How to Change Default PDF Viewer


Nowadays, almost every computer or phone comes with a default PDF viewer, which allows you to read, print, and edit PDF files. In Windows 10 system, Microsoft Edge is not only the default web browser but also the default PDF viewer. Whether it is Windows, Mac, or Android system, they all have a default PDF viewer like Microsoft Edge. Sometimes it is convenient for us because we don't need to download other software.

However, the default viewer has limited functions. If you need more editing operations like signing, adding text and so on, you need to change a PDF viewer like Adobe Reader or Foxit. Here we will show you how to change the default PDF Viewer on Windows, Mac, or even Android system.

Section 1 - How to Change Default PDF Viewer on Windows 10

Microsoft Edge is not only the default web browser but also the default PDF viewer. But it can only rotate, add notes and read PDF. If you want more editing options, you need to download some viewer like Acrobat Reader DC and set it as your default PDF viewer so that you don't need to change the PDF viewer every time. Next, we will recommend you 2 methods; they will help you to change the default PDF viewer on the Windows system easily.

1. By Using File Explorer

Step 1. Right-click on a PDF file then click on "Open with" > "Choose another app" to change a default viewer.

Windows 10 Open With Choose Another App

Step 2. Then a pop-up window will prompt you to choose your preferred viewer. If you want to set Adobe Reader as your default PDF Viewer, you need to choose Adobe Reader software and then tick the "Always use this app to open .pdf files" checkbox. When you finished, click the "OK" button.

Windows 10 Change Default PDF Viewer

2. By Control Panel

Step 1. Click the "Start" icon which shows in the bottom left corner of the page. Search for the "Control Panel" and click on the "Control Panel Desktop App".

Step 2. Choose the "Programs" > "Default Programs" > "Associate a file type or protocol with a program".

Windows 10 Control Panel Default Programs

Step 3. Then find and click the ".pdf" entry, click the "Change program…" button. You will see a pop-up window; choose the new default PDF viewer. If you cannot find the viewer, scroll down and click the "Look for another app in this PC" link. After selection, click "OK" to set it as the default PDF viewer on your PC.

Windows 10 Set Default PDF Viewer

Section 2 - How to Change Default PDF Viewer on Mac

Preview is the default PDF viewer of Mac. Although it is a good solution for viewing PDF files, it lacks some PDF editing features. So you need a more advanced application. Once you get it, you can change the default PDF viewer on your Mac.

1. By " Get Info" Option

Step 1. Select any PDF file and then right-click on it. Choose "Get Info".

Mac Get Info

Step 2. Then it will show up a new window, find the "Open with" option, click the drop-down icon, and click the default viewer that you'd like to switch to. When you finished, choose the "Change All…" button.

Mac Get Info Open with

Step 3. This will open a pop-up verifying that you want to make the change. Click "Continue" to confirm. After you learn this method, you can switch to another default viewer or return to "Preview" at any time by revisiting the "Get Info" pop-up window.

Mac Confirm The Setting

Section 3 - Change Default PDF Viewer on Android System

When you open the PDF file on your Android phone for the first time, your phone will open the PDF file with the built-in browser. But if you want to edit your PDF, you need to change the default PDF viewer.

1. Change the Default PDF Viewer from Settings

Step 1. When you want to change the default PDF, you need to clear defaults first. Go to "Settings" > "App Management" to choose your built-in browser which is your default PDF viewer before.

Step 2. Then it will show up an "App Info" window, click "Open by default" > "Clear defaults" to clear the defaults.

Android Clear Defaults

Step 3. Once you clear the defaults for the new PDF viewer, you will be asked to set a new default viewer when you open any PDF file. Select the new PDF Viewer and tap on "Always". Then you can change the default PDF viewer.

Android Change Default PDF Viewer

2. Using A File Management App

Step 1. Open the file management app and click on a PDF file.

Step 2. Tap on the PDF file and hold, this time you can see a pop-up window where you can find an option like "Open with".

Step 3. In this case, you can select a PDF viewer to open the file and set it as the default viewer by ticking the "Remember selection" box.

Android Set Default PDF Viewer


This post has listed three kinds of methods to change the default PDF viewer. Whether you are Windows, Mac, or Android user, you can find how to change the default PDF viewer through this article. If you have a better method, please leave us a message.

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