How to open downloads in Chrome automatically - gHacks Tech News

How to open downloads in Chrome automatically

I prefer file downloads over running downloads automatically on the system once they complete on it.

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 in this regard as you can set default actions for known file types easily on the Applications Settings page which you can open directly from this link about:preferences#applications.

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.

chrome always open files download

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.

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.

Chrome will always load them in the default application set for the file type on the system with no option to change it to a different program.

The process needs to be repeated for other file types that you want executed automatically instead of being just downloaded.

You are probably wondering how you control the feature. 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.

chrome clear auto opening settings

Since future files won't be listed there anymore once you have made the change, you are left with the following option:

  1. Open the browser's settings page by pasting chrome://settings/ in the address bar and hitting enter.
  2. You find a new option under downloads that is only there if you have set at least one file to run instead of download.
  3. Click on the "clear auto-opening settings" button to reset all file types to the default state of download.
  4. You will notice that the button disappears afterwards.

All custom run instructions have been reset so that all files will be downloaded once again in the browser.

Now You: Do you download files or set your browser to run files automatically?

How to open downloads in Chrome automatically
Article Name
How to open downloads in Chrome automatically
Find out how to run Chrome downloads automatically by configuring the browser in a special way to do so.

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  1. Deepanker said on November 1, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I do not prefer to set files run automatically after downloading. :/

  2. Dean said on June 22, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Thanks very much – that’s EXACTLY what I wanted to know how to do!

  3. Erin said on August 22, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks – you taught me what the Google forums did not. Clear, concise, to the point – yay you!

    Also Spoiled By Firefox

  4. Guy said on October 21, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Great clear writing. I actually figured out how to do it! Thank you!

  5. Dan said on March 4, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    No, I mean NO!

    This is not “spoiled by Firefox”, this is simply insufficient control in Chrome. It’s just basic to have a list of file types and be able to change behavior, opening app etc…

  6. pHROZEN gHOST said on May 19, 2017 at 12:00 am

    How does one view which files are set to auto-open?

  7. Dan said on September 19, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    FF has much better control over download/open operations. Chrome still lacks it and that’s weird.

  8. Anonymous said on January 15, 2018 at 1:47 am

    Chrome must have changed. I did find an option to “Ask where to download..:” which does turn off automatic downloads, but on another machine, therre’s a popup that asks what to do with the file and I have a choice of OPEN or SAVE or … and I want to select OPEN. I can’t figure out how to enable that popup

  9. Sarah Thompson said on May 23, 2018 at 12:26 am

    Doesn’t work for ofx files. Nothing happens when it’s set to open automatically. Firefox opens them with the correct program, so it’s not that I don’t have the correct program.

  10. Vijay said on May 23, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Java applets and some other type of files are not allowed to open in chrome by default. So whatever option you enable or not, some files can’t be auto opened in chrome. Found this issue recently when I’m trying to get a JNLP file to open automatically.

    1. prabhakaran said on November 7, 2018 at 5:58 am

      Yes, I am also not able to open JNLP file automatically. Is there any way to open this type of file automatically after download ?.

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