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Disable built in PDF Viewer, use Adobe Reader to view PDF in your Firefox, Chrome, or IE

Disable built in PDF Viewer, use Adobe Reader to view PDF in your Firefox, Chrome, or IE

Firefox, Chrome, and the latest version Internet Explorer now have a built in PDF reader. The built-in PDF viewer is enabled by default. It allow users to view PDF without installing Adobe PDF reader. However, the built-in viewers are not compatible with all PDF files. Some PDF files have special arrangements or contain extra functions would have issues when viewing it with built-in PDF viewer. This viewer might not display all PDF documents correctly. To change the default PDF view in web browsers, follow the instructions to active the Adobe PDF reader plug-ins or add-ons.

Google Chrome

Open Chrome, Type chrome://plugins in the address bar to open the Plug-ins page.


Locate the Adobe PDF plug-in, and do one of the following:

  • To make Adobe PDF plug-in the default PDF viewer in the browser, enable the Adobe PDF plug-in and disable Chrome PDF Viewer.
  • To disable in browser PDF viewing and force Chrome download PDF files, leaves both viewer plug-ins disabled so the PDFs won't display in the browser.

Mozilla Firefox

Press Ctrl+Shift+A to open the Add-ons Manager window.

Enable the Acrobat or Reader plugin by select "Always Active"

Next open option windows, under Applications tab


Select Use Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox) for Adobe Acrobat Forms Document, Adobe Acrobat XML Data Package File, and Portable Document Format (PDF).
* To disable in browser PDF viewing, select save file.

Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Open Internet Explorer, and choose Tools > Manage Add-ons.
  2. Under Add-on Types, select Toolbars And Extensions.
  3. In the Show menu, select All Add-ons.
  4. In the list of add-ons, select Adobe PDF Reader.


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