Typically on my Macbook Pro, I click on URLs to pdf documents and they open in a browser window (say, Safari or Chrome), and later if I wish to keep a copy of the pdf file, I click the down arrow icon.

However, the down arrow icon actually attempts to fetch the pdf file from the server again, whereas I already have a local copy in a browser cache somewhere. So, it is an inefficient use of bandwidth. Furthermore, sometimes the original file may no longer be available at the server, or I may not be having Internet access, etc., and I want to save a copy of the file.

Do I need to go searching for the file in the browser cache somehow? Or is there a more convenient way?

  • For me, using Safari, clicking the 'save' icon (that appears towards the bottom of the screen when you move the mouse over that area) instantly saves the file to the Downloads folder, and does not reload the file. I have no experience with Chrome, though.
    – benwiggy
    Jun 2, 2020 at 7:49

1 Answer 1


If you have a PDF file in the browser window you can just go to the File menu and save the file. It will save as a regular PDF and you can choose where to save it.

  • Hmm .. tried that, at least, in Chrome, and am getting a "Failed - Forbidden" error in one case, and in the other case, it is trying to save as html. Any idea why? Jun 2, 2020 at 3:06
  • I don't know. I use Safari and it works for me. Be sure the web site ends in ,pdf.
    – Natsfan
    Jun 2, 2020 at 3:09
  • In the first case, yes, it ends in .pdf, and it looks like a normal pdf file, but "Failed - Forbidden" looks suspiciously like a http 403 error to me, like it's still somehow either trying to reload the pdf from the server, or somehow the server allows transfer to my browser but not subsequently saving it (is that even possible?) Jun 2, 2020 at 3:11
  • In the second case, it ends in .pdf, sort of .. there is a parameter after the .pdf .. something like "?extra=n7aaz ..", so maybe that confuses the browser into thinking it is html when I try to save it? Jun 2, 2020 at 3:19
  • Are you using safari or Chrome?
    – Natsfan
    Jun 2, 2020 at 3:25

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