How do I save a PDF file online to my computer?

Updated 8/31/2020 from

PDF files can be viewed on a large number of devices and internet browsers, but the steps to save them are not the same. These general guidelines should help you save a downloaded PDF to most media types.


First, make sure you have a PDF reader program installed on your computer. Adobe provides a free reader on its website.

Save a PDF file from a web page

  • Click on the link or icon that represents the PDF file. Depending on your internet browser and PDF reader settings, the PDF file may be downloaded and automatically opened in your browser. If instead you are prompted to open or save the PDF file, go to step 4.
  • When you move your mouse pointer over the document, a small toolbar should appear. The toolbar is often located at the top or bottom right of the page.
  • Once you find the toolbar, click on the icon that looks like a computer disk or an arrow pointing down to save the PDF file. If the toolbar is not visible, look for the icon in your browser’s file menu Save as or save page as Possibility. (Press Alt to make the menu bar visible if it’s hidden.) You can also right-click and select the document Save as to save the PDF file.
  • A window should appear asking you to specify where you want to save the file. Choosing the desktop option will make it easier to find the PDF file later.
  • If you want, you can rename the file at this point. Otherwise, skip this step.
  • Click on To protect or OK to save the PDF file.
  •   How to convert a PDF to Microsoft Word or another file type


    Some browsers open PDF files without downloading them. If you can’t see the disc, look for a download icon instead. Once the file has downloaded, a save option should appear.

    Save a PDF directly from the reader

    Adobe Reader backup icon

    If the PDF file is already open in the reader program or a PDF form is filled out, you can save it with the program. For example, in Adobe Reader, a computer disk icon is available on the toolbar at the top of the program window. As shown in the image, clicking on this icon will save the file.

    Print the PDF document to create and save a new PDF file

    If you can’t find a save option, you can also try printing the PDF document using CutePDF, which will create a new PDF file that you can save to your computer.