Google Chrome browser is said to be the most popular internet browsing software as of now. As we use Chrome in our daily life – whether it is in office or personal use, we may deal with PDF documents in chrome. As a factory setting, when you click on a link to PDF,  say , Chrome will open the PDF file within the browser. I think the basic idea behind this setting is that most people come across PDF documents many times a day, and it would be easier to open it within the browser without downloading it first before the user can see it.

However, we need some documents to be saved in our disk for future reference. The issue here is that you may not always find a download link besides every PDF file that is opened, like we see in Google Docs.

example of PDF opened within Google Chrome

How to disable Chrome’s Built-in PDF reader and enable direct download

Nevertheless we have an option to download such PDF documents without just opening it in the browser.  Basically Chrome has an integrated PDF reader which causes to open PDF files whenever browser requests for file of type PDF. Fortunately, we can disable this PDF reader within Chrome settings to enable direct download of PDF. This is very simple to execute.

Just follow the below steps to disable Chrome’s PDF viewer:

1. Copy and paste chrome://settings/content/pdfDocuments and hit enter. By doing this you will open up Chrome settings for PDF documents.

Disable pdf viewer in chrome

2.  You will just have a single option here. Turn on it by clicking on the toggle button besides a text that says “Open PDFs  using a different application”.

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Download pdf directly in chrome

Now Enter the URL of the PDF file you want to download, or click on the download link. You should be able to download the file just like any other files. That means instead of opening within the browser window, it will directly start saving to disk. You can revert this settings anytime you want by toggling the switch back to OFF.


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