My File Automatically Opens instead of Saving with Chrome

Occasionally, we have folks write to us with a unique problem.  They are downloading animations and clip art images, but instead of the items downloading, they are automatically opening, and they’re opening in programs that either ignore transparency, remove animation, or other tricky problems.  If you happen to be using Google Chrome as your internet browser and notice this phenomenon, don’t worry, we can help!


When you click “Download” on one of our items (in Chrome) you’ll have this icon show up in the lower left corner of your computer screen:



So, if you click the dropdown arrow (right next to the word “gif” in the image above) you get 3 options:


Note that at this point, the file is already downloaded to your Downloads folder on your computer, clicking the dropdown menu only gives you additional options.

  • Open – this will open the file in the default program for this file type (for GIF it is typically Internet Explorer, PNG / JPEG is usually Paint, WMV is usually Windows Media Player, and PPTX is PowerPoint)
  • Always open files of this type – this changes the default setting so instead of saving the file, it will open it in the default program and let you choose whether or not to save the file.  This is where it gets very tricky and can easily wreck havoc later.
  • Show in folder – this opens the folder (usually downloads folder) containing the file, so you can then move it, open it etc. at your discretion.

So, if you click “Always open files of this type – … what happens is that the file will automatically open instead of downloading to the folder, and will open in whatever the default program is for the file type.

To change this setting, start by clicking the “Tools” icon on your Chrome browser


When you click on the three small lines (tools icon), you’ll see a dropdown box appear.


Click on “Settings” and you’ll see a new page pop up in your Chrome browser window.  Scroll down to Advanced Settings, find the Downloads group, and clear your Auto Open options.  Next time you download an item, it will be saved instead of opened automatically.

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  • Roman


  • Kanishka Dutta

    Thank you for the help! This worked.

  • pete

    that no longer works. Google must have changed their settings page. There are no auto-open options near the download setion.

  • robin

    thank you so much, this was driving me crazy !

  • Patrick

    Thank you. You saved me a lot of headache.

  • deepak kaushik

    in chrome setting there is option clear auto open setting just click over it problem is solved

  • Jim Mooney

    Not in the Download settings anymore. I am forced to go through their crappy player Every Time, when I want to dl a bunch of mp3s. Screw Chrome. I’m going back to Firefox. I’m tired of fighting a “option” they haven’t fixed in years.

    • Billy Schlotter

      You are right Jim, it is not in the download section anymore. We will update this post to reflect that. You can know just right click on the downloaded item and either uncheck or check ‘Always open files of this type.’ – Billy

      • Bob

        That doesn’t work because I can’t download the file. It opens every time.

        • Billy Schlotter

          What opens? If you are unable to download the file nothing should open.

          • WhiteNoiseTrash

            The file opens. If you click a .Wav file anywhere, it will open in the browser player instead of downloading, and you have no option to prevent it from doing so, meaning that the right-click menu which would allow you to choose it to download it or open it in the future is not showing.

          • Billy Schlotter

            What browser and version are you using? Are you trying to download a custom project or a video background?

  • annette

    how do I stop the auto download since it is no longer on the screen to change it – I do not want everything to auto start as there could be bugs attached or malware

    • Billy Schlotter

      A download link will start an automatic download regardless of the browser. Our site does not start a download till the download button is clicked. The best solution is to know what you’re clicking on and making sure you have an anti-virus installed that will scan each downloaded file.

  • You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for this solution!

    • Billy Schlotter

      No problem Dustin! Glad we could help!

  • Isaac

    Thanks it worked!

  • To download when you click instead of opening a link, just hold Alt when you left click. Voila!

    • Peter Maguire

      Holy cow! That was exactly what I needed. I specifically logged in just to leave a thank you comment.

    • Adam Dyke

      Awesome.., it works.. thanks man…

    • Gabriel

      you saved my life

      • Billy Schlotter

        Glad we could help!

  • Thanks.

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