How to Open PDF Files from Chrome in Adobe Reader

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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Chrome users trying to open PDF documents may notice that the app acts as a default PDF file viewer. As convenient as it may be for some users, the limited functionality of the in-browser experience may be a drag on others. If you belong to the second category, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to open PDF files from Chrome in Adobe Reader. As a bonus, we'll show you how to enjoy the Adobe Reader experience without leaving your browser. The whole procedure is relatively simple and involves tweaking a few settings.



How to open PDF files from Chrome in Adobe Reader?

There are many advantages to having Adobe Reader as the default PDF file opener. This software is particularly advantageous for users who work more often with PDF files. Besides just opening them, Adobe Acrobat Reader allows users to convert these files to different formats, add digital signatures, remove hidden content and much more.

If you prefer to open PDF files in Adobe Reader rather than Chrome, just follow the steps below.

Chrome Settings

Let's start by changing the Google Chrome settings. The main focus here is to change the option that allows Chrome to automatically open PDF files. Instead, you want the app to download these files to your computer.

  1. Launch Chrome on your PC.
  2. Click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the screen and go to "Settings".
  3. Scroll down to the "Advanced" section.
  4. Under "Privacy and security", choose "Site settings".
  5. Scroll down and click on “PDF Documents”.
  6. Enable the option "Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome".

Now, Chrome will download PDFs like other files. Here's how to open the file with Adobe Reader:



  1. Once downloaded, click on the PDF file at the bottom of the Google Chrome window.
  2. Select "Open".
  3. The file will now open in a Reader window. Choose “Always open files of this type”.

Adobe Reader Settings

If your PDF file opens in another application, you may need to change Adobe Reader settings:

  1. Launch Adobe Reader on your PC.
  2. Click on “Edit”, then on “Preferences”.
  3. Navigate to the "General" section in the left side panel.
  4. Click the "Select as default PDF handler" button.
  5. Click "Continue" and follow the instructions.
  6. Wait for Windows to finish making changes and restart your computer.

Windows settings

Another way to change the way your computer opens PDF files is to change Windows 10 file properties and settings:

Method 1: via the context menu

  1. Launch File Explorer on your computer.
  2. Find the folder containing the PDF file.
  3. Right-click on the .pdf file and choose "Open With".
  4. If you see Adobe Reader, click on it. Otherwise, select “Choose another app”.
  5. Select “Adobe Reader” from the menu.
  6. Check the box next to the "Always use this app to open .pdf files" option.

Method 2: via file properties

  1. Open File Explorer on your computer.
  2. Find the PDF file and right-click on it.
  3. Go to “Properties”.
  4. Under the 'General' tab, click the 'Edit' button next to 'Opens with'.
  5. Choose Adobe Reader on the next screen and press "OK."
  6. Press "OK" again in the Properties window.

Method 3: Via Window Settings

  1. Launch the Start menu and open Settings on your computer.
  2. Open the "Applications" folder.
  3. In the left sidebar, select "Default apps".
  4. Scroll down and select "Choose default apps by file type" from the right side of the window.
  5. Wait for the different file types to load.
  6. Scroll down until you see the ".pdf" and the app connected to it.
  7. Click on this application and select Adobe Reader from the list.

Additional FAQs

How to make Adobe Reader open a PDF instead of Microsoft Edge?

If you're a Windows 10 user, you'll probably notice that the Microsoft Edge Chromium version acts as a default web browser and PDF reader. Getting Adobe Reader to open PDFs instead of Microsoft Edge will require changing the default settings on your computer:



1. Launch the “Settings” app on your Windows 10.


2. Click on “Apps”.

3. Go to "Default apps".

4. Open the “Choose default app by file type” option.

5. Find the file type ".pdf" on the left side of the screen and click on the current default application next to it.

6. Select “Adobe Reader” from the list.

PDF documents will now open in Adobe Reader instead of Microsoft Edge.

Another way to change the default settings is to use the context menu:

1. Open File Explorer on your Windows 10.

2. Find a PDF document on your PC.

3. Right click on it.


4. Click on the "Open with" sub-menu and select the "Choose another application" option.

5. Choose the “Adobe Reader” application from the menu. If you don't see the app, click "More apps".

6. Check the box “Always use this application to open .pdf files”.

Notes: To make Adobe Reader your default PDF document viewer, you must first download the program to your computer.

How do I open PDF files with the Acrobat Reader Chrome extension?

Maybe you want to open PDF files using Adobe Reader without leaving Chrome. Luckily, you can do that with the Acrobat Chrome extension. Not only can you easily enjoy PDFs in your favorite software while browsing the Internet, but you can also open PDFs in the desktop app and access features like comments, forms, and PDF signatures.

The Acrobat Reader Chrome extension is not included with the Acrobat Reader desktop application. However, it is easy to install the extension if you are already using the original software on your computer:

1. Start Acrobat Reader. You will be prompted to install the Chrome extension if Reader is set as your default PDF viewer. Otherwise, follow the steps above to set Adobe as the default PDF file reader and continue with the steps below.

2. Click "Continue" or "Next" to install the extension.

3. Wait for the extension to install. The program will automatically add it to Chrome.

4. Launch Google Chrome. A prompt will inform you that there is a new extension. Click "Activate Extension" to start using it.

The extension is now added and you can use it to open PDF files with Acrobat Reader in Chrome. When you click on a PDF file in Chrome, an "Adobe Acrobat" prompt appears in the upper right corner of the screen. Just select "Open in Acrobat Reader" and you're good to go.

To disable the Acrobat Google Chrome extension, follow the steps below:

1. Right-click on the Adobe Acrobat extension and select "Manage Extensions".

2. Uncheck the box next to "Enabled".

Switching PDF from Chrome to Adobe Reader Explained

If your PDF files open in Chrome, the app is set as your default PDF reader. However, this should not prevent you from viewing PDF files in other programs, including Adobe Reader. Changing the default settings for how your device opens PDF files is a relatively simple process.

In today's guide, we have provided you with a bunch of methods to do so. If you have followed the instructions carefully, you are now in full control of how you can view PDF files on your PC.

What method did you use to open PDF files from Chrome in Adobe Reader? Why do you prefer the Reader after all? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

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