Choosing Your Default PDF Viewer


These directions will help you choose the appropriate default pdf application on your computer. This setting allows other software applications, such as Outlook, to know which pdf viewer to open automatically when viewing pdf files.

NOTE: You only need to follow these directions if you have multiple pdf viewers installed, such as Adobe Acrobat Pro AND Adobe Reader. If no other PDF viewer is installed, once Adobe Reader is installed, it becomes the default. There is no need to follow these steps. 

If you need to install Adobe Reader, please look under the Related Articles section of this page for directions.


Windows 7

  1. Click on the Windows Button or Start. Click on Default Programs -> Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program
  2. Scroll down the list and highlight .pdf, then click Change Program.
  3. Choose your preferred PDF viewer, such as Adobe Reader. Click OK, then Close.
  4. You may need to close and re-open other applications in order for the change to take effect.

Windows 10

  1. While the Windows 10 settings page has a setting to set default apps, setting default apps from Control panel seems to work better.
  2. Click the Cortana search bar and type Control Panel. Click to open Control Panel.
  3. Click Programs.
  4. Under Default Programs, click Set your default programs.
  5. The apps will start loading. From the left side, select your PDF application, such as Adobe Reader.
  6. From the right side, click Choose Defaults for this program.
  7. Select a .pdf option and click Save.
  8. Click OK and close the Control Panel.
  9. Now try to open any PDF document, and it should open in your selected default PDF viewer.

Mac OS

  1. Select any PDF file. Control-click to open the menu, and choose File > Get Info.
  2. From the Open with: drop-down menu, select your preferred application, such as Adobe Reader or Preview.
  3. Click Change All button, and in the subsequent dialog box, click Continue.


Article ID: 68227
Wed 12/5/18 12:51 PM
Fri 11/1/19 3:00 PM