Content-Disposition:What are the differences between “inline” and “attachment”?

What are the differences between

Response.AddHeader("Content-Disposition", "attachment;filename=somefile.ext")


Response.AddHeader("Content-Disposition", "inline;filename=somefile.ext")

I don’t know the differences , because when I use one or another I always get a window prompt asking me to download the file for both of them. I read the specs, but it is clueless.


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Method 1

Because when I use one or another I
get a window prompt asking me to
download the file for both of them.

This behavior depends on the browser and the file you are trying to serve. With inline, the browser will try to open the file within the browser.

For example, if you have a PDF file and Firefox/Adobe Reader, an inline disposition will open the PDF within Firefox, whereas attachment will force it to download.

If you’re serving a .ZIP file, browsers won’t be able to display it inline, so for inline and attachment dispositions, the file will be downloaded.

Method 2

If it is inline, the browser should attempt to render it within the browser window. If it cannot, it will resort to an external program, prompting the user.

With attachment, it will immediately go to the user, and not try to load it in the browser, whether it can or not.

Method 3

It might also be worth mentioning that inline will try to open Office Documents (xls, doc etc) directly from the server, which might lead to a User Credentials Prompt.

see this link:

somebody tried to deliver an Excel Report from SSRS via ASP.Net -> the user always got prompted to enter the credentials. After clicking cancel on the prompt it would be opened anyway…

If the Content Disposition is marked as Attachment it will automatically be saved to the temp folder after clicking open and then opened in Excel from the local copy.

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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