James Stevenson James Stevenson - 1 month ago 15
ASP.NET (C#) Question

ASP.net File Download from Server

After a user clicks a button, I want a file to be downloaded. I've tried the following which seems to work, but not without throwing an exception (ThreadAbort) which is not acceptable.

System.Web.HttpResponse response = System.Web.HttpContext.Current.Response;
response.ClearContent();
response.Clear();
response.ContentType = "text/plain";
response.AddHeader("Content-Disposition", "attachment; filename=" + fileName + ";");
response.TransmitFile(Server.MapPath("FileDownload.csv"));
response.Flush();
response.End();


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer

You can use an HTTP Handler (.ashx) to download a file, like this:

DownloadFile.ashx:

public class DownloadFile : IHttpHandler 
{
    public void ProcessRequest(HttpContext context)
    {   
        System.Web.HttpResponse response = System.Web.HttpContext.Current.Response;
        response.ClearContent();
        response.Clear();
        response.ContentType = "text/plain";
        response.AddHeader("Content-Disposition", 
                           "attachment; filename=" + fileName + ";");
        response.TransmitFile(Server.MapPath("FileDownload.csv"));
        response.Flush();    
        response.End();
    }

    public bool IsReusable
    {
        get
        {
            return false;
        }
    }
}

Then you can call the HTTP Handler from the button click event handler, like this:

Markup:

<asp:Button ID="btnDownload" runat="server" Text="Download File" 
            OnClick="btnDownload_Click"/>

Code-Behind:

protected void btnDownload_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    Response.Redirect("PathToHttpHandler/DownloadFile.ashx");
}

Passing a parameter to the HTTP Handler:

You can simply append a query string variable to the Response.Redirect(), like this:

Response.Redirect("PathToHttpHandler/DownloadFile.ashx?yourVariable=yourValue");

Then in the actual handler code you can use the Request object in the HttpContext to grab the query string variable value, like this:

System.Web.HttpRequest request = System.Web.HttpContext.Current.Request;
string yourVariableValue = request.QueryString["yourVariable"];

// Use the yourVariableValue here

Note - it is common to pass a filename as a query string parameter to suggest to the user what the file actually is, in which case they can override that name value with Save As...

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