Why do some PDF links automatically download, but others open on the page?

Some links on the pages open to preview, and others automatically download. How can this be made consistent? Is there a way to choose how they will open when they are clicked on?

1 answer

Hey Jessica!

My first thought is that the PDFs that are downloading have been added to the page as external links, and not directly attached to the page, (which would allow them to be previewed).  Most browsers, when directed to a link containing a PDF, will download the file instead of previewing it.

Good luck!


It seems as though the only option to upload the PDF links is from the "insert files and images" option. Is there another way these files should be uploaded to ensure they download the file? Or, if preview is the only option, how can I make it so only one file is previewed at once? Currently, once you open a file and it opens in preview, you are able to arrow through all PDFs on that page. 

In doing some research, it looks like there's no way to currently disable PDF preview, sadly.  There is a suggestion in place to have that option, though:


That said, currently, if you want your users to download the PDF, they'll either have to right-click on the thumbnail of the PDF on the page and Save As, or in the preview, click the download button on the upper right.

At this point, everything will open in preview without the ability to disable it. So, with preview being the only option, how to do you only allow one attachment to open in preview? Currently, if a link opens in preview from an attachment, it allows the user to scroll through ALL attachments on that page. I want only ONE file to be previewed at once...is that possible?

As far as I'm aware, it's currently not possible to preview only one attachment at a time. 

I suggest that you vote on this issue linked above, and hopefully we'll see it in a future release. 

Also, you may want to contact Atlassian Support directly to see if they have any suggestions as well:

Atlassian Support - Portal

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Community showcase
Posted Feb 06, 2019 in Confluence

Try out the new editing experience

Hi team, I’m Avinoam, a product manager on Confluence Cloud, and today I’m really excited to let the Community know that all customers can now try out the new editing experience and see some of the ...

979 views 51 8
Join discussion

Atlassian User Groups

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find a group

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find my local user group

Unfortunately there are no AUG chapters near you at the moment.

Start an AUG

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local meet up. Learn more about AUGs

Groups near you