Recently, my workplace moved to Google services based environment, and that includes adapting Chrome as our default browser rather than IE. When using Gmail, I am trying to download a file I received as an attachment to a location on my hard drive (and NOT to the Downloads folder). I only see the option to download to that folder or to my Google Drive. When trying Save As... from the context menu, the browser saves the whole HTML page and not just the attachment.

How can I tell Chrome to save the attachment in a desired location?

  • Usually I just let it go to the downloads folder (because that's where I want it anyway ~90% of the time) then drag and drop it from the downloads bar if it turns out I want it somewhere else. – Ajedi32 Mar 10 '16 at 14:51

This option is actually within the Chrome settings.

  • Click the options button (3 lines)
  • Select Settings
  • Click Advanced Settings
  • Scroll to the section called Downloads

You can change the location here by ticking the box.

Chrome downloads location


It appears that the Chrome settings allow you to open an "Advanced" mode settings page. There, there is a section for handling downloads and where you can check the box telling it to ask the user before every download.


This Settings\Advanced Settings\Downloads\DownloadsLocation option appears to work for every attached file except a PDF (at least on the Mac version of Chrome that I use). When an attachment is a PDF, no pop-up window asking where to save appears as it does for Word, Excel & various image files....it just automatically downloads.

To save a PDF without downloading first, after changing the download location setting, right click on the PDF attachment icon in the email, click "Open Link in New Window," and then once the PDF is open in the new browser window, clicking the download icon will trigger the pop-up, giving you the option to "Save As."


There appear to be a number of advanced settings options to enable this functionality.

In my organization's implementation of Chrome in the Windows environment, there is a settings\advanced settings within the GMail account that does not provide for this option.

Rather, by activating the "Customize and Control Google Chrome" menu option on the far right-hand side of the address bar, a "Settings" option exists. Within this Settings option, there is an "Advanced Settings" option and within this, there is a Downloads section. Within the Downloads section, there is an option to "Ask where to save each file before downloading". Simply activate the toggle.

The main point here is that it is a Google Chrome setting, and not a GMail\Settings\Advanced Settings option.

  • If this doesn't work, contact the IT department and confirm this is not the byproduct of a corporate limit placed on the local machine or chrome settings... – linuxdev2013 Jan 7 at 20:18
  • Thanks, @Shawn, and welcome to SU. Unless I miss something, how is your answer different than the accepted and couple more answers here? (Note - this is not to discourage you from participating, but rather to understand if I overlooked something). – ysap Jan 8 at 13:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.