How to change browser download settings for PDF files

Updated: 06/30/2020 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 page will outline how to make the browser download PDF files automatically, rather than open them 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 Legacy

Microsoft Edge

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

  1. Open the Microsoft Edge Legacy browser.
  2. Browse to the PDF file you'd like to view or download and click it.
  3. The file should automatically open in the browser window.
  4. To save (download) the PDF, click the Icon used to save a PDF in Microsoft Edge. icon, located near the top-right corner of the browser window.

Save PDF file in Microsoft Edge

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer

Similar to Microsoft Edge Legacy, 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 the Internet Explorer browser.
  2. Browse to the PDF you'd like to view or download and click it.
  3. The file should automatically open in the browser window.
  4. To save (download) the PDF, click the Icon used to save a PDF in Internet Explorer. icon, located near the bottom of the browser window. If you do not see the save icon, move your mouse towards the bottom of the browser window, and a black bar should appear, where the save icon is located.

Save PDF file in Internet Explorer

Google Chrome

Chrome

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 the Google Chrome browser.
  2. Click 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. On the Settings window, under Privacy and security, click the Site Settings option.
  5. Scroll down the Site Settings screen to find and click the PDF documents option.
  6. Next to Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome, click the toggle switch to set to the On Toggle on switch in Chrome. or Off Toggle off switch in Chrome. position. Chrome downloads a PDF when the toggle switch is set to On and displays a PDF in the browser when set to Off.

Toggle switch for Chrome PDF document settings

  1. Close the Settings tab.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox

If you're using Firefox, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.
  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 option is selected.

General settings selector in Firefox.

  1. In the Applications section (under the Files and Applications heading), select the Portable Document File (PDF) entry in the Content Type column, and click the down arrow Down arrow icon in Firefox. icon to the right.
  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 the Preview in Firefox option or Use other option to choose another program.

Opera

Opera

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. In the Settings window, under Privacy and security, click the Site Settings option.

Site settings selector in Chrome.

  1. Scroll down to the Site Settings screen to find and click the PDF documents option.
  2. Next to Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Opera, click the toggle switch to set to the On Toggle on switch in Opera. or Off Toggle off switch in Opera. position. Opera downloads a PDF when the toggle switch is set to On and displays a PDF in the browser when set to Off.

Toggle switch for Opera PDF document settings

  1. Close the Settings tab.

Additional information