Windows 11/10 almost forces users to use Microsoft Edge as the default application for everything, from browsing the internet to opening PDF files. The Chromium version of the Edge browser is fantastic for browsing the internet, but some applications handle PDF files better than Edge.
By default, if you’re browsing and click on a link to a PDF file, Microsoft Edge opens the document within the browser. This feature is obviously for your convenience and ensures that you don’t have a reason to close the browser.
You can decide whether to open or save PDF files whenever you click on them in other browsers. If you want Edge to do the same and save PDFs rather than open them all the time, read this guide.
Make Edge download PDF files instead of opening them
This guide will show you ways to change Microsoft Edge from being your default PDF reader. I’ll also show you how to save any PDF file directly from the Edge browser. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Tell Microsoft Edge to save the linked PDF file.
- Change your default PDF reader from Windows Settings.
- Change your default PDF reader from the File Explorer context menu.
Continue reading as we dive into the complete steps for the above processes.
1] Tell Microsoft Edge to save the linked PDF file
If you’re browsing on Edge and clicking on the link to a PDF file always opens it, you’d be glad to know that you can ask the browser to save the file instead.
To download the PDF do this:
- Don’t left-click on the link to the PDF file.
- Instead, right-click on the link
- Select the Save link as option.
- Choose the directory to which you want to download the PDF document
- Rename it if you wish, and hit the Save button.
On clicking the Save button, Microsoft Edge will download the PDF, and you can then open it later from File Explorer using your favorite PDF reader.
2] Change your default PDF reader from Windows Settings
Press the Windows key + I combination to open Windows Settings. From here, go to Apps > Default apps and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on the link that says Choose default apps by file type.
Go down the page following the file extensions listed on the left-hand pane and look for .pdf.
Click on the application icon to the right of .pdf and select the application you wish to use to open PDF files.
Although this solution doesn’t particularly force Edge to save PDF files instead of opening them in the browser, the next solution will present another way to change your default PDF reader from Edge to an application of your choice.
3] Change your default PDF reader from the File Explorer context menu
Another way to change Edge from being your default PDF reader is by doing it from File Explorer. For this, open File Explorer and browse to a folder containing any PDF file.
Next, right-click on the PDF and select the Open with option from the context menu. Click on Choose another app from the submenu and choose the application with which you want to open PDF documents.
Sometimes you may not find your preferred application from the Open with submenu, but don’t worry about that. If you have the program installed on your computer, click on the Choose another app option from the submenu and navigate to the application’s .exe file.
Before selecting the application, ensure to mark the checkbox for Always use this app to open .pdf files. Alternatively, select Search the Microsoft Store to download and install the application for handling PDF files.
4] Make Microsoft Edge download PDF files using Microsoft Edge Settings
Microsoft Edge comes with a built-in option that lets you set if you want to open PDF files in its native PDF reader or simply download PDF to your computer. This option is probably more suitable than other options. You can enable this option using Microsoft Edge Settings. Here are the steps to use that option:
- Open the Microsoft Edge browser on your Windows 11/10 computer
- Click on the Settings and more icon (three vertical dots) present on the top right corner of Microsoft Edge. It will open a menu. You can also use Alt+F hotkey to open that menu
- Select the Settings option in that menu
- The Settings page of the Edge browser will open. Click on the Cookies and site permissions setting available in the left section
- Scroll down the right-hand section
- Click on the PDF documents option
- Turn on the Always download PDF files button.
That’s it! Now Microsoft Edge will automatically download a PDF file whenever you will click on the download button or link available for a PDF file. You can also turn off the Always download PDF files button anytime when you want to use the PDF reader of Microsoft Edge for opening the PDF files.
How do I stop Microsoft Edge from opening PDF files?
By default, whenever you click on the download link/button or a link available for an online PDF in Edge browser, then its built-in PDF reader opens that file automatically in a new tab. But, if you don’t want that, then there are some simple ways that help you stop Microsoft Edge from opening PDF files. These are:
- Turn on the option available in Microsoft Edge Settings that lets you always download PDF files
- Change the default PDF reader using the Settings app of Windows 11/10
- Use right-click context menu in Microsoft Edge.
All these options are covered in this post above.
How do I get a PDF to download instead of opening?
If you want to download PDF instead of opening in Google Chrome, Firefox, and/or Microsoft Edge browser, then you can do this by accessing the Settings of these browsers.
Chrome and Edge browsers provide a PDF documents section under the Settings page that lets you use an option to download PDF files instead of opening them in the browser. For the Firefox browser, you need to access the Applications section available under the General tab of its Settings page. In that section, simply set the Save File option for the Portable Document Format (PDF) application.
Hope this helps.
Hope this helped.