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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15 Responses to “My File Automatically Opens instead of Saving with Chrome”

  1. Roman says:


  2. Kanishka Dutta says:

    Thank you for the help! This worked.

  3. pete says:

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

  4. robin says:

    thank you so much, this was driving me crazy !

  5. Patrick says:

    Thank you. You saved me a lot of headache.

  6. deepak kaushik says:

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

  7. Jim Mooney says:

    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 says:

      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

  8. annette says:

    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 says:

      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.

  9. Dustin says:

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

  10. Isaac says:

    Thanks it worked!

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