I need users to download an image from my web app. For browsers that support the HTML 5 'download' attribute my Download button automatically opens the browser download window. However, users on the remaining browsers need to download the image the old fashioned way.

To save an image from a browser on a non-touch device, one right clicks and selects "Save Image As..." and on a touch device, one can usually tap and hold the image and select the save image option.

What concise message/instruction will tell the user to perform the above mentioned actions to download the image? Since we cannot tell with 100% accuracy what device a user is using we would need a combined message (handling touch and non-touch devices)? Though seems that might be unwieldy and long.

Also is asking user's to "right click" on OSX valid? While there are a number of ways to right click, for the average OSX user, is it something one can expect knowledge of?

  • You can use Content-Type: application/octet-stream HTTP header to force most browsers to download it.
    – jiwopene
    Dec 1, 2019 at 13:31
  • Force download using HTTP header Content-Type: application/octet-stream. You should also make the URL end with filename and extension. Example implementation in node.js (Express framework) ----------------------------------------------------- Serves images stored in directory ./images/ named photo-<number>.jpg. Serves them on the same path (http://127.1/images/photo-42.jpg). ```js const express = require('express') const fs = require('fs') const path = require('path') const app = express() const imageDir = path.resolve(__dirname, "images") app.get('/image/:filename', (req, res, next) =
    – jiwopene
    Dec 1, 2019 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


Yesterday I asked the question Is a right-click equal to a long press? and got the answer that it is. So I would have the following message:

Right-Click (or long press) the image to download it

All experienced Desktop users knows how to right-click independently of which operating system that is in place. The long press on the other hand is difficult to handle - but if you place the message of the long press - you'll give the users a clue what to do.

  • Do you think long press will clash with system context menu? For example, if you do a long press on iOS, it brings up the default editing menu. If the developer overwrites it with his own commands, it might confuse the user.
    – Adit Gupta
    Jul 31, 2015 at 11:36
  • @AditGupta Or the developer can add an option if there is a default context menu already. Jul 31, 2015 at 11:37
  • True. It can work in this case. Although, I do see a problem if you've more self defined contextual commands than the generic ones. Perhaps, in that case, a context menu will not work as intended. What do you think?
    – Adit Gupta
    Jul 31, 2015 at 11:50
  • @AditGupta It's hard to tell without proper testing. But I'm positive it would work without interfering with the users conceptual expectation of a long press. There could be a problem if you add too many options in the context meny. Better to keep it clean and just add one if necessary - as in this case. Jul 31, 2015 at 11:53
  • 2
    Excellent. In this particular case, on iOS the long press on an image in the browser (Safari) brings up a menu with "Save Image" and "Copy", which suits my needs.
    – Amer
    Aug 1, 2015 at 9:55

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