Have ever wished that you could force a file to download instead of opening in a browser? Some common files like MP3s and PDFs will open in your reader’s browser if the proper parent plugin is installed. Sometimes you want to force them to download the file without having to right-click and save it.
This action can be achieved very easily in Apache by modifying the .htaccess file. You can set it at your domain root to affect your entire site, or you can set it in subdirectories to only affect parts of your site.
All you need to know is your file extension(s). Then add an octet-stream mime type for each. So you might add the following to your .htaccess file.
AddType application/octet-stream .avi AddType application/octet-stream .mpg AddType application/octet-stream .mov AddType application/octet-stream .pdf
The above example would force a download message and prevent any AVI, MPG, MOV, or PDF file from opening in a browser.