I prefer getting file download prompts over downloads being automatically saved to the system once they complete.
That's true for most file types but not for all. For instance, I prefer that torrent files get downloaded directly in a BitTorrent application as that's where I'd load them in anyway.
You too may have certain file types that you want opened directly. Maybe PDF files, Usenet NZB files, or even videos that you download from the Internet.
As a Firefox user, I'm spoiled by the options the web browser offers as you can set default actions for known file types easily on the Applications Settings page which you can open directly in the browser's settings. Just load about:preferences in the browser's address bar and locate the Applications section on the page to define rules for individual file types.
Google Chrome on the other hand does not have that option, and the process is slightly more complex and less manageable than Firefox's.
So how does it work then?
It starts with a download. Download the file type that you want opened automatically in the Chrome browser. You should see it displayed in the downloads bar at the bottom of the page.
When it completes, click on the small arrow icon next to it and select the "always open files of this type" option. This marks the file type so that it is run automatically whenever files matching it are downloaded to the local system.
For some file types, "always open with system viewer" is displayed instead; this is the case for PDF documents.
That's all there is to it. All future files that you download that match the file extension will be run automatically on the system.
Note: Google Chrome prevents certain file types from opening automatically. The option to select "always open files of this type" is grayed out and not available for file types that Google considers dangerous. File types that won't show the option include .exe, .zip, or .bat files. Basically, any file type that is popular when it comes to malware distribution is blocked in Chrome.
Chrome will always load them in the default application that is associated with the selected file type; the browser does not include options to select a different program for certain file types.
The process needs to be repeated for other file types that you want executed automatically instead of just downloaded.
You probably wonder how to reset the feature if you made a mistake. There are two options for that. First, you can uncheck the option if the file type is still displayed in the download bar in Chrome.
Since future files won't be listed there anymore once you have made the change, you are left with the following option:
All custom run instructions have been reset so that all files will be downloaded once again and not run automatically.
Now You: Do you download files or set your browser to run files automatically?Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.