I opened a PDF the other day in Chrome from a URL. I can view the entire PDF in chrome, but can't save it, as when I do, I get a server error--as the URL the PDF was from is no longer working.

It appears that the 'save file' feature in Google's PDF viewer attempts to re-download the file from the source rather just grabbing the file that's already in my cache.

If I go to view chrome's cache via chrome://cache/ I can see the URL to the PDF, but not the file itself.

Where does this file exist on my system at the moment?


OS X stores user caches in ~/Library/Caches. The Library folder is hidden, but you can enter it by going to the Finder, click Go, keep ⌥ pressed and click Library.

You said in the comments that the cache is not easy searchable.

You can also try searching from the command line:

cd ~/Library/Caches/$FOLDER
grep -Rl '%PDF' .

If there is a large binary blob cache file, you can try using a Hex Editor (I like Hex Fiend for OS X). Search for Hex 25 50 44 46 (%PDF), start copying from there and store it in a new file. Good luck!

| improve this answer | |
  • What does 'click Go' mean in OSX? I'm not familiar with that. – DA. May 18 '14 at 23:02
  • Oh! The 'Go Menu'! I've never actually used that. Good trick! Alas, it looks like Google's media cache doesn't actually store the raw files--instead they are some sort of data file with names like 'f_000e3d'. Any way to find a PDF in that mess? – DA. May 18 '14 at 23:06

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.