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How to Change and Set the Default PDF Viewer in Windows 10 PC

In Windows 10, when you double click on a PDF file, it will automatically open in the Microsoft Edge browser. Though it is a nice feature, as a single application is doing the work of two. Like earlier, you don’t need to install and set up an additional third-party PDF reader software. But, it is a normal PDF reader, which doesn’t have more capabilities. Many of you want to use a feature-rich application as your default PDF viewer. There are plenty of a PDF reader applications to choose from; you can select the one you like and set it as your default PDF viewer. Here is how to change and set the default PDF Viewer in Windows 10 PC.

Changing the PDF viewer in Windows 10 direct from the PDF file

It is an easy method if the PDF reader you want to use as default is already installed in your computer. You don’t have to do much, just open the PDF file with your choice PDF reader and select “Always use this app to open PDF files.” Here is how to do this.

1.    Locate any .pdf file in your PC. You can also use the Search to find PDF files quickly.

2.    Right-click on the document and go to ‘Open with’ in the menu. Sometimes “Open with” option doesn’t appear in the list. If so, try doing with another PDF document. If still doesn’t display, use another method given below.

3.    Click on ‘Choose another app’ in the context menu. A small window prompt on the screen asks you to choose an app.

4.    Click on the program you want to set as your default PDF reader.

5.    Then check the box of ‘Always use this app to open PDF files’ at the bottom.

6.    Click ‘OK.’

It will open the selected PDF document in your selected app as well as set it as the default PDF viewer. Now, when you double click on a .pdf file, it will open in the new default program.

Changing the PDF viewer in Windows 10 using Control Panel

If you didn’t find the ‘Open with’ option in the right-click menu, then you can use the Control Panel to set a new default PDF reader in your PC.

1.    Open the ‘Control Panel’ window.

2.    Click the Search box of the control panel.

3.    Write ‘default programs’ into it.

4.    Click on ‘Default Programs’ comes in the result.

5.    In the Default program windows, click on the ‘Associate a file type or protocol with a program’ option. After seconds, a big list of file name and default programs to open them will appear in a box.

6.    Scroll down in the box and find “.pdf” in the Name list.

7.    Click ‘.pdf.’

8.    Then click the ‘Change program’ button at the top left side of the box. A small window prompt on the screen asks you to choose an app.

9.    Choose the application you want to set as your default PDF reader.

10.    And click the ‘OK’ button.

The default PDF viewer of your Windows 10 PC will be changed with the one you’ve selected. Now, when you open a .pdf file, Windows will always use the newly selected program.

Changing the PDF viewer in Windows 10 using Settings

Settings app of Windows 10 also allows changing the default program. Here is how you can change and set the default PDF reader from Settings.

1.    Click the ‘Settings’ icon in the Start menu to open settings.

2.    Open ‘System’ settings.

3.    Select ‘Default apps’ in the left menu.

4.    Click on ‘Choose default apps by file type.’

5.    Scroll down in the left menu and click on ‘pdf (PDF File).

6.    Click on the program currently using as a default PDF reader.

7.    Then choose a program you want to use.

Now, open your PDF document in your selected program.

Davis Johnson is a self-professed security expert; she has been making the people aware of the security threats. Her passion is to write about Cyber security, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. She writes for Norton security products at



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