InAppBrowser events not fired with PDF-URLs

I am building an Android/iOS Application with ionic 3, which simply consists of a webview with the cordova-plugin-inappbrowser (version 3.0.0) and a responsive homepage. The homepage holds different links to websites as well as to (online) PDF files.

As I’ve learned, the webview in Android (I haven’t tried iOS, yet) does not support opening PDF files. That’s why I wanted to intercept the called URLs, and open them in some other way, if they end on ‘.pdf’:

import { Component } from '@angular/core';
import {InAppBrowser, InAppBrowserObject, InAppBrowserOptions} from "@ionic-native/in-app-browser";

export class HomePage {

  options : InAppBrowserOptions = {
    location : 'no',//Or 'no'
    hidden : 'no', //Or  'yes'
    clearcache : 'yes',
    clearsessioncache : 'yes',
    zoom : 'no',//Android only ,shows browser zoom controls
    hardwareback : 'yes',
    mediaPlaybackRequiresUserAction : 'no',
    shouldPauseOnSuspend : 'no', //Android only
    closebuttoncaption : 'Close', //iOS only
    disallowoverscroll : 'no', //iOS only
    toolbar : 'no', //iOS only
    enableViewportScale : 'no', //iOS only
    allowInlineMediaPlayback : 'no',//iOS only
    presentationstyle : 'pagesheet',//iOS only
    fullscreen : 'yes'//Windows only

  constructor(private inAppBrowser: InAppBrowser) {

  public openWithCordovaBrowser(url : string){
    let target = "_self";
    this.browser = this.inAppBrowser.create(url,target,this.options);
    this.browser.on('loadstart').subscribe((event) => {
        //Open PDF in some other way
    this.browser.on('loadstop').subscribe((event) => {
    this.browser.on('exit').subscribe((event) => {

My problem now is, that when a PDF-URL is called, none of the 3 events (loadstart, loadstop, loaderror) are fired. With an usual URL these events fire as expected. Can I change that somehow, or is there any other way I could intercept these calls? (The beforeload event does not exist in this version as far as I can see)

Thanks for any help/hints!

I installed the cordova-plugin-inappbrowser directly from the github master repo, since ‘beforeload’ was added as an unreleased feature.
The ‘beforeload’ channel is implemented in the module as far as I can see. But the ‘beforeload’ event is still not firing. (‘loadstart’ however is working for none-PDF URLs).

My code:

declare var cordova: any;

constructor() {
    var iabRef ="", "_blank", "beforeload=yes");

    iabRef.addEventListener('beforeload', function(params, callback){
      alert('Beforeload fired');

      // If the URL being loaded is a PDF
        // Open PDFs in system browser (instead of InAppBrowser), "_system");
        // Invoke callback to load this URL in InAppBrowser

    iabRef.addEventListener('loadstart', function(params, callback){
      alert('Loadstart fired');
1 Like

So finally with some workarounds I made it work:

declare var cordova: any;

  selector: 'page-home',
  templateUrl: 'home.html'
export class HomePage {

  private iabRef;

  constructor(private inAppBrowser: InAppBrowser, private platform: Platform, private spinnerDialog: SpinnerDialog, private file: File, private fileTransfer: FileTransfer, private fileOpener: FileOpener) {

    this.platform.ready().then(() => {
      if ('android')) {
      } else {

  iosBrowser() {
    let browser = this.inAppBrowser.create("", "_blank", "location=no,navigationbuttoncolor=#ffffff);

  androidBrowser() {
    let that = this;

    this.iabRef ="", "_blank", "beforeload=yes,location=no");

    this.iabRef.addEventListener('beforeload', function(params, callback){
      // If the URL being loaded is a PDF
      } else {
    }, false);

    this.iabRef.addEventListener('loadstart', function(params, callback){, null, true);

    this.iabRef.addEventListener('loadstop', function(params, callback){

    this.iabRef.addEventListener('exit', function(params, callback){

  openPDF(url: string) {
    let title = url.substring(
      url.lastIndexOf("/") + 1,

    let path =  this.file.dataDirectory;

    const transfer = this.fileTransfer.create();, path + title + '.pdf').then(entry => {
      let url = entry.toURL();, 'application/pdf');

After installing the Cordova plugin directly from the GitHub repository the ‘beforeload’ event is firing (although sometimes only after a second click on the pdf link, but I will have to live with that now).
At first I tried to open the PDF-URL with another"", "_system");
That worked, but, as soon as I returned to my original inAppBrowser, the website was stuck. The buttons and links showed feedback that they were clicked, but the browser did not react anymore. Since I could not solve that issue, I am now downloading the pdf file and opening it with the FileOpener Plugin. When I now return to the app from the pdf, the browser is still working as before.

As for iOS I could not get it running with the direct Cordova plugin as with android. So if the device is running iOS, I open it with the ionic native inAppBrowser plugin. The iOS Webview works just fine with pdfs, although there are no possibilities to download the displayed pdf, for which I couldn’t find a solution, yet.

      if('android')) {
        if(link.toLowerCase().search(".pdf") != -1) {
          link = ''+link;
      let ref = this.iab.create(encodeURI(link), target, opts);

This is my solution
I check the URL to see if it is a PDF (not the best way, but it works for my case currently)

I the open it in the google docs pdf viewer

Hi All,

I am facing same issue with my ionic3 application where I am not able to open PDF link which is inside of website, I am able to open website through the inappbrowser but pdf is not getting open which is present in website.I don’t know what is the problem may be some issue in plugin (cordova-plugin-inappbrowser-3.2.0). Please help if some one knows the solution.

This issue is coming in only Android phones, in iOS its working fine