How to Download PDF Files from Safari to iPhone, iPad, and Mac

When browsing the web, we often come across PDF files. If you’re using Safari you can view such files within the browser itself. But if you want to keep them for later reference, you can also save PDF files from Safari to iPhone, iPad, or Mac. This is different from saving webpages as PDFs which is another handy feature of Safari. Let’s check it out.

How to Save PDF Files from Safari on iPhone or iPad

If you want to save PDF from Safari to the Files app on your iPhone, it’s pretty simple. When browsing on Safari on iPhone, if you tap the link to a downloadable file, a dialog box will appear to confirm that you would like to download the file.

Download & Save PDF Files from Safari to iPhone

Once you tap “Download,” the file will be added to the downloads manager and start downloading. It will continue downloading until the entire file is downloaded, even if you close Safari or leave the webpage.

By default, downloaded files are saved to a ‘Downloads’ folders in iCloud Drive so that you can access them from all your devices. But you can change the default location that files are saved in if you wish.

How to Download PDF Files from Safari on Mac

When you click on a link to a PDF file in Safari on Mac, it will automatically open it. To save the PDF file that you’re viewing, click on the “File” menu at the top of the screen and choose “Save As.”

Click on File and Select Save As in Safari on Mac

In the dialog box that opens, name the PDF file and select the destination where you want to keep the PDF file. Then, click “Save.”

Click on Save to Download PDF Files in Safari on Mac

That’s it. Once the file is downloaded, you can view it anytime by opening it from the location where you chose to save it.

If you want to download a linked PDF file in Safari to the Mac, that works the same as downloading any other linked item in Safari on the Mac:

Right-click on the PDF file link and choose “Download Linked File As”. Then, name the PDF file and save the file to the preferred destination folder.

Download PDF Files from a Link in Safari

A neat download trick for Safari is to hold down the OPTION key and then click the link to the PDF or refresh the current page if the PDF is already open in Safari.

That will also download the PDF document directly into the preset Downloads folder.

Make Safari Download PDF Files Instead of Opening Them

Usually, you will probably end up opening PDF files on Safari when trying to download them. If you want to avoid this and directly save a PDF from Safari on Mac, you can try the following tricks:

  • If it’s a link that is clickable to open the PDF, you can just hold the OPTION/ALT key when clicking the URL to instantly download the PDF to the default download location. This will instantly download the PDF file to your Downloads folder unless you changed the download destination in Safari
  • Another option to download a PDF instead of opening it within Safari is to load the PDF within a tab and then click the URL bar. Hold down the OPTION/ALT key and hit Return (or refresh the PDF on display) to download the PDF

Wrapping Up…

As you can see, it’s a breeze to download and save PDF files on Safari on the iPhone and Mac. You can later access them from your downloads folder even when you’re offline. If you have any questions or thoughts about this, share in the comments section below.

I have been writing about tech for over 10 years now. I am passionate about helping people solve their tech problems with easy and practical solutions. At iGeeksBlog, I write and edit how-to guides and accessory reviews for all things Apple. My work has previously appeared in Live IT and Woman’s Era magazines. When not working, I love reading and traveling.