How to automatically download PDFs in Chrome instead of opening them

Chrome is a capable browser. it’ll use all of your RAM like a sponge absorbing water however it’ll use that RAM for a good reason, mostly. Among the various helpful things it can do is its ability to open a PDF file. it’d appear trivial however there was once a time when good PDF readers were hard to find. In Chrome, anytime you click on a link to a PDF file, it loads within the browser and you can read it. There’s an option to save the file offline but, if you prefer to automatically download PDFs in Chrome rather than opening them first, you’ll be able to set it to simply that.

Automatically download PDFs in Chrome

Open Chrome and click on the more options button at the upper right. From the menu, select Settings. On the Settings page, scroll to the very bottom and click on ‘Advanced’ at the end.

Scroll to the Privacy & Security settings and click on ‘Site Settings’.

site settings chrome

On the Site Settings page, click ‘PDF documents’.

pdf settings chrome

On the page that follows, activate the ‘Download PDF files rather than automatically opening them in Chrome’ option.

save pdf chrome

That’s basically all you have to do. The next time you click on a link to a PDF file, you will get the regular Save As dialog. Simply select where you wish to save the file to, and it’ll be saved.

This is a Chrome based setting and it’ll change how Chrome works. You may already have a PDF viewer installed on your system. If this PDF viewer is already set as the default app for handling all PDF files on your system, it might intercept the file and open it instead. This tends to happen as a result of file defaults are set at an OS level. Technically, the setting that we have changed ought to prevent it from happening however some apps are more proactive than others at what they do. Check if the PDF viewer you have installed has any setting that you change that will prevent it from listening to chrome’s activity, or any other browser you may have installed.

Of course, with this given setting set the way it is, you will not be able to open PDF files in Chrome any more. notwithstanding if you drag & drop a PDF file onto the browser, it’s simply going to download the file again. It’s all or nothing once you’ve made the change. It’s straightforward to undo therefore if you ever find yourself browsing one too several PDFs and you’d rather open them, simply change the switch back to the off position in the settings section.

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