Internet Productivity

How to Download PDF Files on Click in Chrome (Instead of Opening Them)

Ben Stegner 06-07-2018

PDFs are one of the most common file formats, so it’s no surprise that you’ll find them all over the web. Since every modern browser has a built-in PDF reader, you can start reading PDF documents as soon as you click on them.


But what if you don’t like the PDF reader in Chrome? Since it’s pretty bare on features, you might prefer to download PDFs and open them using a desktop PDF reader instead 4 Very Light Alternatives to Adobe Reader Are you still using Adobe Reader for PDF documents? It's time to move on to an alternative PDF reader that is lightweight, launches quickly, and yet keeps your documents save. Read More . Fortunately, you only need to flip a Chrome setting to cut out this middle step.

How to Download PDF Files on Click in Chrome


  1. Click the three-dot Menu button and choose Settings.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and expand the Advanced section.
  3. Under the Privacy and security section, you’ll see an entry titled Content settings. Select this.
  4. Here, scroll until you find PDF documents and open it.
  5. You’ll see an option titled Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome. Toggle this on.

Now, when you open a PDF in Chrome, it won’t open in that tab. Instead, it will download immediately. If you don’t want them to go to your Download folder, you can have Chrome ask you about them every time.

With the Advanced section still expanded, head to the Downloads header. Enable the switch labeled Ask where to save each file before downloading and Chrome will prompt you with a window every time you download something, including a PDF.

You can try opening this test PDF to make sure it’s working correctly for you.


Don’t have a great desktop PDF reader yet? Check out the best PDF readers for Windows. They include lots of great features for power users. And if you’re interested in converting multiple webpages to PDFs How to Convert Multiple Webpages Into PDFs With Wget Want to archive some web pages to read later on any device? The answer is to convert those websites to PDF with Wget. Read More , take a look at Wget.

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  1. Rugerin Drienborough
    February 21, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    None of this is necessary. Just right-click on the link, choose Save Link As, fill out the dialog box and save. Doing it this way is also dramatically faster than opening the PDF in the browser.