Make PDF Files Download and not Open in Browser

March 4, 2015

Most browsers have an inbuilt capability to execute certain types of files. When these types of files encountered in a URL, typically when you click on a PDF Document or Attachment in Salesforce, the browser executes them and displays them in the browser itself, without triggering a "Save As" popup.

For Example, <Instance>/servlet/servlet.FileDownload?file=<DocumentID>

However, in Salesforce, you can choose the default behavior of such kind of files.

From the Setup Menu, Navigate to Security Controls -> File Upload and Download Security.

This page lists the type of files  and their Default Download behavior. There are 3 options available :

a) Download (Recommended): The file is always downloaded.

b) Execute in Browser: The file is displayed and executed automatically when accessed in a browser or through an HTTP request.

c) Hybrid:  The file uses the default browser execution behavior but Salesforce CRM and Chatter files are downloaded.

Official Documentation at