Help with creating Nextcloud Shared Document and Remove the Download Link

Hello Team,

I’m hoping someone can help me with how I can achieve what I need in our Nextcloud. I know this community is Nethserver focused but perhaps someone from this community has done this and can lend me their opinion.

We have a Company Handbook we want to share with our employees as a Shared PDF file from our Nextcloud but we don’t want them to be able to download the file. I’ve put this PDF file on Nextcloud and internally we can share it as a read-only. But we also want some employees to see this link from outside our network so I’ve created the following Share Link:

Eventually, I will add a password as well.

When I add the ‘Hide Download’ the link won’t open and I receive instead a '403 Forbidden - Request forbidden by administrative rules. '. If I remove the ‘Hide Download’ check the link works and I can read the PDF file.

It appears in Firefox at least, when I access this PDF file from the share on our Nextcloud, the file is autodownloaded to my computer? I had thought that by serving it on our Nextcloud employees could simply read it in their browser and not have it downloaded. Is there an App or Setting I can use to keep the PDF in the browser only for read only and not have the browser download the file?

Can anyone provide any insight as to why I can’t remove the Download button on this shared document?

Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide me.

Hi @greavette

Anything anyone can “see” in a Browser, can be screenshotted, but any files you provide are “always” downloadable. If it’s not downloadable, no one will see the PDF.


Not possible to view a PDF in a browser without downloading it.

If you transfer the contents of the PDF directly to html (html5 !), then the contents will be viewable, but there’s no PDF file to be downloaded…

My 2 cents

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Hello @Andy_Wismer ,

I totally agree with you. You can’t stop people from taking pictures. What I was hoping to do is to stop people from easily downloading our PDF. The people we are sending this to aren’t computer savvy and won’t think about how to download our document if a download button isn’t on the page.

I’ve done a bit more testing. Seems Firefox needs the download option in order to display the PDF in the browser. Edge and Chrome worked well with the Download Button removed option in the settings. Seems this issue I found is only with Firefox.

Looks like I have my answer/solution then. I can share this link publicly (I’ll put a password on it), and remove the download button (yes they can still find a way around it but at least I’m not encouraging them to download the document with a big button in the corner) and I’ll tell them to only use Chrome or Edge. :slight_smile:


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Does it behave the same if sharing a folder (with the files you want to hide download on it) instead of a file? (although folder could have some visible file download option…)
On the release notes for this feature it was mentioned the hide function to work (more or less) with compatible apps like onlyoffice and collabora…

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