Why do my PDFs open in Chrome or other browsers?

A man discovers how to open a PDF in Adobe Acrobat instead of in a Chrome browser.

This article outlines a few common reasons why your PDFs might be opening in a browser instead of a PDF reader.

Why are my PDFs opening in Chrome? It seems like we’ve all asked ourselves this at some point. You’ve probably opened a PDF before, expected it to open in a PDF reader, but instead been surprised when it opened in your default browser. If so, there’s good news: this is a fairly common problem — and one that’s easy to resolve.

If you’ve ever wondered why this happens, or if you’re interested in changing these default settings, this article will be a good starting point for you. Keep reading to learn more.

Can I edit PDFs or make changes in browsers?

If you’re wondering, “Why do my PDFs open in Chrome?” — you might also want to know if your PDFs can be edited in a browser or online. The answer is yes, you can open a PDF in a browser and even make some edits. You can use Adobe’s online tools to open and edit a PDF online. Google Chrome and other browsers are PDF viewers, and they also have basic PDF editing functions. These usually include fill and sign, comments, highlights, and annotation.

Why are my PDFs opening in Chrome?

There are a few common reasons that could explain why your PDF is opening in Chrome instead of Adobe or in a browser instead of a PDF editor.

Some logical possibilities include that:

These are just a few reasons for PDFs to open in Chrome instead of Adobe. Read on to find a few simple remedies to change this if you want to open a PDF in Adobe, not Chrome.

How to open a PDF in Adobe Reader, not Chrome or other browsers.

PDFs opening in Chrome instead of Adobe? You might be interested in switching your settings to open PDFs in your reader instead of your browser. If so, here are a few step-by-step instructions for changing the settings in your PDF reader or software (for example, Adobe Acrobat Reader):

  1. Open Acrobat Reader and select Edit > Preferences.
  2. Click Internet in the left panel of the Preferences menu and then select Internet Settings.
  3. Select the Programs tab.
  4. Click Manage Add-Ons and choose Acrobat Reader in the list of add-ons.
  5. Click Disable to ensure PDFs won’t be opened in a browser.

Can I open a PDF without a PDF reader?

Yes, you can open a PDF without designated PDF reading or editing software downloaded onto your device. In fact, not having a PDF reader downloaded may be one of the reasons why your PDFs are automatically opening in Chrome. Chrome has a built-in PDF viewer that will allow you to view your PDFs. If you want to perform other functions on your PDFs (like securing them, converting them, and editing them) without downloading software, you can use Acrobat online services.

Have more issues with your PDFs?

After learning how to open a PDF in Adobe and not Chrome (or other browsers), you might want to check out these guides for issues you may run into and how to solve them:

Ready to take your PDF potential to the next level? Discover what more you can do with Acrobat Reader and Acrobat to open, share, and send PDFs. You can also convert files like PPT to PDF, combine PDF documents, insert pages into your PDF files, and more.