Do your PDF files open in Microsoft Edge on a Windows 10 PC? Well, this is because Microsoft Edge is the default PDF reader for Windows, especially if you are using the recent Windows 10. Does this mean that you cannot view your PDF files in another application of your choice , like Adobe Acrobat Reader? Not at all. You can easily change the default behavior of opening PDF files in Adobe Reader instead of Chrome or Edge.
While the ability to view PDF files on a Windows computer without downloading a third-party application is a welcome step, PDF readers in browsers offer only basic functionality. That makes us look for alternatives like Adobe Reader.
So if you want to open your PDF documents in Acrobat Reader instead of a browser, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s check out different methods to do this. However, to prevent PDF files from opening in your browser, you must first make sure that your PDF is downloaded to your computer. Let’s see how to do it.
Download PDF files instead of opening them in the browser
To do this, you will need to change a setting in your browser to prevent PDFs from opening in a new tab.
Note: You should change this setting only in the browser from which you download your PDF.
Here are the steps for Microsoft Edge browser and Google Chrome.
Download the PDF and don’t open it in Google Chrome
Step 1: Launch Chrome on your PC and click on the three dots at the top. Then select Settings. You can also click on chrome: // settings.
2nd step: Click on Privacy and Security in the left bar. In the right panel, click Site Settings.
Step 3: Scroll down and click on the PDF documents.
Step 4: Activate the toggle next to “Download PDF files instead of opening them automatically in Chrome”.
Go back and click on a PDF file. Chrome will download it directly to your computer instead of opening it in the Chrome tab.
Download the PDF and do not open it in Microsoft Edge
Step 1: Launch the Edge browser and click on the three dots at the top. Choose Settings. It’s easy to open settings by going to edge: // settings / in your browser.
2nd step: Click Site Permissions on the left side. Scroll down on the right side and click on the PDF documents
Step 3: Activate the toggle next to “Always open PDF files externally”.
Now, every time you try to open a PDF file in Edge, you get a pop-up window that says “Reading PDF is disabled”. Click the Download button to download the file to your Windows 10 PC.
Open PDF in Adobe Reader and not in browser
If the downloaded PDF file still opens in your browser instead of Acrobat Reader, check these methods to change this behavior. Before trying these methods, make sure you have downloaded Adobe Acrobat Reader on your PC.
Method 1: Modify the opening with the behavior
To change the way the PDF file opens on your computer, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder where your PDF file is located on your Windows 10 PC.
2nd step: Right click on the file and choose Open With. If Adobe Reader is listed, click it. Otherwise, click Choose another application and select Adobe Reader.
If you want all PDF files to open only in Adobe Reader, click Choose another application. In the pop-up window that opens, select Adobe Reader and check the box next to Always use this application to open .pdf files.
Method 2: Change the default PDF viewer in the properties
Step 1: Access the PDF file in the file explorer. Right click on it and select Properties from the menu.
2nd step: Click Edit next to Open with.
Step 3: Select Adobe Reader on the next screen. Then click OK in the same pop-up window. You will also need to click Ok in the Properties window to save the changes.
Method 3: Changing the PC settings
Step 1: Open Settings on your Windows 10 PC from the Start menu icon or use the Windows + I shortcut key. Click Apps.
2nd step: Click Default Applications in the left sidebar. Scroll down on the right side and click on Choose default apps by file type.
Step 3: Wait a while until the different file types load. Once loaded, scroll down and click on the application mentioned next to .pdf. Choose Adobe Reader from the list.
Otherwise, go to the Control Panel (icon view) and click on Default Programs. Click the link that says “Associate a file type or protocol with a program”. Wait a minute, then change the application to .pdf.
Point: Learn how to fix the settings for missing default programs and apps in Windows 10.
Method 4: set Adobe Reader as default
In this method, we will set Adobe Reader as the default PDF viewer using the application’s built-in settings. To do this, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open Adobe Reader on your PC.
2nd step: Click on Modify then on Preferences.
Step 3: Click General in the left panel.
Step 4: Scroll down and click Select as default PDF manager. Follow the instructions on the screen.
Bonus: how to prevent PDF files from opening in Internet Explorer
Did the poor old Internet Explorer surprise you when you tried to open a PDF file? Wow! The file opened in Internet Explorer.
Do not worry. Internet Explorer is not there to take control of your life. You can easily open PDF files in other browsers or Adobe Reader instead of Internet Explorer.
To do this, follow these steps:
Step 1: Launch Internet Explorer on your computer. Use the search to find it.
2nd step: Click the Settings icon at the top and choose Manage Add-ons.
Stage 3: In the Manage add-ons window, click Toolbars and extensions. Then click on the drop-down list under Display. Choose All add-ons.
In the right panel, search for Adobe Reader. If available, go to the next step. If it is not available, click the box again and choose Run without authorization.
Step 4: Click on Adobe PDF Reader. Then click Disable in the lower panel. Close the window.
Step 5: Reopen your PDF file. It will now open in Adobe Reader and not in Internet Explorer.
Try other tools
Using browsers to open PDF files is not a bad idea when you need to view the files. But if you want to perform advanced functions or edit PDF files, you need to download dedicated PDF editors. The above methods can also be used to set any other default PDF reader or editor.
Once your PDF files are open in Adobe Reader, know how to open different files in separate windows on different Adobe readers from the following link.
Last updated on May 3, 2020
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