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From the title, it's a silly question.

But let's say I have a URL, and it's either a SWF, a PNG or an MP3 or something. How can I force my browser (in this case I'm using Google Chrome) to download the file, instead of automatically displaying/playing it?

My long & stupid and boring way around this is to create a one line HTM file with a hyperlink inside it pointing to the URL, then right click and save link as. But there has to be a better way to do this. I just can't find it by googling.

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Can you provide the URL? – Matthew Williams Mar 14 '14 at 10:22
Sure, I've got it now, but for testing try this: – Chud37 Mar 14 '14 at 10:51
You can't force your browser to download this. The web link points to a file which contains a built in rendering system which displays the content within the page. If you own the website you can change code to do this, but from your end it would have to be a save as job. – Matthew Williams Mar 14 '14 at 10:56
It's absolute rubbish that Chrome doesnt have this feature built in. I should just be able say right click in the url bar and click save as, but instead I have to go a stupid long winded way. I'm still dertermined there's a solution out there. – Chud37 Mar 14 '14 at 11:42
There might be. Possibly a plugin, but none that I am aware of. – Matthew Williams Mar 14 '14 at 11:43

4 Answers 4

You can see the files a page loads using Developer Tools. Under the "Sources" tab in Developer Tools you can right-click a file and save it. For example, the webpage loads the file "projetmpc.swf".

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Download File from URL

There are a couple ways to do this. As mentioned, using the developer tools could work (more likely it will give you the url to the file) and right-clicking the link will work. Alternatively there are these options.

In Chrome

  1. Goto the URL
  2. Rick-click the webpage
  3. Select Save As...

For verification purposes, here are png, jpg, and mp3 links. Follow them and try these steps. However, in my experience. If you already have a url to a file, opening up Chrome and following these steps is rather tedious so here is an alternative.

In Command Line

  1. Open your favorite terminal emulator
  2. type curl -o myfile.mp3
    • Where myfile.mp3 is what you want to call the file you're downloading
    • And is the URL to the file

[Note: This works for Linux and Mac users. If you are unfortunate enough to be a Windows user trying to use the cmd line, use Cmder and this method will work or if you're a purist try this]

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This isn't quite what you were looking for but it might might make your life a little easier.

Create a new bookmark in your browser, set the name to "Get Download Link" or what ever else you would like and set the target/location to

javascript:document.body.innerHTML="<a download" + "Click here to Download".link(window.location.href).substring(2);

Whenever you are viewing something you want to download just click that bookmark and it will replace the content with a link to the content. You should be able to click to download, otherwise you can always right click and save like normal.

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If the URL is on a webpage,

  1. Install a clickable URL converter chrome-app.


  1. Context-click (right-click) on the link and select "Save Link As..." from the menu.


  1. Use the popup dialog to save the file.

popup dialog

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I think the point of the question is that the OP has a URL, but not a link. – Scott Nov 11 at 5:38

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