How to Change Chrome PDF Reader Settings (In Easy Steps)

January 30, 2024 544 views

It's evident that Chrome provides its own efficient PDF tool with essential features for viewing, reading, annotating, commenting, and printing. While some settings are default, the flexibility to customize them according to personal preferences is available. In this article, we guide you on how to change Chrome PDF Reader settings to align with your preferences, ensuring a comfortable and tailored document-viewing experience.

How to Change Chrome PDF Reader Settings

How to Enable and Disable Chrome PDF Reader

Chrome PDF Reader is a built-in PDF viewer that comes bundled with the Chrome browser when you download it. Although its functionalities may be limited, it offers two different settings for how it interacts with PDFs while surfing the web. These settings can be customized according to user preferences. Let's take a look at these settings and how to change Chrome PDF Reader settings on Windows.

Step 1: Open your Chrome browser and click on the "More" menu, denoted by three dots at the top right.

Step 2: Choose "Settings" from the dropdown menu to access Chrome settings.

Google Chrome Settings

Step 3: Select "Privacy and security" in the left panel and then click on "Site settings".

Google Chrome Site Settings

Step 4: Inside the Site Settings window, click on "Additional content settings" and scroll to find "PDF Documents".

Google Chrome PDF Documents

Step 5: Two settings are available. If you select "Download PDFs", Chrome will download every PDF you click on while surfing the internet without any preview.

Google Chrome Download PDFs

Step 6: The second option is "Open PDF in Chrome", which allows users to preview PDFs.

Open PDF in Chrome

Chrome PDF settings on Windows can be very handy depending on the type of interaction you wish to have with your PDFs. If you are looking for how to change Chrome PDF reader settings on Android, the same process can be followed, with the only difference being changing the settings for the "Automatic Downloads" option. Select the PDF settings that best suit your preferences.

How to View a PDF File in Chrome Without Downloading

If you're seeking a straightforward way to open PDFs without downloading additional software, it is recommended to install a PDF Chrome extension such as the WPS PDF Extension. This extension not only offers basic viewing capabilities like the built-in Chrome browser but also provides advanced editing features. Unlike other PDF extensions, these tools are freely available with the WPS PDF Extension.

Step 1: Start by adding the WPS PDF extension to your Chrome browser. You can do this by installing it from the Chrome Web Store.

WPS PDF Extension in Chrome Webstore

Step 2: Explore the Chrome toolbar, where the installed extension can be easily accessed by clicking on the Extension icon.

WPS PDF Extension

Tip: For added convenience, consider pinning the WPS PDF extension to the toolbar for quicker and more straightforward access.

Step 3: To enable PDFs to open in the WPS PDF extension while browsing the web in Chrome, click on the WPS PDF extension and then click on the Settings icon.

WPS PDF Extension settings

Step 4: Activate "Open PDFs in WPS PDF extension" by toggling the switch.

Open PDFs in WPS PDF extension

Step 5: Launch Google Chrome and visit the webpage containing the PDF file you want to access.

Step 6: The WPS PDF Extension will initiate and automatically load the PDF file, allowing you to view and navigate the document seamlessly, similar to any other PDF reader.

WPS PDF Extension feature showcase.png

Step 7: When you're ready to exit the PDF full screen mode, click the "Back" button located at the top-middle of the WPS window or simply press the "Esc" key.

With the WPS PDF Extension installed, the viewing and editing experience becomes significantly more pleasant. Featuring an elegant interface and all the necessary features, WPS PDF Extension stands out as the go-to tool for all PDF needs in the Chrome browser.

If you want to delve deeper into how to highlight a PDF files directly in Google Chrome, click on the article link below to learn more information.

How to Highlight PDF Files on Chrome? (2 Simple Ways)

Best Free PDF Viewer and Editor - WPS Office

The usage of PDFs is on the rise, and there's a growing need for a dedicated suite of applications that allows users to interact with PDFs in various ways. WPS Office emerges as a notable option, widely adopted and praised. It aims to provide all the necessary office applications under one roof, positioning itself as a direct competitor to industry giants like Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat.

WPS Office

With WPS Office, users can not only work with word documents, presentations, and spreadsheets but also benefit from its own PDF reader and editor. This extends the functionality to annotating, commenting, converting, merging, OCR processing, and even signing official documents.


However, advanced functionality is not the only highlight. WPS PDF comes equipped with an AI assistant, offering users a unique way to interact with their PDFs such as summarizing PDFs to extract valuable information. With user-friendly features and easy navigation, WPS PDF is a must-have for everyone, and it can be downloaded for free from their official website.

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Algirdas Jasaitis


Q1. How to change the default PDF viewer on Android

To change the default PDF viewer on your Android device, follow these steps:

Step 1: Navigate to the "Settings" on your Android device.

Step 2: Select “Apps” in the Settings menu. Then, tap on "Manage apps" to see the list of installed apps.

Step 3: Select the app that is currently the default PDF viewer. For example, if it is Google Drive, select it.

Step 4: Choose "Clear defaults" in the app settings. It will remove the app as the default PDF viewer.

Step 5: Open a PDF file. A pop-up will ask you to choose a PDF viewer.

Step 6: Choose the desired PDF viewer and tap “Remember my choice”..

Q2. Why are my PDFs not opening in Chrome?

Step 1: Open the Chrome browser on your device.

Step 2: Click on the three dots located at the top right corner of the Chrome browser window.

Step 3: Navigate to your browser's “Settings”, then select “Privacy and Security”, followed by “Site Settings”.

Step 4: Scroll down until you locate the "Additional Content Settings." Click on it, and among the provided options, choose "PDF documents."

Step 5: Activate the setting "Open PDF documents in Chrome". Now, you can open your PDF files in Chrome.

Q3. Can I use WPS PDF on various platforms?

WPS PDF is a versatile tool that offers compatibility with various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Additionally, you can access WPS PDF online for free. WPS PDF supports 47 file formats, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, JPG, HTML, RTF, XML, and many more, making it a comprehensive solution for editing, converting, and managing PDF files. With support for 46 languages, WPS PDF ensures a seamless experience across different devices, making it a go-to choice for users working on diverse platforms.

Optimize PDF Chrome Settings

Now that you know  how to change Chrome PDF Reader settings, you can tailor them to your comfort for viewing, printing, or annotating. However, for an enhanced experience, consider installing WPS Office, ranked as the number 1 PDF tool. Renowned for its simplicity and affordability, WPS PDF ensures you face no formatting issues. Download WPS PDF now for seamless document management.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.