download attribute is commonly present inside an
<a> tag to mark a hyperlink as “offering a downloadable file”.
It’s a new attribute added in HTML5 that allows your browser to download a file on click.
You may see an example of
download attribute implementation as follows:
<a href="document.pdf" download>Download PDF</a>
download attribute above, then the browser will navigate to the
document.pdf location and open the file in the browser.
When you specify the
download attribute, then the computer will either:
- Save the file in the default download location defined in your browser settings
- Or ask you where to save the file before downloading
download attribute also accepts a value that you can specify as the filename alias:
<a href="document.pdf" download="HTML5_download.pdf">Download PDF</a>
When you download the
document.pdf file, the browser will automatically rename the file with the
download attribute value.
download attribute restrictions
download attribute needs to refer to a file that has the same origin, or it won’t be executed by the browser.
For example, if the download page is located at
sebhastian.com/html5download.html then the downloadable file must also be located at
When you refer to a cross-origin file, the browser will ignore the download request and open the file as a normal hyperlink.
download attribute browser support
download attribute is currently supported by all major browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge.
Here’s a screenshot of browser versions supporting the attribute:
You can check out You can check out currently supported versions for the
download attribute at caniuse.com
And that’s how the HTML5
download attribute works 😉