How Do I Prevent Users From Downloading Files?

Many have asked how to show people their files, but not allow them to download copies for themselves. This sounds like a reasonable request.

Unfortunately, you cannot prevent this. You can prevent access to files behind a login, but once you reveal the file contents, it can be copied.

When a user views an image, video or document, that file is in their possession. This is how the Internet functions. Browsers read HTML and JavaScript, then download the linked files to construct the web page and display it to the user.

We can make it more difficult for the user, such as preventing hot-linking, streaming our video or disabling right-clicking, but we cannot ultimately prevent the file’s contents from being copied once it is viewed.

This image shows the first files being loaded into Firefox for

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