Easy Solutions of How to Open PDF Files on Windows, Mac, iPhone & Android


A file with the file extension ".pdf" is a PDF (Portable Document Format) file. So how to open PDF files on our computer or smartphone? In this post, we'll list different methods to open a PDF document on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, and iPad. These methods include opening PDF in Word, Chrome, Mac Preview, Safari, EasePDF, Adobe Reader, PDFelement, etc.

Part 1. How to Open PDF Files on Windows

1. Open PDF in Word

For Windows users, the easiest way to open PDF files when you don't have any PDF reader installed on your computer is opening PDF in Microsoft Word 2013 and later versions. In this way, you can not only read the PDF but also can edit the content with Microsoft. So how to open a PDF in Word 2013? Here's a quick guide.

Step 1. Launch Microsoft Word 2013 or any later version on your Windows computer.

Step 2. Click on the "File" tab to open a drop-down menu.

Step 3. Choose "Open" → "Computer" → "Browse". Microsoft will navigate to your Windows computer, just select a PDF file you need to open and click the "Open" button.

Microsoft 2016 Open PDF


1.If your PDF files didn't be recognized on this opening progress, just choose "All Files" on the file type section.

2.You can also open PDFs in Word by right-clicking on the PDF file and select "Microsoft Word" from the "Open With" options.

2. Open PDF in Chrome

Another way to open PDF on a Windows computer is to enable Google Chrome as a PDF reader.

Step 1. Right-click on the PDF document you need to open.

Step 2. Choose "Open with".

Step 3. Hit the "Browse" button on the bottom right, then browse to the location where Google Chrome was installed on your computer.

Windows Open With Browse

If you don't know where your Chrome has been installed, just right-click on the Chrome shortcut, head to "Properties" → "Shortcut". You'll see the location in the Target box, just copy and paste the full path.

Google Chrome Properties


1. If you have already set Chrome as your default PDF reader, just select "Google Chrome" as the "Open with" program in step 2.

2. There are other options to open a PDF file on Windows, that would be to install a PDF Viewer software. To get more details, please refer to Part 4.

Part 2. How to Open A PDF on Mac

1. Open PDF in Mac Preview

The build-in "Preview" is the default document view program on Mac computer, so opening PDF with Mac Preview is quite simple.

Step 1. Right-click on the PDF file.

Step 2. Choose "Open With" from the menu.

Step 3. Choose "Preview" as the opening application.

Open PDF With Mac Preview

2. Open PDF in Safari

Safari is another build-in application on Mac that can also be used as a PDF viewer.

Step 1. Right-click on the PDF file.

Step 2. Select "Open With" from the menu.

Step 3. Choose "Safari" as the opening program.

Open PDF With Mac Safari

Tips: Except for Preview and Safari, you can also open a PDF on Mac by installing a PDF reader program, which we'll list in part 4.

Part 3. How to Open PDF Online

Sometimes we might need to open PDF files online. When you click on an online PDF book, a PDF file on cloud drives like Google Drive or OneDrive, or a PDF attachment on your email, the web browser will open it automatically. But apart from those occasions, how can we open a local offline PDF online? Well, there's an effortless way. You can upload your PDF to EasePDF for reading and further editing if needed.

Step 1. Go to EasePDF and choose "Edit PDF".

Step 2. Click the "Add File(s)" button to upload your PDF files, or you can drag and drop it to the upload interface.

EasePDF Edit PDF

Step 3. The PDF will be opened with the online viewer immediately and you can read it online. There are thumbnails on the left column for you to preview your PDF pages.

EasePDF View PDF

Tips: A huge PDF with a lot of high resolution images could occupy much room on your device. You can compress the PDF on EasePDF to get a smaller PDF without losing the quality of images.

Part 4. Open PDF in A PDF Reader

No matter you're on a Windows or Mac computer, even on iPhone, iPad and Android phones, you can easily open a PDF file with an installed PDF reader application. Here we'll introduce to you several PDF viewers and reader software that perform pretty well.

1. Adobe Reader (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

Adobe Acrobat Reader is considered by most PDF users as the best PDF viewer. With the free Adobe Reader, you can not only open and view PDF, but print, sign, and annotate PDFs effortlessly. To open PDF with Adobe, simply go to "File" → "My computer" → "Browser", then select the PDF file and hit the "Open" button.

There are many useful tools on Adobe Reader to improve your PDF reading experience. You can zoom the PDF page to fit width scrolling or fit one full page as you want. The "Find text" option will help you find certain keywords or sentences on the PDF. You can add sticky notes to your PDF as comments. If you need to make some notes or mark some contents that you like or dislike, just use the "Highlight Text" tool.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Why do we recommend it?

  • Free to use.
  • Good PDF reading experience.
  • View, print, sign, and annotate PDF.
  • Page thumbnails on the left column.
  • Email PDF to others for viewing or commenting and track responses.
  • Find text on PDF.
  • Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

2. PDFelement (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

PDFelement is not only a PDF reader, but also a PDF editor, converter, and creator. It's an all-in-one PDF ultimate solution, which can fulfill almost every requirement you might need on your PDF work.

You can open PDF with PDFelement in 3 different ways. The first one is to drag and drop the PDF in the product window after you run the program. The second way is to click the "Open File" link below the software interface. And the third way is to go to the "File" tab on top of the main interface, then choose "Open" to navigate to your local documents.

You can view your PDF on PDFelement in a single or double-page view, and you can enable scrolling for both page mode. When you choose the "Show Slider" option, your PDF will be displayed as a slider presentation. You can also read the PDF in full-screen mode by selecting the "Enter Full Screen" option.

PDFelement View PDF

Why do we recommend it?

  • Excellent PDF reading experience.
  • Multiple PDF tools - edit, convert, sign, compress, merge, split, etc.
  • Thumbnails, bookmarks, comments supported.
  • Hand mode supported.
  • Able to view PDF in slider and full-screen mode.
  • Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android supported.

3. PDF Expert (Mac, iOS)

PDF Expert offers excellent PDF reading experience with smooth scrolling and fast search. In PDF Expert, you may enjoy the most amazing reading experience with its advanced settings. When you open a PDF in PDF Expert, you'll have three reading modes to choose from Day, Night, and Sepia, which are designed to please your eyes.

What's more, you can find things instantly with search indexing, and PDF Expert will save the relevant discoveries into search history to make them more convenient to recall. There's also some powerful annotate functions on PDF Expert that enable you to highlight with different colors or annotations and notes to your PDF.

PDF Expert Banner

Why do we recommend it?

  • Advanced reading experience.
  • 3 awesome reading modes.
  • Beautiful and modern interface.
  • Search text.
  • Annotate and note.
  • Edit, fill out forms, combine, and sign.

4. Foxit Reader (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android)

Foxit Reader is also an old brand of PDF reading software. You can open PDF with Foxit Reader for reading and printing. By utilizing the Microsoft Office style ribbon toolbar, Foxit Reader provides a familiar user interface to help users quickly learn the product. This program also allows you to create PDFs from common file formats. You can also highlight, strikeout or underline the texts on your PDF or add notes and comments.

Foxit Reader Interface

Why do we recommend it?

  • Excellent reading experience.
  • Clean and user-friendly interface.
  • High security.
  • Basic editing tools like highlight, strikeout and underline.
  • Add notes and comments.
  • Multiple systems supported: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.


1.How to open a password-protected PDF file? The answer is simple, you just open the PDF with any of the tools we mentioned in this article, then type the password to unlock the file when the PDF reader asks you one. Or you can unlock PDF with EasePDF.

2.How to open PDF files on iPhone, iPad and Android? Well, you can download and install the apps we mentioned above in the app store. For iPhone and iPad users, you can also open a PDF in iBooks and Safari.

In this post, we've shown you how to open PDF files on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices with different programs and apps. We hope this article will relieve your doubts and be a little helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have anything to say about this topic.

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