Using latest Chrome on Ubuntu.

When I click a PDF in Chrome it automatically opens it in a new Tab for a preview, and this is great.

However, when, from this preview, I ask to save the PDF in a file, Chrome does a download again of that same PDF ... when the PDF is rather big and the WIFI reception is rather poor, that takes twice the time (once in preview, once for download).

So of course I could directly save the PDF (no preview) but often I only want to save the PDF if it's worth it.

Question: since the preview has the PDF in memory, is there a way to save directly the PDF into a file from that version in memory (an option in Chrome or the viewer)?

Or maybe there is another viewer / plugin that could do that*? (currently I'm using the default, coming with Chrome)

*having also the convenient automatic preview as well

  • A little bit workaround but what about printing to PDF?
    – Wobbly
    Mar 21, 2018 at 14:17
  • Not a bad idea porobably'
    – Déjà vu
    Mar 21, 2018 at 14:50
  • Have you tried right clicking the link -> save link as? This will automatically download the PDF, and if you don't have another PDF viewer, Chrome will open it in a tab. Mar 21, 2018 at 17:22
  • I can't duplicate the problem, Chrome 71 on Windows. If I right-click on the viewed PDF and select "Save as..." it's saved without a second download.
    – harrymc
    Jan 7, 2019 at 13:24
  • 1
    FWIW, I came here in 2021 with the same question. Chrome on windows will not let me save a PDF without a second download. I know this is what is happening since the site I'm trying to save from has stopped working. I have the chrome PDF view open with the PDF I want to save, but there is no way to save it. Apr 9, 2021 at 0:28

2 Answers 2


Step 1. Find the URL for the file itself. This should end with .pdf. Copy this URL.

Step 2. Open Adobe Acrobat (or other pdf reader/editor). Go to File > Open. (Ctrl+O works too.) In the File name: bar paste the URL. It should open in a timely manner.

Step 3. Go to File > Save As and save the document.

Note: Because the pdf I used was relatively small (83 pages, to be exact) this might take a long time. If you could provide the link to the big pdf you were talking about, that would be great.

  • I just realized you said Ubuntu. This might all be obsolete. Jan 7, 2019 at 19:51

I don't know if my answer solves your problem but I want to you to try it anyway.

It looks like you want to just preview/open a PDF file but not necessarily download it, right?

If yes, download this plugin. This is a Chrome extension and will only display your PDF directly from the website. You only download it if you like. It won't save the PDF in your Downloads folder. It works on Ubuntu and all platforms.

  • It looks like this might be very useful if the user opens the PDF file in their browser, looks at page 1, and says “Yes, I want to keep (download) this.”   If the user browses up to page 42 and then says “I want to keep this”, they have to download it from scratch.   The fact that their computer has already read (downloaded) the first 42 (or probably a few more) pages, but not saved them anywhere, means that there is still a duplication of effort.   Or am I misunderstanding how it works? … … … … Please do not respond in comments; edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete. Jan 7, 2019 at 20:47
  • I'm really sorry to disappoint you. That's not a reason to be unpolite. The only one who's misunderstanding this is you. I've been using that extension for about 1 year. I work for the gov. in the Health dept and it allows doctors to read medical records better instead of having to download them everytime and keeping a lot of PDF files. And please, do not tell me what to do if it's not against the rules. Done;
    – G. L.
    Jan 7, 2019 at 23:25
  • (1) Excuse me?  I didn’t accuse anybody of misunderstanding anything; in fact, I admitted that I might be misunderstanding. (2) Are you saying that I’m being “unpolite”?  (Would it be rude to point out that “unpolite” isn’t an English word? You probably mean “impolite”.)  Why are you saying that I’m not being polite? (3) If anything, you’re being impolite for saying that I’m misunderstanding your answer and not doing the courtesy of explaining what I don’t understand. (4) What does it matter that you work for a government?  … (Cont’d) Jan 8, 2019 at 3:12
  • (Cont’d) …  But I am glad to hear that you are familiar with the software that you’re recommending.  (5) Actually, the rules do say that answers should be self-contained and comprehensible, and, if you post an answer that is unclear and/or incomplete, then you should edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete, and not respond in comments.  (6) OK, it’s true that, grammatically, “do not respond in comments” and “edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete” are in the “imperative mood”. … (Cont’d) Jan 8, 2019 at 3:12
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    Lol. You sound like a feminist writing so many things. Relax. Have a nice week.
    – G. L.
    Jan 8, 2019 at 10:13

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