The Windows Club

How to disable built-in PDF Viewer in Chrome & choose a different Reader

If you are a regular Chrome user, you must have noticed the built-in PDF viewer in Chrome, which is enabled by default. Whenever you click a PDF link on the web, the file opens directly in your browser window. However, there appears only few actions to take. These controls can be seen in the lower-right area of the browser window:

To make changes you want, you have to save the desired file and then open it separately from the saved location to make changes. If you would simply like to disable the built-in PDF viewer in Chrome and open the PDF files with the program of your choice, here’s how to go about. You can disable the built-in Chrome PDF Viewer and open the PDF file with PDF reader of your choice such as Adobe Acrobat that offers more options.

Disable built-in PDF Viewer in Chrome

Open Chrome browser and in the address bar at the top, type the following and hit Enter:


Next, locate the Chrome PDF Viewer and click on the Disable link.

When done, search for the PDF file and click on its link. The action will begin downloading the PDF file like a normal file.

Then, just click on the file when the download is complete, it will automatically open in the default program set for opening PDF files. Note that in addition to disabling Chrome PDF Viewer, you might also have to disable Adobe PDF Viewer in the Chrome plug-ins section. Why? When you disabled the built-in PDF viewer, Chrome will use Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to display PDFs since, while installing Adobe Acrobat, PDF viewer is automatically installed in Chrome too, so if you would want to open the PDF files in the desktop version of Adobe program, you would have to disable all PDF viewers visible under Chrome plug-ins.

Moreover, you may have to change the default program for opening PDF files on your computer. For doing so, simply right-click on a PDF file and choose ‘Open with’ option.


Here, you can get additional options, click choose more options link and change the program to the desired PDF viewer of your choice. Do not forget to check ‘Use this app for all PDF files’.

That’s it!

How to Disable or Change the built-in PDF Reader in Firefox may also interest you.