How to Open PDF in Chrome Automatically

January 29, 2024 1.8K views

Chrome offers a remarkable feature allowing you to open PDFs for reading and viewing. Of course, there are various PDF tools available, some of which are free and others that come with a price. These tools make PDF editing possible, along with additional features beyond just viewing. You may already have a PDF reader installed that automatically opens PDFs when you try to access them. However, there are instances when it is more convenient to have PDFs open directly in Chrome. In this article, we will guide you on how to open PDFs in Chrome automatically, making your browsing experience even more convenient.

How to Open PDF in Chrome Automatically

Steps to Automatically Open PDFs in Google Chrome

Let's see how we can effortlessly synchronize our PDFs and Chrome – no more clicking and waiting. With just a few steps, you can change your Chrome settings to easily open PDFs in the Chrome browser. So, let's jump right in and make your PDF and Chrome combo the epitome of speed and automation!

Step 1: To begin, open the Chrome browser on your system and click on the "Three dots" located in the top right corner of your Chrome browser screen.

Step 2: Next, click on "Settings" in the dropdown menu to access Chrome settings and enable the option to open PDFs in Chrome.

Google Chrome Settings

Step 3: Take a look at the sidebar and click on the "Privacy and security" tab.

Step 4: Under the Privacy and Security options, click on "Site Settings".

Google Chrome Privacy and security

Step 5: Scroll down and expand "Additional content settings" under the Content section.

Step 6: Look for "PDF documents" as this option allows you to change settings to open PDFs in the Chrome browser.

Google Chrome PDF documents

Step 7: Chrome provides users with two different options for interacting with PDFs while browsing. Since we want PDFs to open automatically in the Chrome browser, select "Open PDFs in Chrome".

Google Chrome Open PDFs in Chrome

Step 8: The settings will be saved automatically. Simply close the settings tab or enter a website URL to begin surfing on the Chrome browser.

Pro Tip: Users can directly visit the PDF document settings on their Chrome browser by typing or pasting the following URL: chrome://settings/content/pdfDocuments.

In just a few steps, users can enhance their PDF experience on the Chrome browser. By configuring Chrome to open PDFs in the browser, users can enjoy a more seamless and convenient browsing experience without the need to download PDFs.

How to Open Your Downloaded PDFs Using Google Chrome

Chrome's PDF extension isn't limited to opening PDFs while browsing; it also extends to opening downloaded PDF documents in Chrome. The process is as straightforward as it gets. To achieve this, you simply need to adjust the settings on your system to set Google Chrome as your default application for opening PDFs in the Chrome browser.

Step 1: On your system, navigate to the location where you have a PDF saved.

Step 2: Right-click on any PDF file, and from the context menu, select "Open with".

Step 3: In the flyout menu, click on "Choose another app." This will enable you to choose a default application to open PDFs. If you opt for Google Chrome in this setup, only the currently selected PDF will open in the Chrome browser.

Open PDF on your system

Step 4: In the next window, click on Google Chrome, and also check the "Always use this app to open .pdf files" checkbox. This will establish Google Chrome as your default choice for opening PDFs.

Select default app to open .pdf files

Step 5: Now, simply click on "OK" to save your PDF application preference.

Confirm default app to open .pdf files

These simple steps empower users to open PDF files in the Chrome browser directly from their system. This makes interacting with PDF files on their system quicker and more convenient, especially for those who prefer Chrome as their default browser.

WPS PDF Extension: Read and Comment PDF Files

So, is it really necessary to stick with the built-in Chrome PDF viewer? The answer is no! Introducing the WPS PDF Extension: Your solution for reading and commenting on PDF files with ease. This powerful plug-in is designed to provide users with a seamless experience for viewing, annotating, and commenting on PDF documents. Why venture beyond bounds when we can leverage the built-in Chrome PDF viewer? The distinction lies in the capabilities – unlike Chrome's native viewer, WPS enables users to go beyond mere viewing. It lets you annotate, comment, and highlight crucial points, ensuring you're well-prepared for that upcoming test or any important task.

WPS PDF Extension

Now, let's address the pivotal question: why settle for a standard PDF viewer extension? With WPS Office, you're not just expanding your PDF capabilities, but you're stepping into a comprehensive suite. WPS Office provides expert PDF solutions through both its online tools and offline office suite applications, bridging the gap between convenience and functionality.

Isn't it wiser to opt for a tool that goes above and beyond? So, why not include this versatile gem in your list of extensions, especially considering it comes free of charge? Don't miss out on the opportunity to elevate your PDF viewing experience with the feature-rich WPS PDF Extension.

Here's an overview of some key features of the WPS PDF Extension:

  • PDF Comment and Annotation: Express your thoughts and mark up your PDFs with comments and annotations.

WPS PDF Extension PDF Comment and Annotation

  • PDF Drawing Tools: Unlock a set of drawing tools to enhance your PDFs.

WPS PDF Extension PDF Drawing tools

  • Highlight Your PDF: Emphasize important sections within your PDF documents effortlessly.

WPS PDF Extension Highlight your PDF

How to Get Started with WPS PDF Extension:

A new tool naturally requires a bit of guidance to set it up, and we're here to provide you with all the necessary steps as you acquaint yourself with the WPS PDF Extension.

Step 1: Similar to all Chrome extensions, the brand-new WPS PDF Extension can be found on the Chrome Web Store. Simply search and click on "Add to Chrome" to install the WPS PDF Extension on your Chrome browser.

Add WPS PDF Extension to Chrome

Step 2: After the download is complete, users will be redirected to the WPS PDF Extension homepage. To commence your new WPS PDF Extension experience, click on the "Sign In" button on the top right to access the extension tools.

WPS PDF Extension Sign in

Step 3: Once users are signed in, we need to set WPS PDF Extension as the default PDF viewer in Chrome. Simply click on the "Three dots" on the top right side of your screen again and select "Settings" from the drop-down menu.

WPS PDF Extension Settings

Step 4: In the Settings page, ensure that "Open PDFs in WPS PDF Extension" is enabled. Click on the toggle, and a blue color will indicate that WPS PDF Extension is now the default PDF viewer.

Step 5: After setting WPS PDF Extension as the default application, click on the "Save Option" button at the top right and exit the Settings tab.

Make WPS PDF Extension default PDF Viewer on Chrome

Step 6: Now, we have an example PDF that we want to open. A simple click will launch the PDF using the WPS PDF Extension.

Step 7: Utilize the tools on a hover menu on the left side of your screen to edit your PDF. For example, if you wish to add a comment, select the Comment icon and then choose the color of your preference in the hover menu.

WPS PDF Extension add a comment

Step 8: Similarly, users can use the Highlight and Freehand tools to edit their PDFs by selecting options in the hover menu on the left.

WPS PDF Extension Highlight and Freehand tool

Step 9: Save your edited documents by clicking the Floppy icon in the toolbar. If users want to save the original PDF, simply click on the Download icon located at the top left of the screen in the toolbar.

WPS PDF Extension Save PDF

These steps will guide you through the setup and usage of WPS PDF Extension, a simple and effective PDF extension with a sufficient array of tools for working with your PDFs.

WPS Office- Free All-in-One Office Suite
  • Use Word, Excel, and PPT for FREE, No Ads.

  • Edit PDF files with the powerful PDF toolkit.

  • Microsoft-like interface. Easy to learn. 100% Compatibility.

  • Boost your productivity with WPS's abundant free Word, Excel, PPT, and CV templates.

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Algirdas Jasaitis


Q1. Why won't my PDF open in Chrome?

If you're encountering issues with opening PDFs in Chrome, it could be due to outdated cache and cookies. To troubleshoot, take the following steps:

Step 1: Navigate to the three-dot menu in the top-right corner of your Chrome browser and select Settings.

Step 2: In the Settings tab, choose Privacy and security > Clear browsing data.

Step 3: Select "Cookies and other site data" and "Cached images and files".

Step 4: Click the "Clear data" button to remove outdated cache and cookies.

Chrome Browser Clear Data

Q2. Which is the best PDF viewer?

Determining the "best" PDF viewer often depends on individual preferences and specific needs. Here are five popular PDF readers:

  • WPS Office

  • Adobe Acrobat

  • Nitro PDF

  • Wondershare

  • Foxit Reader

Q3. How do I access Chrome settings on Windows?

To access Chrome settings on a Windows computer, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Chrome browser on your computer.

Step 2: Click on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of the Chrome window. This will open a dropdown menu.

Step 3: From the dropdown menu, hover your cursor over "Settings" and then click on it. This will take you to the Chrome settings page, where you can customize various aspects of your browsing experience.

Google Chrome Settings

Edit PDFs With WPS Office

By learning how to open a PDF in Chrome automatically and choosing Chrome as your default PDF tool is a great option. However, WPS Office provides an equally capable PDF tool that goes above and beyond what Chrome offers. With WPS Office, if you're printing something and notice a typo, you can make changes on the spot, unlike in Chrome, which can become a hassle. Additionally, if you are looking for the best PDF viewer for Google Chrome, we have listed some top choices in another article. These PDF viewers offer powerful features to meet various needs when browsing PDF files on Google Chrome. You can click the hyperlink to view the complete article. Consider downloading using WPS PDF to experience its phenomenal PDF editing tool.

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