Change the Windows 10 Default PDF Reader from Microsoft Edge

By default, Windows 10 has a lot of its universal apps set as the defaults. One that you might not be a fan of is Microsoft Edge is the default for PDFs.

Windows 10, by default, has a lot of its new universal apps set as the defaults. One that you might not be a fan of is that Microsoft Edge is the default for PDFs. This is good, in the sense that you don’t need to download a third-party app. Also, from my experience, it’s fast and responsive, but features are sparse still.

1 Microsoft Edge PDF Default

Windows 10 will open PDFs in Microsoft Edge by Default

If you prefer to use something else like Foxit Reader or Adobe, you can make Windows 10 use your PDF reader of choice.

Change the Default PDF Program in Windows 10

Changing the default PDF reader in Windows 10 is much like changing other default programs. For more on changing defaults, read our article: How to Set Default Apps in Windows 10.

While you can right-click a PDF and go to Open with and select an app. However, doing it that way doesn’t always seem to work the way you’d like. Sometimes Windows will still ask you which program you want to open a PDF.

2 right click open with

Instead, I recommend going to Settings > System > Default apps. Scroll down and click Choose default apps by file type.

3 Choose app file types

Now scroll down to PDF and click Microsoft Edge and change it to something else from the list or go to the Windows Store to choose a program.

set default

If you like the idea of PDFs opening in a browser, just not Edge, read our article on how to make Google Chrome your default PDF reader.

For more on changing the Windows 10 default programs, make sure to read the articles listed below.

Reset Your Default Apps Fast After a Windows 10 Update

Another annoyance you might have noticed in Windows 10 is that after a major upgrade, your default apps are changed back to the Windows 10 default apps. Luckily there’s a handy utility that allows you to get your updates back fast called Default Programs Editor.

Or, if you would like to backup and reset your default programs back after an update without a third-party app, you can back up the Registry key:


For more on both options, read our article: Get Your Default Apps Back Fast After a Windows 10 Update Resets Them.



  1. Joanne  

    Excellent guidelines–thanks for your efforts!

  2. Leilani  

    I have changed my default pdf app just the way you described. Does not work. Edge still opens as the default pdf app in Windows 10.

  3. sara  

    Thank you so much for your help! Tried different websites and all their how-to information was incomplete. I was able to change my default instantly. I had spent hours earlier. When I got to your site it took 1 minute! Thank you.

  4. Aaron  

    Edge ignores 3rd party extensions even if PDF file type are set to default. Outside Edge, broswers such as Internet Explorer and Google Chrome opens PDFs fine with Adobe Reader DC browser plugin but Edge continues to use it’s own internal reader. This causes some PDF formatting issues and printing problems.

  5. Dennis W. Klug  

    When I need to print a pdf, I get the default Microsoft edge printing program. I seem to remember the printing dialog box having more options like print on both sides, 2 to a page printing, much like the dialog box I get to print in word. Can this be changed or do I have to pull my hair out every time I need to print a pdf? BTY, I don’t have a lot of hair to pull out anymore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Top