Why does a document downloads automatically when I click on it and I cannot preview it?

Modified on: Wed, 13 Jan, 2021 at 3:10 PM

This issue is related to a setting on the computer. Sometimes, when the different browsers release new updates some settings are changed by default.

  • To ensure you have the best experience possible, we recommend using the most up-to-date version of Google Chrome.
  • When the PDF Adobe viewer is set to "Save File", the computer automatically downloads the file with a different name (i.e. 5GltsRzag.pdf) and is saved in the download folder. Normally, each browser includes a built-in PDF viewer that allows the user to view almost all PDF files found on the web without a plugin. If this is not occurring, you can change this by following the steps below:

On your computer, open Chrome.

1. At the top right, click More Settings.

2. At the bottom, click Show advanced settings.

3. Under “Privacy”, click Content settings.

4. Under “PDF Documents," check the box next to "Open PDF files in the default PDF viewer application.”

5. (Uncheck this box if you want PDFs to open automatically when you click them.)


On the computer, open Firefox:

1. Click the menu button and choose Options (or you can select Tools in the Firefox menu bar and select Options If you do not see the menu bar, press the Alt key).

2. Select the Applications panel.

3. Find Portable Document Format (PDF) in the list and click on the entry to select it.

4. Click on the drop-down arrow in the Action column for the above entry. In the Action section, change the action for how you want to open the file. The Action entry will show “Preview in Firefox” when you're using the built-in PDF Viewer.

5. To use an available plugin to view PDF files in Firefox, select Use PDF plugin name (in Firefox).


Open Internet Explorer

1. Click the Internet Explorer Tools button and select Manage add-ons.

2. For the Toolbars and Extensions option, click in the Show drop-down list and select All add-ons.

3. Look for the Adobe PDF Reader in the extensions list. If you have a PDF reader program other than Adobe Reader, you may need to look for that program's name on the list instead.

4. Select the extension found in step 4 above and click the Disable button at the bottom left of the Manage Add-ons window.

5. (To enable the ability for Internet Explorer to open and display PDF files in the Internet Explorer browser window enable the Adobe PDF Reader plug-in (or the extension for your PDF Reader, if you have something other than Adobe Reader installed).

Did you find it helpful? Yes No

Send feedback
Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.