SharePoint Online: Link to Force Download a Document Instead of Open

Requirement: Force download a file instead of opening in SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online: URL to Document Download Instead of Open

Documents linked in SharePoint Online pages, navigation menu, lists, etc. open in the browser (or in client application!) directly either in Read-only mode or in Edit mode, based on user permissions. What if you want to force downloading a file, instead of opening it in the browser? Well, here are some ways to generate a link that downloads the document directly (or force download link).

Option 1:

Use the format to frame a force download link: https://<yourdomain>.sharepoint.com/sites/<yoursite>/_layouts/download.aspx?SourceUrl=<document-URL>

E.g. https://crescent.sharepoint.com/sites/legal/_layouts/download.aspx?SourceUrl=https://crescent.sharepoint.com/sites/Legal/Documents/Compliance-Manual.pdf

When a user clicks on the link, It downloads the file instead of open!

Option 2:

Use to “Copy link” Option to get the link to document and append “&download=1”
Just navigate to the document library where your documents are located, select the file and click on the “Copy link” button in the ribbon >> Copy the URL and append “&download=1” to it.

E.g. https://crescent.sharepoint.com/:w:/s/legal/ECm5WU0-3ohOo2n8-q5GQG4Bar33Prunsg4g9QvAPu3cRQ?e=UPMiz5&download=1

sharepoint online document download instead of open

This URL directly links to document the download in SharePoint Online.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack is a SharePoint Architect with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. He loves sharing his knowledge and experiences with the SharePoint community, through his real-world articles!

8 thoughts on “SharePoint Online: Link to Force Download a Document Instead of Open

  • On modern pages it is much much easier than all that. When you Copy Link on modern pages it give you a long string of stuff. Something like this:

    https://SITE.sharepoint.com/:x:/r/sites/SITENAME/FOLDERNAME/FILENAME.EXT? d=w7cdaa68ce7764cae8asdfffee162e4184&csf=1&e=w9SNfff

    This link will open the file, either in a Web App or a Desktop Application, depending on your settings. To make the link download you need to remove some things from the copied link

    Once you paste the copied link into a hyperlink or button or whatever, just remove all text after the ? after the file extension and you get a link that directly downloads the file instead of opening it. Something like the below:

    https://SITE.sharepoint.com/:x:/r/sites/SITENAME/FOLDERNAME/FILENAME.EXT?

    I found this solution here, which I copy pasted from:
    https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/f4f52b57-4e09-4ab3-b89f-0731e5ea684c/sharepoint-online-enable-direct-download-instead-of-opening-document-when-clicking-on-the-link?forum=appsforsharepoint

    Happy Trails!

    Reply
    • Is there a way to automate the creation of these links? I have document libraries with 50-100+ files that are legal fillable forms in Word – Manually creating those is way too time consuming.

      Reply
    • It does not seem to work with image files

      Reply
  • Try the following o SharePoint Online modern site:
    https://.sharepoint.com/sites//_layouts/download.aspx?SourceUrl=

    Reply
  • Copy the URL and append “?&download=1” to copied URL then it going to work.

    Reply
  • I can’t get it to work either, maybe they updated something and this method no longer works. Article is a year old as of this comment.

    Reply
  • Hi, i can’t get this to work every time, only occasionally, any suggestions as to what i might be doing wrong?

    Reply
    • Try this
      https://.sharepoint.com/sites//_layouts/download.aspx?SourceUrl=

      Reply

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