Azure Blob always downloads when navigating to url

In our application we give the user the abilty to upload a document to a windows azure blob storage account. After uploading the document or image it gets assigned some url ( If the document is an image or a pdf or some file that can be rendered by the browser we are trying to display it in the browser without requiring the user to download the file. If we just open up a new window or tab and direct the user to the blob uri in IE, the image or pdf renders correctly in the browser. But, if we try to just open a new window pointing to the uri in Chrome, FireFox, or Safari, it just downloads the file instead of displaying it in the browser.

Is there a way to force the latter three browsers to just display the file instead of download it?


  • This is because you didn't set the content type property of the blob (the default is application/octet-stream, which triggers a download in most browsers). If you want PDF files to show correctly you'll need to change the content type of your PDF files to application/pdf (image/jpeg for jpeg files).

    You can change the content type with common tools like Azure Storage Explorer, Cloud Storage Studio, CloudBerry, CloudXplorer, ... or by using the SDK. Note that some of these tools will automatically set the content type to the right one after uploading the file.