File opens instead of downloading in internet explorer in a href link

<a href="path/to/file/" download="">filename</a>'

When i click the link, my should be downloaded.

It works perfectly in chrome. But in Internet explorer, it opens the file instead of downloading. What could be the problem? Is there any properties that is to be added to make it work in ie.

And also i need a file download sample that works for all the browsers.


The download attribute is not supported in IE (see

That suggests the download attribute is only supported by firefox, chrome, opera and the latest version of blackberry's browser.

For other browsers you'll need to use more traditional methods to force download. That is server side code is necessary to set an appropriate Content-Type and Content-Disposition header to tell (or trick depending on your point of view) the browser to download the item. Headers should look like this:

Content-Type: application/octet-stream
Content-Disposition: attachment;filename=\"\"

(thanks to antyrat for the copy and paste of the headers)

It should be fixed on server side. Your server should return this headers for this file types:

Content-Type: application/octet-stream
Content-Disposition: attachment;filename=\"\"

This is not a code issue. It is your default IE settings

To change the "always open" setting:

  1. In Windows Explorer, click on the "Tools" menu, choose "Folder options"
  2. In the window that appears, click on the "File Types" tab, and scroll through the list until you find the file extension you want to change (they're in alphabetical order). For example, if Internet Explorer always tries to open .zip files, scroll through the list until you find the entry for "zip".
  3. Click on the file type, then the "Advanced" button.
  4. Check the "Confirm after download" box, then click OK > Close.

EDIT: If you ask me , instead of making any changes in the code i would add the following text "Internet Explorer users: To download file, "Rightclick" the link and hit "Save target as" to download the file."

EDIT 2: THIS solution will work perfectly for you. Its a solution i just copied from the other answer. Im not trying to pass it off as my own

Content-Type: application/octet-stream
Content-Disposition: attachment;filename=\"\"

However you must make sure that you specify the type of file(s) you allow. You have mentioned in your post that you want this for any type of file. This will be an issue.

For ex. If your site has images and if the end user clicks these images then they will be downloaded on his computer instead of opening in a new page. Got the point. So you need to specify the file extensions.

For apache2 server:

AddType application/octect-stream .ova

File location will depend on particular version of Apache2 -- ours is in /etc/apache2/mods-available/mime.conf


This must be a matter of http headers.

see here: HTTP Headers for File Downloads

The server should tell your browser to download the file by sending

Content-Type: application/octet-stream; 
Content-Disposition: attachment;

in the headers

Zip your file (.zip) and IE will give the user the option to open or download the file.

It is known HTTP headers problem with Internet Explorer. Try to edit your server's .htaccess file (if you use Apache) and include the following rules:

# IE: force download of .xxx files
AddType application/octect-stream .xxx
<Files *.xxx>
  ForceType application/octet-stream
  Header Set Content-Disposition attachment

You could configure this in your http-Header

httpResponse.setHeader("Content-Type", "application/force-download");
                               + "MyFile.pdf"); 

Need Your Help

Using mvc-mini-profiler database profiling with Entity Framework Code First

ef-code-first entity-framework-ctp5 mvc-mini-profiler

I'm using the mvc-mini-profiler in my project built with ASP.Net MVC 3 and Entity Framework code-first.

How to get HTML code of a WebElement in Selenium

java selenium testing selenium-webdriver selenium-chromedriver

I am new at testing so my apologies in advance if my question sounds a bit primary.