How to Change the Default PDF Reader in Windows 10

Microsoft Edge is not only the default web browser in Windows 10 but also the default PDF reader. This is definitely a good thing as we can finally view PDF files without having to install third-party apps, but it’s more of a basic PDF reader.

If you prefer to have a feature-rich application as the default PDF reader instead of Edge, then you have plenty of options to choose from. In this article, we’ll show you how to change the default PDF reader in Windows 10.

Change the Default by Using Open With in File Explorer

Open File Explorer and navigate to a folder containing your PDF file. Right-click on a file and choose “Open with > Choose another app”.

A pop-up will appear that will let you choose a program for just one time. Or you can also select the “Always use this app” link to make it permanent. From this window, choose the default PDF reader of your choice.

If the default app is not listed in this window, then you can select a different program located in your PC. Click “More apps”, select an app or scroll down to see “Look for another app in this PC” link. Click this link to browse to the program that you want to set as the default PDF reader, and choose the “Open” button to set it as the default.

Change the Default by Using Default Programs in Control Panel

Open Control Panel (icon view) and select “Default Programs”. Click the link labelled “Associate a file type or protocol with a program”, and wait for a couple of seconds to load all file types.

Scroll down the list to see .PDF entry. Click on “.PDF” entry, and then click the “Change program” button.

A pop-up will appear that will let you choose an app from the list.

If the default app is not listed in this window, then you can select a different program located in your PC. Click “More apps”,  and select an app or scroll down to see “Look for another app in this PC” link. Click this link to browse to the program that you want to set as the default PDF reader, and choose the “Open” button to set it as the default.

Changing the default PDF reader app in Windows is a simple procedure, and that’s all there is to it.

Rahul Saigal is a writer and all-around computer geek. Born in Kolkata, India, he works from home with all the geeky stuff and gadgets. When not working he loves to read, listen podcasts, and try new software. You can follow him on Twitter if you'd like.