Why do my PDFs open in a browser?

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

Have you ever selected a PDF, expected it to open in a PDF reader, but instead been surprised when it opened in your default browser? If so, 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.

Why is my PDF opening in a browser?

There are a few common reasons that could explain why your PDF is opening in a browser instead of a PDF reader.

Some logical possibilities include that you don’t have a PDF reader or software downloaded or that your default settings on your PDF software might be set to a web browser. Read on to find a few simple remedies to change this if you want to open your PDFs elsewhere.

How to change your PDF reader settings.

Are you 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.

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