Tag Archives: webpage

Force directly linked file to download

Is there any way to provide a direct link to a file & force the browser to download it using PHP?

E.g http://www.website.com/directory/file.jpg

We’re dealing with huge files here & Chrome in particular seems to have a problem rendering the image, so all the user sees is a blank screen when visiting the file directly. Even though they can still right-click in the blank screen & download the file it’s confusing.

We used to output the files from PHP yet we ran into memory problems so switched to providing a direct link instead. The files go up to approximately 5GB, they aren’t all images. We have zips, PDFs, PSDs etc.

Currently, the file is requested through a PHP script which accepts the ID of the file & obtain its URL. The PHP script then redirects to the user to full URL of the file.

How can we ensure that downloads are forced & we don’t run into memory issues with the larger files?

Thank you

Just use X-Sendfile yet you need to configure it first … using XSendFilePath

Note* Please ensure $file is properly escaped before you verify & serve the file

XSendFilePath only works on Apache for other servers please see : Caching HTTP responses when they are dynamically created by PHP