How to open downloads in Chrome automatically

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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.

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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?


Article Name

How to open downloads in Chrome automatically


Martin Brinkmann


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

About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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