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Download a file

Written byPhuoc Nguyen
21 Feb, 2020
Last updated
29 Mar, 2020
Level 2 — Intermediate

1. Use the download attribute

Adding the `download` attribute to a link will force the browser to download the file instead of navigating to the link. Note that the `download` attribute isn't supported in IE 11.
<a href="/path/to/file" download>Download</a>

2. Trigger the click event

The idea comes from creating a link, and trigger its `click` event.
// Create a new link
const link = document.createElement('a');
link.download = 'file name';
link.href = '/path/to/file';

// Append to the document

// Trigger the click event

// Remove the element

3. Download file with generated data

It's common to download a file with dynamic data, such as
  • a JSON
  • a text
  • an image
From the data, we can turn it to a blob, then trigger the `click` event as described in the previous section. The following sample code creates a blob of JSON and downloads it:
const data = JSON.stringify({ 'message': 'Hello Word' });

const blob = new Blob([data], { type: 'application/json' });

// Create new URL
const url = window.URL.createObjectURL(blob);

// Create a link and trigger the download

// Free the URL created above

See also

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Phước Nguyễn