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How to Open EPUB Files on Windows 10 (Without Microsoft Edge)

EPUB opening prompt on Windows 10

Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser drops support for EPUB eBook files. You’ll need a third-party EPUB reader application to view EPUB files on Windows 10, and we have some good free options to choose from.

What Happened to EPUB Books in Microsoft Edge?

It was always a little strange that Microsoft Edge supported eBooks in EPUB format. Why did Edge support eBooks when Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Internet Explorer didn’t?

EPUB support was clearly a strategic decision for Microsoft: Microsoft sold eBooks in the Microsoft Store application, and those eBooks were available for reading in Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. If that sounds strange to you, well—it was. So few people purchased eBooks from Microsoft that the company was happy refunding everyone and removing eBooks entirely back in July 2019.

Now that Microsoft has given up on selling eBooks, the company clearly sees no point in implementing support for EPUB files in the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser. After installing the new Edge, you won’t be able to open EPUB files on Windows 10 until you install an application that supports them.

EPUB Readers We Recommend for Windows 10

Microsoft recommends downloading an EPUB app from the Microsoft Store. Of course, most of the great Windows applications out there aren’t available for download on Windows 10’s built-in Store. That includes EPUB readers.

Want a solid EPUB viewer for Windows? There are quite a few options out there. Here are some we like:

Calibre is a powerful, free, open-source eBook management application. It includes an eBook reader support for EPUB files and other popular eBook formats. You’ll also find an eBook collection manager, editing features, and more. Calibre is a great application, but it has a lot of features, and you might want something a bit simpler.

Calibre showing an EPUB copy of Alice in Wonderland on Windows 10.

Sumatra PDF is practically the opposite. It’s a small, lightweight reading application. Sumatra PDF works with EPUB and MOBI eBooks as well as PDFs, XPS files, and even comic books in CBZ and CBR formats. Sumatra can even be used in “portable” mode, so you can place it on a USB drive or in a cloud storage folder and run it on computers without installing it first.

Reading an eBook in Sumatra PDF for Windows.

If you prefer reading EPUB files in your browser, you might want to try a browser extension. Install EPUBReader from the Chrome Web Store, and EPUB files will open like PDFs directly in your browser when you click them on the web. You can open EPUB files from your computer in your browser, too, just like you can use your browser as your PDF reader.

Reading an EPUB file directly in Google Chrome.

The new Microsoft Edge is based on Google Chrome, so you could also install EPUBReader in Edge. There’s a way to install extensions from the Chrome Web Store in Microsoft Edge.

Over time, more extensions should appear on the Microsoft Edge Addons website, making this trick less necessary.

RELATED: How to Install Google Chrome Extensions in Microsoft Edge

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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