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When I download a PDF or image in Google Chrome on my Mac, is it possible to prevent Chrome from automatically opening it in my default application for that file type (e.g., Preview)?

I notice that Chrome does not do this for other downloaded files such as audio and ZIP archives.

I still want to be able to preview files in Chrome; I just want to prevent it from automatically launching my image/PDF viewer application after I download them.

For example:

  1. I click on a link in an email to a PDF document or an image file.
  2. Chrome displays the contents in the browser.
  3. I press Cmd-S and save the file to my computer.
  4. When the download finishes, the file opens automatically in

It's that last step that I would like to bypass.

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This question is related to, but a little more browser-specific. – user67218 Apr 3 '12 at 19:54
related:… – Matt Jul 18 at 15:43
up vote 9 down vote accepted

You can set the auto-open preferences for PDF files by clicking on the download status button in the downloads bar. When you have a downloaded PDF sitting there, click on the arrow and unselect "Always Open Files of This Type" in the pop-up menu.

You can also reset all the user preferences for auto-open by following the directions below from Chrome's help site at

If you want certain types of files to always open after they're done downloading, click the arrow next to the file button in the downloads bar and select Always open files of this type. To prevent potentially malicious files from automatically downloading to your computer, this option isn't available for executable filetypes, such as those with .exe, .dll, or .bat extensions (for Windows), and .dmg extensions (for Mac).

You can clear auto-opening settings through the Settings dialog. Here's how:

Click the wrench icon on the browser toolbar. Select Settings. Click the Under the Hood tab. In the "Downloads" section, click Clear auto-opening settings. This clears your settings for all file types. Click Close when you're done, if you're using Windows or Linux.

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Here is what I have done and it worked for me. Apparently this is not an OS issue, it is rather a browser issue.

If you are using Google Chrome, go to settings, then go to the very bottom of the page and click on "Show Advanced Settings" then under 'DOWNLOADS' uncheck the part that says you have opted to open some files by default.

If you are using Safari, open Safari preferences and on the general tab, uncheck "automatically open safe files" since Safari has this as a default option and unfortunately, pics that open are considered safe files.

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Open Settings.

Scroll to the bottom and click show advanced settings.

Scroll down and click the Clear auto open settings button.

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The same answer has been given and accepted as an answer. Please don't duplicate the content unless you have a different method of doing it – pun Nov 7 '15 at 3:57
Completely different guy. It does not have an under the hood tab. I added it because I was looking for it and perhaps it'll help others in the future. – Iscariot Nov 9 '15 at 17:32

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