How can I make Chrome ask to open a file as opposed to downloading it?

Ashwin Ramesh August 16, 2012

Is there any possible way wherein I can make Chrome prompt the “Open file” option instead of it downloading to my computer?

Sometimes when I browse and find a PDF in my search results I do not want to download and open from my computer. I would prefer to “Open” it. Does anyone know how one handles this in Chrome?


  1. Krishna Vallabhaneni
    September 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    right click

  2. Filipe Costa
    September 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    This is the reason why Chrome doesn't do that automatically:
    This step helps prevent malicious software from automatically downloading to your computer. If the download URL matches the latest list of malicious website published by the Safe Browsing API , a warning will appear.

    • Ashwin Ramesh
      September 2, 2012 at 10:17 am

      I see.. thanks for the info :)

  3. Ben Mordecai
    August 25, 2012 at 3:08 am

    The simplest way it to just click on the progress meter along the bottom once the download has initiated. This will cause it to open immediately upon completion.

    • Ashwin Ramesh
      September 2, 2012 at 10:17 am

      hehe that's what I do when I want to "Open" them in Chrome :)

  4. Oron
    August 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    PDF and Flash are special cases since they are handled internally by Chrome (but you can override that to use 3rd party plug-ins or applications). Generally however, I don't believe there's an option for that in Chrome.
    That said, all it takes is a _one click_ on the button on the bottom of the screen to open the document. I really like this feature - it means that opening the file is still quite easy, and I get to keep the downloaded file in a convenient location.

  5. ferdinan Sitohang
    August 16, 2012 at 1:48 am

    go to "about:plugins" in your google chrome browser, under “Chrome PDF Viewer” give a check in "always allowed" and it will display your pdf file in a browser. This PDF plugin is a default plug in it has. for another reference go to

    • Ashwin Ramesh
      August 16, 2012 at 2:23 am

      Thanks! That helped!

      • ferdinan Sitohang
        August 16, 2012 at 2:30 am


  6. Bruce Epper
    August 16, 2012 at 1:42 am

    That's unusual. When I click on a PDF file in Chrome, it just opens it. Are you using an extension that is causing this behavior?

    • Ashwin Ramesh
      August 16, 2012 at 2:22 am

      Ok yeah, I think I was bad in phrasing what I wanted to ask. Forget pdf files.. say you search for a ppt file and want to open it. Unlike browsers such as IE/Opera, which give you an "Open" option when you download, Chrome gives me "Keep" and "Discard". And I don't want to do either, but just open and view it. Is it possible?

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