Troubleshooting Download Issues for Customers

Sometimes, the customer can run into issues downloading files. First thoughts: you might think it’s Fileflare causing the issues, but literally all of the time, it’s not. This can happen for many easy-to-fix reasons. Please read below!

Having issues with the email sending? Check this to troubleshoot the delivery email.

You need to send this list to your customers:

Please find out what issue your customer is facing. Reply to them and ask them for a screenshot or recording of the issue. This will help us diagnose what the problem is.

Most common reasons:

  • 70% of the time, the issue is because the store owner has set limitations, and the customer says it’s an error
  • Commonly, an issue is because they have run out of disk space
  • The customer needs to restart their browser/computer because they haven’t restarted in a while, and it is glitching out
  • The customer is downloading at work or at schools where they prevent downloading of files for the safety of the network

If you want to send a list of troubleshooting questions to a customer, please click the button below, copy the URL, and send it to the customer.

Check to see if you have set things up correctly:

1. Have you set download limitations without realising?


Commonly, this tends to be a limitation that the store owner has set without realising it. The customers will see a similar error message to the image shown below if they have reached a limitation.

Please make sure that you have not set limitations that you are not aware of in “Settings” > “Limitations“.

limitations page
Limitations page in Settings

Important note: If you have set a limitation and need to change it, you can reset the limitations for an individual order by going to the order page and then unchecking the “Use global limitations” box. This will allow you to override the global limitations for this order.

reset limitation
Changing limitations for orders by overriding the global limitations

2. Is your customer trying to download from an older app’s download email?

If you previously had a different digital downloads app before Fileflare and then upgraded to Fileflare, some previous customers will have received download emails from the previous app.

You must check to see if they are still trying to download from the older app’s email. You can go into our app and resend the new download email if they are.

Just ask them for a screenshot of the download email and this will help.

3. How large is your PDF file? This can be a big problem

Selling large PDF files can cause strain on your customer’s devices. Remember that we need to take into account that some customers may have old mobile phones or computers that aren’t up to date with the latest software.

PDF files shouldn’t be too large. They should be easy and small to download, such as 5MB at most. Most people will download to their mobile phones that don’t have much storage or processing power.

If your PDF is larger, you are causing problems for some devices to process it. You are also using up your customer’s 4G/5G usage, and you are also increasing your bandwidth usage on the app. It’s really beneficial to reduce file sizes on your PDFs.

Compressing the PDF

You can easily reduce the file size without reducing quality by using Adobe’s online PDF compressor.

In case you weren’t aware, Adobe invented the PDF format, so their compressor is the best to use and does not reduce the quality of the content in the PDF.

Replacing the PDF quickly

Once you have compressed it, you can easily replace the current PDF without needing to attach it to products again.

Simply go to your PDF asset in the app, then click the “Replace asset” button. That will just replace the file easily and quickly without you needing to attach it to products again. It also means that old download links for the original file will still work in your customers’ emails.

See a full guide on how to replace your asset.

4. Browser apps causing problems

Some browser apps can interfere with the download links and change the URL, which will break the download.

We have special URLs to protect your files from being shared with others, so the URL will be broken if any apps interfere with it.

Incognito mode removes all apps from the browser.

5. Mobiles can be a pain to download files to

If your customer has a smartphone and is not techy, they may not be able to find out how to download the files or find out where the files have been saved to.

Check our guides below to help find where downloads are saved on smartphones:

  1. Learn how to locate downloaded files on iPhone
  2. Where files are saved to on Android

6. Bots can use up the customers’ limitations

When using limitations on your orders, such as a download limit or IP address limit, you may find that some customers have said that they haven’t clicked the links yet, but once they do, they have hit their download limit on the first click.

This is usually caused by mail servers checking links for viruses, firewalls at workplaces, or even the software on the customer’s device. This can count as a click on the limits. This, unfortunately, is hard to track and mitigate, but we do have systems in place to help against this.

How to deliver downloads if this happens:

To give them their files, it’s really simple. All you need to do is override the global settings for their order. This means that you will only increase the limit for them, and they will be able to download.

  1. Go to their order in the app
  2. Uncheck the global limitations checkbox
  3. Increase their download limit
  4. Contact them back and say that they can now download their files
override global limitiations

Here is an example of the firewall on a customer’s mail server temporarily checking and rejecting the download email. You can see email tracking in Fileflare by going to the order page and scrolling down.

marketing changelog

This is usually caused at workplaces or secure public networks to prevent hacking and bad behaviour.

7. Customer account downloads – has your customer found the right location?

Make sure that your customer is looking at the order page inside their customer accounts. I’ts sometimes notice that they log in and expect downloads to be there, but they are, in fact, located on the order page.

8. Anything else

Please check other points to see if it could be anything on your customer’s device.

If you find anything else that is causing download problems, please contact us, and we will help!

Download email troubleshooting

Check our guide below if any customers are having issues with receiving downloads via email: