file should automatically open in the browser window.
  3. To save (download) the PDF, click the Icon used to save a PDF in Microsoft Edge. icon.
Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer users

Similar to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer displays PDF files by default, instead of offering to download them for you. However, downloading a PDF is still possible. Follow these steps to view or download a PDF with Internet Explorer.

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Browse to the PDF you'd like to view or download and click it.
  3. You should see a box appear at the bottom of your screen.

Window that allows users to open or save a pdf file.

  1. The Open button allows you to view the PDF, and Save allows you to download it.
Chrome

Google Chrome users

By default, Google Chrome opens a PDF file in the browser window instead of saving it to the downloads folder. To change how Google Chrome treats PDF files in the browser, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Click on the Menu icon in Google Chrome. icon in the top-right corner of the browser window.
  3. Select Settings from the drop-down menu that appears.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings window and click the Advanced button in Google Chrome. button.
  5. In the Privacy and security section, click Content Settings.

Content settings selector in Chrome.

  1. Scroll down and click the PDF documents option.
  2. Next to Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome, set the toggle switch to the onToggle switch in Goole Chrome. or off Toggle off button in Chrome. position.
  3. Close the Settings tab and now any PDF should be opened in Chrome or be downloaded based on your choice in the previous step.
Firefox

Mozilla Firefox users

If you're using Firefox, follow these steps.

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Click the Firefox Menu button icon in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
  3. Select Options selector in Firefox. from the drop-down menu that appears.
  4. On the left side of the screen, make sure the General is selected.

General settings selector in Firefox.

  1. Under Applications, look for the PDF section and click the Down arrow icon in Firefox. icon.
  2. To make Firefox automatically download PDF files, select Save File from the drop-down menu.

Save File option in Firefox.

Tip

To have PDF files open in the browser again, repeat these steps and select (default) or Use other... to choose another program.

Opera

Opera users

By default, Opera opens a PDF file in the browser window instead of saving it to the downloads folder. To change how Opera treats PDF files in the browser, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Opera Internet browser.
  2. Click the Opera menu Menu button in Opera. button in the upper-left corner.
  3. Select Settings from the drop-down menu that appears.
  4. Click the Advanced button in Opera. button, and select Privacy & Security.
  5. In the Privacy and security section, click Content Settings.

Content settings selector in Chrome.

  1. Scroll down and click the PDF documents option.
  2. Next to Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Opera, set the toggle switch to the onToggle switch in Goole Chrome. or off Toggle off button in Chrome. position.
  3. Close the Settings tab and now any PDF should be opened in Opera or be downloaded based on your choice in the previous step.

Additional information