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Why is Trello downloading every attachment when I click on it?

It used to open a window in trello to view, and from there I could download if I wanted it to.  Is there a way I can return to this feature?

13 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted
Brittany Joiner
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Oct 14, 2021

@Jake Rill Trello recently made some changes to make attachments more secure and a side effect of that has been that things automatically download rather than preview. Here's the official statement from the team that I think explains it quite well: 

We recently made some changes to how attachments are secured, largely to make sure they’re kept private. Anytime loading an attachment now, checks are made that the person has the board permission to view that attachment, so generally speaking, a good thing. The unintended side effect is that it also made some changes to our preview service, so moving forward, only images and videos will be able to be previewed.

This card from Trello’s Platform team has more details on how this works:

It may help to upload files via third-party service (i.e. Google Drive) if attachment previews are needed for your use-case.

With all that said, I’ll add this ticket on our feedback board for our product team as right now they’re aware that previews are no longer available mostly because of a technical limitation. I’m not aware of any plans to change this for the moment but I’ll pass the feedback nonetheless!

We will likely need to look for a new solution for our organization. This brings our workflow to a crashing halt. 

Like # people like this
Brittany Joiner
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Oct 14, 2021

@Lachelle Via could you upload your files to google drive instead of Trello and then preview them with google drive in your Trello cards?

Thank you for the suggestion. We have too many drives/folders and other storage systems (not google) organizing pieces of data for that to be an effective solution. The beauty of Trello was viewing all aspects of a project without having to leave the platform. 

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I understand the security issue being addressed and I appreciate the quick response and the appreciation for our issue. We are all a bit worried at my company so I hope this is a priority and can be fixed soon. While I do hope to see a preview function again, when PDFs opened in a new tab to view, it was at least workable, but it is definitely broken when it makes me download PDFs to view them. And then I have to delete them right after viewing. It’s alarmingly cumbersome to our usual workflow. At this point I feel like I’m kicking a dead horse so I’ll just say thank you again for the quick response and passing this along.

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We would also like to register our hope that this issue will be addressed. The ability to preview PDFs was an important part of our workflow. 

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I'm trying to introduce Trello in our company as a complement to the project manager. Without PDF preview, this will be impossible. What a pity!!

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Many years using Trello, sometimes paying, sometimes not ... I didn't expect to see trello in the list of app providers that walk like crabs. A sad day :-(

@Brittany Joiner I understand the last "update" (really a downgrade) was done to address some security.  If I spread my files across several different services (Trello, Google Drive), how will I achieve a better security? 

It must be a temporary behavior Trello ! I think by removing this function I lost way more productivity than I gained by any other new features you may have added in the last 2 years ! This must be fixed very quickly.

Like # people like this

Thanks a lot for keeping my files safe !!! But since at the moment we are more interested in usability and speed of the workflow, we will have to look for an alternative to your service.

Like Lachelle Via likes this

@Brittany Joiner For better or worse, I use Trello as a de-facto means of file organization. I don't have the time to re-save every .PDF on our Trello board to Google Drive or Dropbox as a workaround. Without exaggeration, I am near tears with frustration. My team's productivity has plummeted due to this update.

The Atlassian team may see this update as a net positive from a security perspective, but PLEASE understand how terribly this is affecting the usability of your platform. My small business runs on Trello; usability is not an abstract parameter here - this is costing me money every day it is not fixed. I'm begging for a means to preview .PDFs without downloading. 

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We keep our attachments on Trello so all our members do not have to download to their personal computers and we prefer it that way for privacy reasons.  Uploading to Google presents the same issue unless we use Google's Workspace $$ in addition to paying Trello and it requires multiple steps for each upload in addition to creating and adding the attachment.  This is definitely a downgrade at a time we are paying more for the Trello service.  This is not the first time Trello has downgraded existing services to allow for upgrades we must pay for additionally.   

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This needs to be fixed ASAP. These types of changes can’t happen like this. Granted I don’t know anything about programming, but this worked for 2 years and all of a sudden it’s broken. Go back to the old way until a better solution is found. This security fix can’t be necessary with such a serious side-effect. This beautiful platform is absolute trash without reliability. Why Trello? I am forced to start looking at other platforms today unless I get immediate transparency on this issue. Either go back to the way it was YESTERDAY MORNING, until a better solution is found.  Or I will even accept if they tell us to chill out, this is an easy fix, will be fixed by today or Monday morning. No chill right now. Better security is not worth this. 

I to must complain about this downgrade after the last official "update". Trello of early 2021 was working perfectly and was the "go to" tool.  Trello of August 21 and later is a slowly coming disaster.  First, link to files without login was a HUGE plus for our organization for approval of design files. That is gone.  Now, preview of PDF or Excel files is gone and downloading each file is a big step back.  If you are concerned about security, suggesting the use of third party, like Google drive, is not a solution - why I would want to spread all my files across multiple services when I was able to have them only in one? Does not seem like a security update! 

What a pity. This was a such a perfect tool!  No longer. 

I absolutely agree with you. File access and preview were once the main arguments for using Trello. Have you tried other services lately?

Like Martin Purmensky likes this

I tried CLICKUP but I recommended Trello to my suppliers overseas and they all use it.  It is difficult to move them to other platform.  I am sorry I did, though. 

I am completely frustrated as well! Trello preview for pdf and docs is one of the central features of Trello. The idea of having everything centralized in one tool is the core beauty of Trello. Cmon Trello, why did you go and break the best feature of the app? Trying to stay optimistic that you listen to the people and fix the problem so we can continue to be super fans!

If previews cannot be added back due to security issues, the new tab opening to view PDF's was adequate. What is not acceptable is the download of the whole PDF just to open.

This issue has not been resolved. 

Perplexed why we are not updated about this issue and Trello's intention to resolve it.  So disappointing and it continues to be an issue for our members and for me as I am charged to resolve it.  

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How you want to resolve this issue? Extension for browser or Powerup for trello?  

look this link embed pdf into your website.

Thank you. This may help for some of our files.  But quite frankly, I feel that Trello owes us some R&D dedicated to solving this issue.  

Echoing the frustration others have voiced. This changes has very negative impact on workflow. Centralized location of relevant assets (images, PDFs, Microsoft Office files) was a key benefit of Trello. Now the same file ends up needlessly taking up space on all team member's machines. If If I need to quickly refer to an old version, I'm going to have to download it again to make sure I'm looking at the right one. Please find a solution that maintains the security requirements on Trello's and users need to preview without downloading.

Also coming hear to voice my frustration with this change.  This has made things wildly more time consuming and downloading all of these documents on my computer is taking up unnecessary space that I then have to go and delete each time after I use Trello!  Ughhhh!!! Please put it back to how it was before!!

I came here with the same question. It is really annoying to have to download the documents every time you need to check some information, especially if you use trello as a backlog. They should at least give you the option to return to what it was before. 

It feels like every update on Trello is for the worse. Like they have fired all the designers and the programmers have taken over. 

Brittany Joiner
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Oct 14, 2021

@matheus da silva have you looked at using the google drive or box or dropbox power-up to see if that gives you preview options?

But then for every file I would have to put it on Drive, and then link it to Trello. I would also have to organize the files on Drive, and not only on Trello. It's not practical at all. 

Also, if the issue is security, why would I give Trello access to all my files on drive?

Like Jason Pearson likes this


Regular excel and pdf files still exist in 2021. using Google Drive and any other cloud solution is the possible in a business case.

@Brittany Joiner the reason we got the "upgrade" is that Trello became more secure. What kind of security update it is if you recommend to fracture your storage across to  different services, so in addition of using, supposedly now more secure, Trello, you want us to move some files to another services? What is the point of the storage on Trello, then? What kind of security is it if our files should be spread around? The point of Trello was to have a centralized tool that offered a cohesive solution and it WAS working for most of us. From security standpoint, we were even comfortable with the files access on Amazon servers - try to guess that link! That is also gone. 

I am glad I am not the only one that misses the not "upgraded" Trello prior to August. 

Brittany Joiner
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Oct 21, 2021

@Martin Purmensky the point is that if you are not concerned about security and more concerned with previewing your images, you could use those other tools. 

I'm not going to post anymore on this thread :) Everyone here seems to have their mind made up that this is a must have feature and using other power-ups isn't desired, so I'm not sure I've got anything else valuable to add over here.

@Brittany Joiner What a disappointing a dismissive reply. You seem to be implying that usability and security are mutually exclusive features. Yes, many of us have "made up our mind" that we prefer a more usable version of the platform. Does this make us fools? 

There is a community of users begging for a workable solution on this thread and many others like it. Can Atlassian not integrate a less secure, more usable option?

I have not seen a viable workaround mentioned in this thread. Is there, in fact, a power-up that provides a way to preview .PDFs without downloading them? 

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@Brittany Joiner 

Hi Brittany, I realise that as a Community Lead you are not responsible for changes to Trello’s functionality and appreciate you taking the time to explain the situation and suggesting possible work arounds. 

We, like many people, had a Trello workflow that was pretty slick and is currently a bit janky. I’m sure we will adapt.  

I hope that our respectful feedback is passed on to the developers and that if this feature is requested (politely) by enough people the functionality may be returned in a future update. 

Brittany Joiner
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Oct 21, 2021

@Robin and @Yucca Stuff sorry, didn't mean to come across as dismissive. Just hard when I see this and can't really do much about it, and I realize there's so much other stuff that makes Trello so good!

But yes, I've been sharing this thread with folks at Atlassian, they're very aware and trying to figure out what can be done here. Hope you all can understand it's not just a quick easy fix, but they're very aware and in my experience care a ton about user feedback, so this isn't something anyone is really trying to be dismissive of, but just can't take immediate action to solve. (Sorry, i know this doesn't help. and i do recognize this can be really disruptive to workflows.)

Like George likes this

@Brittany Joiner  

No probs, community liaison is a difficult job. Thank you for keeping the lines of communication open. 

I would just like to thank everyone for adding your voices to this issue, and Atlassian for listening to us. 

Viewing pdf files directly from Trello, seems to be available again.
Good news !!

THANK YOU Xavier and thank you Trello!

Did the PDF preview functionality suddenly return? It seems to be working again here...

I was so excited when I saw yesterday that I could open a pdf! The docx files still download, maybe they will be fixed next!?!

Nope. I'm currently being frustrated by the absolute nonsense in my workflow having to download the .docx I put there specifically so I could use it from the card.

It's not the solution but at least, Firefox allows you to see the pdf without having to download it


2021-10-15 18;24 001.jpg

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