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How to Set Adobe as Your Default PDF Reader

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Navigating the digital realm, we often come across PDF files. Ensuring these files open in our preferred software is essential. If you’ve ever wondered...

Navigating the digital realm, we often come across PDF files. Ensuring these files open in our preferred software is essential. If you’ve ever wondered “how to set Adobe as default PDF reader”, this tutorial is for you.

What is Adobe PDF Reader?

Adobe Acrobat Reader, commonly known as Adobe PDF Reader, is a free application developed by Adobe Systems. It allows users to view, print, and annotate PDF documents. With a rich history and a reputation for reliability, Adobe Acrobat Reader remains one of the most popular PDF viewers worldwide.

Top 10 Use Cases for Setting Adobe as Default PDF Reader

1. Consistency: Having Adobe set as the default ensures every PDF opens with the same interface, providing a uniform experience.

2. Advanced Features: Adobe offers commenting tools, signature integration, and other advanced functionalities.

3. Security: Adobe frequently updates its software to address potential vulnerabilities, keeping your PDF files safe.

4. File Integrity: Adobe ensures the PDF looks and functions as intended by its creator.

5. Integration with Adobe Suite: For those using Adobe’s suite of products, setting it as default streamlines the workflow.

6. Accessibility Features: Adobe offers features for visually impaired users, enhancing the reading experience.

7. Cloud Integration: Easily access PDFs stored in Adobe Document Cloud.

8. Mobile Sync: Adobe allows synchronization across devices.

9. Form Filling: Interactive PDF forms can be filled directly within Adobe.

10. Multimedia Playback: Some PDFs have embedded multimedia, which Adobe plays seamlessly.

How to Set Adobe as Default PDF Reader on Mac?

1. Locate a PDF File: Navigate to any PDF file on your Mac.

2. Right-Click & Choose ‘Get Info’: A dialog box will appear.

3. Open With Section: In the 'Get Info' window, find the 'Open with' drop-down list.

4. Choose Adobe Acrobat Reader: From the drop-down, select 'Adobe Acrobat Reader'.

5. Set as Default: Click on 'Change All...' to set Adobe as the default PDF viewer.

How to Set Adobe as Default PDF Reader on PC?

1. Start Menu: Click on the start menu and open 'Control Panel'.

2. Default Programs: Find and click on 'Default Programs'.

3. Choose Default Apps: Click on 'Set your default programs'.

4. Locate Adobe: From the list of programs, choose 'Adobe Acrobat Reader DC'.

5. Set as Default: Click on 'Set this program as default'.

Opening PDFs in Adobe Instead of Chrome

Chrome, by default, may open PDFs using its built-in viewer. To change this:

1. Type “chrome://settings/content” in Chrome’s address bar.

2. Scroll to PDF Documents: Here, turn on the option that reads “Open PDF files in the default PDF viewer application.”

3. Download PDFs: Now, downloaded PDF files will open in Adobe Acrobat when clicked.

Default PDF Viewer for Chrome

Google Chrome has a built-in PDF viewer called 'Chrome PDF Viewer'. It provides basic functionalities for viewing PDFs directly in the browser without any additional plugins.

Changing Your Default PDF Viewer to Adobe

Whether on Mac or Windows, changing your default PDF program requires going into system settings or properties of a PDF file. Using the 'Open With' option, one can select 'Adobe Acrobat Reader' and ensure it’s set as the default for all subsequent files.

The Best 9 PDF Readers

Speechify PDF Reader

Cost: Free to try

Speechify's PDF reader brings the transformative power of text-to-speech technology directly to the realm of PDF documents. This tool allows users to listen to their PDFs rather than read them, ensuring that dense, text-heavy documents are more accessible and digestible. Among its top features are:

  1. High-Quality Voices: Converting PDF text into clear and lifelike audio, Speechify offers a range of natural-sounding voices for a genuine listening experience.
  2. Text Highlighting: As Speechify reads out the content, it highlights the corresponding text in the PDF, enabling users to follow along visually and reinforcing comprehension.
  3. Speed Control: Catering to individual preferences, listeners can adjust the reading speed, whether they need a quick overview or a deep understanding.
  4. Navigation Tools: Speechify's PDF reader allows users to effortlessly navigate through pages, jump to specific sections, and bookmark crucial parts for easy reference later on.
  5. Offline Access: Users can download and save PDFs within the app, facilitating offline listening and ensuring uninterrupted access to their documents, regardless of internet connectivity.
  6. AI Chat: Interact with Speechify’s AI bot in your PDF reader to ask important questions about your PDF.

Overall, the Speechify PDF reader offers an innovative solution for those looking to transform the way they engage with PDF content and is the best option.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Cost: Free (Pro version available at a cost)

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is Adobe's flagship PDF software. It offers an integrated experience for viewing, editing, and annotating PDF documents. With seamless integration with Windows and Mac OS, it is often set as the default PDF viewer by many users.

Top Features:

  1. Open and view PDF files with ease.
  2. Advanced commenting and annotation tools.
  3. Digital signature integration.
  4. Cloud storage and synchronization across devices.
  5. Form filling and interactive multimedia support.

Foxit Reader

Cost: Free

Foxit Reader is a popular alternative to Adobe Acrobat, known for its lightweight design and user-friendly interface. It can open PDF files quickly and offers a variety of tools for both basic and advanced users. It's available for Windows, Mac, and even as a plugin for popular browsers like Chrome.

Top Features:

  1. Fast open and view capability.
  2. Annotation and drawing tools.
  3. Secure signing options.
  4. Collaborative review and sharing.
  5. Customizable toolbar and interface.

PDF-XChange Editor

Cost: Free (Pro version available)

PDF-XChange Editor is renowned for its ability to handle large PDF documents effortlessly. It integrates well with Windows 10 and provides a list of programs and tools to customize your reading experience. A right-click opens up extensive options for users.

Top Features:

  1. Advanced text editing.
  2. OCR capability to recognize and edit scanned documents.
  3. Rich annotation and commenting.
  4. Ability to extract pages and split PDFs.
  5. Custom stamps and watermarking.

Microsoft Edge

Cost: Free

Microsoft Edge, the default browser for Windows 10 and later, comes with an integrated PDF reader. Users can easily open PDF files directly within the browser without any additional apps. With a simplistic interface, it's handy for quick reads.

Top Features:

  1. Seamless integration with Windows.
  2. Bookmarking and page navigation.
  3. Highlight and underlining tools.
  4. Read aloud functionality.
  5. Inking and drawing tools.

Google Chrome PDF Viewer

Cost: Free

Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer allows users to open PDF documents without any external application. It's a no-frills viewer designed for quick access and reading. However, advanced features are limited.

Top Features:

  1. Fast open and view functionality.
  2. Zooming and page navigation.
  3. Printing and saving PDFs.
  4. Rotating pages.
  5. Integration with Google Drive.

Sumatra PDF

Cost: Free

Sumatra PDF is an open-source PDF viewer for Windows, known for its minimalistic design and speed. Its drop-down menus and straightforward controls make it user-friendly for all types of users.

Top Features:

  1. Lightning-fast performance.
  2. Support for other formats like ePub, Mobi, and more.
  3. Customizable shortcuts.
  4. Simple printing and exporting.
  5. High-resolution rendering.

Nitro PDF Reader

Cost: Free (Pro version available)

Nitro PDF Reader offers a balanced combination of reading, editing, and converting PDF files. With an intuitive interface, it's a go-to for many Windows users. Users can right-click to get info and various other options.

Top Features:

  1. Digital signing and secure document sharing.
  2. Convert PDFs to Microsoft Office formats.
  3. Annotation and markup tools.
  4. Drag and drop functionality.
  5. Cloud integration and collaboration.

PDF Expert

Cost: Paid

Designed specifically for Mac OS, PDF Expert provides a smooth and efficient way to read and edit PDFs. It's often chosen as the default application for many Mac users over the native Preview app.

Top Features:

  1. Fast document rendering.
  2. Advanced editing tools.
  3. Annotated and review PDFs.
  4. Fill out forms.
  5. Password protection and encryption.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Cost: Paid

A step up from the free Acrobat Reader, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a comprehensive solution for PDF creation, editing, and management. Ideal for professionals, its extensive features make it a default choice for many businesses.

Top Features:

  1. Create, convert, and export PDFs.
  2. Advanced editing and OCR capabilities.
  3. Document comparison.
  4. Enhanced security features.
  5. Integration with Adobe Document Cloud.

Note: Remember to consult the official website or app store listing of each PDF reader to understand their most recent feature updates and pricing details.


How to set Adobe Reader as default PDF viewer in Windows 11?

Similar to Windows 10, navigate to 'Choose Default Apps', find PDF files, and select Adobe Acrobat Reader.

How to change PDF reader in Windows 7?

Head to 'Control Panel', open 'Default Programs', choose 'Set Default Programs', and pick Adobe Acrobat.

How do I change the default PDF app in Windows 10?

Use the 'Start Menu' to find 'Default Apps'. Locate the file type for PDF and select Adobe Acrobat Reader.

How to change the default PDF viewer on Mac?

Right-click any PDF, choose 'Get Info', and in the 'Open With' section, pick Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.