How to Download PDFs on Chrome Instead of Opening Them

Chrome’s default behaviour for PDF files is to open them in the browser window rather than downloading them to your computer, where you can view and print them at your leisure.

While this may be convenient when you’re skimming through some documents, however, it’s not always the best option if you want to download and keep a copy of the PDF file.

Fortunately, there is a way to force Chrome to download PDF files instead of opening them by changing a few settings in your browser.

Let’s look at how to do it.

5 Quick and Handy Google Chrome Tips You Should Know

5 Quick and Handy Google Chrome Tips You Should Know

Aren't you satisfied with Google Chrome? It is no doubt the best browser when it comes to simplicity... Read more

How to download PDF files on Chrome

If you want to open a document with Chrome’s default PDF viewer, here’s how to make it download PDF files, instead of automatically opening them in another tab, or window.

  1. Open Google Chrome browser on your computer, and then navigate to the Settings by clicking on the menu icon in the top right corner (three vertical dots aka kebab menu).
  2. download pdf on chrome
  3. On the settings page, scroll down to the Privacy and security section.
  4. download pdf on chrome
  5. Here, go to Site Settings and open it.
  6. download pdf on chrome
  7. Scroll all the way down and choose Additional content settings.
  8. download pdf on chrome
  9. In the Additional content settings, find and click on the PDF Documents item in the list of options.
  10. download pdf on chrome
  11. Here, enable Download PDFs.
  12. download pdf on chrome

Note: In this screen, ensure the “Download PDFs” instead of automatically opening them in the Chrome option is selected.

Once you’ve made your selection and closed the Settings window, all PDF files should now download in your computer rather than opening automatically in Chrome. Moreover, if you would like to change it back, simply disable this option and it will revert to its previous state.

How to force Microsoft Edge to download PDF files

If you are using Microsoft Edge besides Chrome and would like to download PDFs instead of opening them, the process is a bit different.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Edge browser on your computer, and navigate to the menu icon in the top right corner (the kebab menu).
  2. In the popup menu, choose Settings.
  3. download-pdf-on-edge
  4. Once you’re on the Settings page, scroll down and click on the Cookies and site permissions.
  5. download-pdf-on-edge
  6. Here, scroll down to find PDF documents and click on it.
  7. download-pdf-on-edge
  8. Select the option to Always download PDF files.
  9. download-pdf-on-edge

Close the Settings page and you’re done!

Now whenever you click on a PDF link in Edge, it should now download rather than automatically open in the browser window. And if you’d want to revert to the default behaviour, simply disable this option and Edge will open PDFs as it did before.


There are a few reasons you might want to download PDF files instead of opening them directly in Chrome. Maybe you’d like to save the PDF for later, or you need to print it out but don’t have a printer installed on your computer.

Whatever the reason, it’s easy to change a few settings in Chrome to force the browser to download PDF files instead of opening them automatically. Hope this tip helps. Do let us know in the comments section below.