This is a basic feature post, but I wrote it to keep it handy.

If you need to link a document/picture/video or whatever file in your website, you can do it using an a-tag <a href...> link </a> , but what if you want to force this file to be download by the user instead of be opened by the browser?

To do that, you'll need to write a bridge script between the page and the file, and then the link as it follows:

download image

Then in the file download.php, the important code will be:


You can change the content-type to help browser identifying the file type. Below I attach a list of the most common/used:


Extension Type
(all files) application/octet-stream
avi video/x-msvideo
bmp image/bmp
css text/css
doc application/msword
dot application/msword
eps application/postscript
gif image/gif
gtar application/x-gtar
gz application/x-gzip
htm text/html
html text/html
ico image/x-icon
jpe image/jpeg
jpeg image/jpeg
jpg image/jpeg
js application/x-javascript
latex application/x-latex
mov video/quicktime
mp2 video/mpeg
mp3 audio/mpeg
mpa video/mpeg
mpe video/mpeg
mpeg video/mpeg
mpg video/mpeg
pdf application/pdf
pps application/
ppt application/
prf application/pics-rules
ps application/postscript
qt video/quicktime
rtf application/rtf
svg image/svg+xml
swf application/x-shockwave-flash
tgz application/x-compressed
tif image/tiff
tiff image/tiff
txt text/plain
xls application/
zip application/zip


Another way would be using fileinfo or other functions available in php to query a file.