Open files

Using Acrobat Reader app to open PDFs enables you to use advanced editing and viewing features such as sticky notes, highlights, freehand drawing, handwritten signatures, filled form data, and more. You can use Acrobat Reader app to open files from:

  • Apple’s Files app

  • Other Adobe apps such as Adobe Scan and Adobe Sign

  • Email and file attachments

  • Browsers such as Firefox, Edge, and Chrome

  • Cloud locations such as Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive

  • Your device


In workflows that ask you whether to open Acrobat just once or always, choose Always to set Acrobat as the default PDF viewer. This helps you provide broad support for the PDF standard and free PDF features such as sharing, commenting, and more.

Create PDFs

You can convert files in other formats to PDF format using the Create PDF tool. To do so:

  1. Tap plusicon > Create PDF.

  2. Alternatively, tap from an open file view, select moretools > Create PDF.

  3. From the page that opens, select the location from where you want to access the file.

  4. Tap on the file that you want to convert to PDF.

    It starts converting the file and displays a message to confirm.

  1. Once the file is converted to PDF, you get a confirmation message. You can tap Open to view the PDF in the Acrobat Reader app or access it later from the list of files.

Open files from device or cloud

You can open files stored on your device, from Adobe cloud storage, or from other 3rd party storage providers, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. The updated PDF file automatically saves back to the original cloud location. You can pre-install these supported apps or add to your account later when required.

To access a file from device, Adobe cloud storage, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Drive:

  1. Tap plusicon > Open File.

  2. Alternatively, go to filesicon Files page.

  1. From the menu that appears, tap On this iPhone and then select a file from the list of available files.

  2. To open files from cloud storage, tap one of the cloud storage options.

    If your account is not connected, tap Add Account and complete the workflow.

  1. When accessing a cloud location for the first time, Acrobat prompts you to allow access. Tap Allow.

  1. Once you get access, navigate to any file and tap it to open in Acrobat. Any changes to the PDF are automatically saved back to the cloud location.

  2. Alternatively, tap Browse more files to navigate to other storage locations that are accessible on your device.

Open PDFs from email

Acrobat Reader app now allows you to access all the PDFs from the associated email account.

To open PDFs from Apple mail:

  1. In an email with a PDF attachment, scroll to the bottom.

  2. Tap Tap to Download. A PDF preview page appears.

  3. Tap on the preview.

  4. Tap the shareicon from the bottom menu.

  5. Swipe the menu to view Acrobat.

  6. Tap Acrobat.

To open PDFs from Gmail:

  1. In an email, tap the PDF attachment.

  2. Tap shareicon.

  3. In the dialog that appears, locate Acrobat icon and tap it to select.

To access PDF attachments from Acrobat Reader app:

  1. Go to filesicon Files page.

  2. Tap PDFs from e-mails and tap on a folder to view the list of PDFs.

  3. Tap on a PDF title to open it. You can reopen the PDF later from the list of Recent files.

  4. Tap overflowicon to do one or more of the following:

    • View the date received and sender’s name.

    • Tap Show original email to read the source email.

    • Tap Send a copy to share a copy of the PDF file with other people.

    • Tag the file as Starred.

    • Set a password to open the file.

    • Tap Export PDF to export the file in another format.

    • Tap Save a copy to save a copy of the PDF.

    • Tap Request e-signatures to send the PDF for e-signatures.


Open image files

Acrobat Reader app allows you to open image files in jpeg, jpg, png, and other file formats. An opened image file can be shared with others, saved as a copy, converted to PDFs, or opened in other image supporting apps available on your device.

Note: You need a subscription to Adobe Acrobat Premium or Adobe Acrobat Pro to convert image files to PDF format.

To do so:

  1. Go to the Photos gallery on your device and select the image that you want to open in Acrobat.

  2. From the list of available apps, tap Acrobat icon.

  3. From the screen that appears, tap Import to Acrobat. It opens the image in Acrobat Reader app.

  1. Once the file is imported, you can tap overflowicon and take one or more of the following actions:

    • To share a copy of the file, tap Send a copy and follow through the steps.

    • To combine the file with other files, tap Combine Files and follow through the steps.

    • To mark the file as favorite, tap Star.

    • To save a copy of the file, tap Save a copy and select a location to save your file.

    • To save the file on cloud storage, tap Save to Adobe cloud storage.

    • To print the file, tap Print.

  2. To share the image file, tap shareicon from the top menu of the opened file and follow through the steps.

  3. To convert the image to a PDF, tap Create PDF from the bottom panel.

  1. Once the image is converted to PDF, it displays a confirmation message, as shown below. Tap Open to open the PDF file.


It opens the image file as PDF and the file is automatically saved in Adobe cloud storage.


Open a file from a browser

Note that different browsers may have different workflows. To use Acrobat Reader app to access a file that is open in Safari:

  1. Tap sharingicon from the bottom menu.

  2. Swipe left to see the Acrobat option.

  3. Tap Acrobat.


Open from Adobe Scan

If you have the Adobe Scan app installed, you can open any scanned file directly in Acrobat and edit the file or add comments.

  1. Go to the Files page and select Adobe Scan.

  2. From the list of scan files, select the file that you want to open in Acrobat.


To access Adobe Scan files from the Acrobat Reader app:

  1. Go to filesicon Files page.

  2. Tap plusicon > Scan. It opens the Adobe Scan app.

  3. For any file that you want to open in Acrobat Reader app, tap acrobaticon

Open from Files app

The iOS Files App (iOS 11+) allows you to easily find, organize, and manage all of your files. Available files include the local files on your device, files on other iOS devices, and on cloud storage. Adobe DC mobile app support for the Files app allow you to have greater control and ease of access for all your files and scans from any location.

To open a file in Acrobat:

  1. Tap the Files App icon. It displays all of your files, including any files in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Scan.

  1. Browse to or search for a file and open it.

  2. Tap shareicon > Open in Acrobat.


If Acrobat is not already in the File App’s list of available locations, you can add it using the following steps:

  1. Tap the Files App icon.

  2. Tap overflowicon

  3. Tap Edit.

  4. Enable and disable locations as needed. You can also long press hamburgericon and drag items to a new position.

  5. Tap Done.


For additional details, see

Open from iBooks

iBooks does not offer an “Open In” or “Share” option. To transfer a PDF document from iBooks to Acrobat Reader, email the PDF document to yourself and follow the steps under Open PDFs from email.

Add Acrobat to the Share menu

The most common way to open files in Acrobat is to share PDFs (open it) from other apps via the Share menu (Tap shareicon). Sharing a file with Acrobat simply copies the file to Acrobat, and it opens automatically.

Acrobat may not appear in the app share list by default. To add Acrobat as a default item in the share list:

  1. Open a PDF in any app.

  2. Tap Open In… or the shareicon (varies by app and OS version).

  3. Swipe left until the More icon appears, and tap it.

  4. When the app list appears, tap Edit.

  5. Scroll down the app list and tap Copy to Acrobat.

  6. Tap Done to exit edit mode.

  7. Tap Done again to exit the Share settings dialog.

You should now see Acrobat as a share choice whenever you tap the Share icon from any app.


“Copy to” vs “Open in”

Acrobat supports opening, sharing, and copying many document types to and from your device as well as other non-Adobe apps. Your file workflow may involve following menu options:

  • Open in Acrobat: It opens the file in Acrobat Reader app and results in both Acrobat and the source app sharing a single file. For example, when choosing “Open in” while sharing from the Files app, Acrobat uses a reference to the source file. The file is not copied to Acrobat. Any changes made to the file in Acrobat save those changes back to the original file.

  • Copy to: It copies the file to Acrobat’s local storage which only Acrobat may access. Changes are saved to Acrobat’s private copy and the original file remains unchanged.

Note that workflows might use both the Open In and Copy To features since Acrobat makes copied files accessible to other apps. For example, you can “Copy To” a file from Mail into Acrobat and then use the Files app to “Open In” that same file into PDF Expert. Similarly, from PDF Expert you may choose “Import From” > Choose files, and browse to Acrobat to open a file. Changes made in these external apps are saved back to Acrobat.