How To Change Default PDF Viewer On Windows, MAC, And Android - A Complete Guide

August 2, 2023 3.5K views

Do you want to change the default PDF viewer on your device? A PDF viewer is a software used to view PDF files on your device. Microsoft Windows comes with Microsoft Edge browser as the default PDF viewer. This article will help you get answers on how to change default PDF viewer free on Windows, Mac, and Android devices. As, Edge is a heavy browser that takes so much time to load the document. You can install a lightweight and speedy PDF viewer to view PDF files. You must change the default PDF viewer to the newly installed PDF viewer.

Part 1: 4 Reasons for Changing the Default PDF Viewer

Changing the default PDF viewer will help you utilize all the features of the selected PDF solution. Using the PDF viewer, you can edit, annotate, protect, and customize your PDF document. The default PDF viewer is not equipped with all these features. For example, Microsoft Edge on Windows is not a fully-featured PDF solution. It is a browser and is only used for viewing documents. There are many reasons for changing the default PDF viewer. Some of them are;


A fully-featured PDF viewer is also a PDF editor. You can edit and customize your document using this PDF tool. Using this PDF software, you can insert comments and digital signatures and add different objects. The default PDF viewer may not load instantly to view your files. . However, a dedicated PDF reader will load faster and open the document in a blink.


The default PDF viewer may not open some documents as these are incompatible with the PDF reader. You can use dedicated and robust PDF software to view your files instantly.


Some PDF viewers may contain vulnerabilities that can harm your computer. You should immediately uninstall and change the default PDF viewer to your selected new PDF software.

Part 2: How To Change Default PDF Viewer On Windows 10/11?

Microsoft Windows uses the Edge browser as the default PDF viewer. Edge is not fully featured PDF software; it is a browser. You can install any PDF solution on your computer, e.g., Adobe acrobat reader, WPS Office, Foxit Reader, etc. These PDF solutions contain all features of professional PDF software. They load faster and open the document in a fraction of a second. Using these PDF tools, you can edit, protect, combine, and split PDF files. You can also put digital signatures on your document.  You can change the default PDF viewer on Windows using the following methods.

Method 1: Using Right-click to Change Default PDF Viewer in Windows 11/10

Step 1:Simply right-click on your PDF file and select the Open with option.

Click on Open with

Step 2:Select Choose another app from the options.

Select Choose another app

Step 3:Select your desired PDF solution from the list and click Always use this app to open .pdf files to change your default PDF viewer.

Select your desired PDF software

Step 4:You can also install new software from Microsoft Store by selecting Look for an app on Microsoft Store.

Look for an app on Microsoft Store

Method 2: Using System Settings to Set Default PDF Viewer in Windows 11/10

You can also change the default PDF viewer from Windows settings.

Step 1:Press the Window key to open Start Menu—open Settings from Start Menu.

Open Settings

Step 2:Select Apps from the Settings menu.

Select Apps

Step 3:Select Default Apps and click on Choose default apps by file type.

Default apps by file type

Step 4:Search for the .pdf file type and click the Microsft Edge icon to change the default PDF viewer. Select your desired PDF software from the list, e.g., WPS Office, and click on it. The default PDF viewer has been changed to WPS Office.

Change the default PDF viewer

Part 3: How To Change Default PDF Viewer On Mac?

Apple computers and laptops provide more security and privacy to users. These devices are less prone to viruses and malwares  Apple devices use Mac as operating system. Many businesses use Apple devices for enhanced security. If you are using an Apple PC or laptop and you want to change the default PDF viewer, follow these steps.

Step 1:Select the PDF file icon and click on Get info.

Get info

Step 2:Click on the drop-down menu of Open with option. Select your desired PDF software, e.g., Adobe Acrobat, and Click on Changes All.

Select PDF software

Part 4: How To Change The Default PDF Viewer On Android?

Suppose you want to view and edit q document shared by your friend on your mobile device. Many of the mobile devices either do not have a default PDF viewer or default PDF viewer lacks advanced features.To view and edit PDF files on your Android device you must  change the default PDF viewer using these steps;

Step 1:Tap on the PDF file to open it. There will be a prompt to select PDF software.

default PDF viewer on Android

Step 2:Tap on your desired PDF software, then select Always to set it as a default PDF viewer.

Part 5: How To Set WPS PDF As The Default PDF Viewer?

WPS Office is a robust office solution to fulfill all your requirements. It is equipped with an exceptional PDF solution. You can create, edit, compress, convert, and protect PDF files using the WPS Office PDF solution. It is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. You can download it for free from its official website.

WPS Office: Use Word, Excel, and PPT for FREE, No Ads.

WPS PDF comes with the following features;

  • User-friendly and modern, intuitive interface

  • Light weight - loads the document faster

  • Insert digital signatures to sign contracts

  • Insert comments in the document

  • Collaborate with your friends by easily sharing

  • Merge, split, organize, and compress PDF files

  • Protect your PDF document with a password

  • Convert PDF to Word, Excel, Image, etc

  • Extract text from pictures

  • Batch PDF Printing

  • Multiple PDF templates

WPS PDF Solution

In simple steps, you can set WPS Office as the default PDF viewer in Windows.

Step 1:Right-click on any PDF file and select Open with option.

click on Open with

Step 2:Select WPS Office from the list and check Always use this app to open .pdf files.

Select WPS Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1:What is the default PDF viewer in Windows?

The default PDF Viewer on Windows is Microsoft Edge. It is a built-in web browser of Microsoft Windows. It is heavy software, so loading and opening your PDF file takes time.

Q2:How to change the default pdf viewer to Adobe Reader?

You can select Adobe Acrobat Reader as the default PDF viewer by following these steps;

  • Open Settings from Start Menu.

  • Click on Apps from Settings

  • Select Default apps from the App menu.

  • Click on Set defaults by app.

  • Select Adobe Acrobat Reader from the app list and click on Manage.

  • Select .pdf files and select Adobe Reader as the default app for opening these files.


This article describes ways to change the default PDF viewer on Windows, Mac, and Android devices. The default PDF viewer may not contain advanced features such as document editing and formatting. There are numerous PDF solutions available in the market. You can select your desired PDF software from the list.

However, WPS Office is a versatile Office solution having Writer, Presentation, Spreadsheet, and PDF tools. You can easily save your documents to the WPS cloud. WPS PDF solution provides many benefits such as editing the document, inserting comments and digital signatures, converting PDF to other formats, Split and combining different PDF files, etc. All in all, WPS Office is more than an PDF Viewer, there is no reason to refuse to set WPS Office as an default PDF viewer after downloading it.

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