PHP generate file for download then redirect

0 votes
asked May 5, 2009 by evan

I have a PHP app that creates a CSV file which is forced to download using headers. Here's the relevant part of the code:

header('Content-Type: application/csv'); 
header("Content-length: " . filesize($NewFile)); 
header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="' . $FileName . '"'); 
echo $content;

What I'd like to do is redirect users to a new page after the file is built and the download prompt is sent. Just adding header("Location: /newpage") to the end didn't work, expectedly, so I'm not sure how to rig this up.

7 Answers

0 votes
answered May 5, 2009 by daremon

I don't think this can be done - although I am not 100% sure.

The common thing (e.g. in popular download sites) is the reverse: first you go to the "after" page and then the download starts.

So redirect your users to the "final" page that (among other things) says:

Your download should start automatically. If not click [a href="create_csv.php"]here[/a].

As about initiating the download (e.g. automatically calling create_csv.php) you have many options:

0 votes
answered May 24, 2011 by martar

Bear in mind, however, the automatic initiation of downloadable files for IE users will trigger the security warning tab. All three of the methods outlined by daremon would show this warning. You simply can't get around this. You will be better served if you provide real links.

0 votes
answered Jan 14, 2012 by darren-crabb

I found one workaround for this that relies on javascript, so it's not exactly secure, but for non-secure critical sites it seems to work.

Have a form with a button titled 'download' with the action set to point to the download script, then using javascript put something on the onsubmit handler that strips out the download button and replaces the messaging on the screen. The download should still happen and the screen will change. Obviously, if there's an issue with the download script then it still looks like the download was successful even if it doesn't fire, but it's the best I've got right now.

0 votes
answered May 21, 2013 by smnbbrv

very easy to do in the case it is really needed.

But you will need to have a bit work in JavaScript and cookies:

in PHP you should add setting up a cookie

header('Set-Cookie: fileLoading=true'); 

then on the page where you call the download you should track with JS (e.g. once per second) if there is coming cookie like that (there is used plugin jQuery cookie here):

  if ($.cookie("fileLoading")) {
    // clean the cookie for future downoads

    location.href = "/newpage";

Now if the file starts to be downoaded JS recognizes it and redirects to the page needed after cookie is deleted.

Of course, you can tell you need browser to accept cookies, JavaScript and so on, but it works.

0 votes
answered Jan 15, 2014 by vaibhav-jain

This is quite old issue, but here is how I achieved it via JS.

// Capture the "click" event of the link.
var link = document.getElementById("the-link");
link.addEventListener("click", function(evt) {
  // Stop the link from doing what it would normally do.
  // Open the file download in a new window. (It should just
  // show a normal file dialog), "_blank");
  // Then redirect the page you are on to whatever page you
  // want shown once the download has been triggered.
  window.location = "/thank_you.html";
}, true);

Via -

0 votes
answered Sep 15, 2017 by hisham-dalal

Here is the answer:
It's work!
You need three different parts of code:


<a id="download_btn" class="btn btn-primary" href="?file=filename&download=1">Download<&/a>


    window.location.href = '<?=base_url()?>/?file=<?=$file;?>&download=1';
}).focusout (function(){
    window.location.href = '<?=base_url()?>';
    return false;


        if(isset($_GET['download']) && isset($_GET['file'])){

            $zip_path = 'path_to/'.$_GET['file'].'.zip';

                header('Content-Type: application/zip');
                header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="'.basename($zip_path).'"');
                header('Content-Length: ' . filesize($zip_path));
                header('Location: '.$zip_path);

0 votes
answered Sep 15, 2017 by clinton

Launch the PHP file which contains the CSV download using:

<a onclick="popoutWin(\'csvexport.php\')" >Download CSV File</a>


<input name="newThread" type="button" value="Download CSV File"
        onclick="popoutWin(\'csvexport.php\')" />

where the JavaScript function popoutWin is

 * Popout window that self closes for use with downloads
function popoutWin(link){
    var popwin =;
    }, 500);

This will open a window, to display the CSV download prompt and then immediately close the window, leaving only the prompt.

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