Set default PDF viewing program in Windows 10

Updated: January 12th, 2018

Author: Ross Madden

Categories: General CNSIT, Knowledge Base, Windows

With most fresh user profiles created on a Windows 10 machine, Microsoft Edge (the new Windows 10 web browser) appears to want to take over as your default PDF viewer.  While this may be fine in some environments, CNS affiliates working on CSU/Departmentally owned computers have the advantage of an Adobe Acrobat Pro site license, and will usually prefer to set this as the PDF viewer.

You will often discover this issue when your PDF files appear with something that looks like the following file icon when viewed on your desktop or in your documents:

The easiest way to switch your PDF viewer to Adobe Acrobat is to use the context menu by right clicking on one of these pdf files and selecting the option for “Properties”.

In the new dialog box that appears, make sure you are looking at the “General” tab and notice the option near the top with the text “Open with:”.  From here, click the “Change …” button to the right of that “Open with:” text.  A new dialog will appear where you simply need to select your installed Adobe Acrobat software and click the “OK” button.  You should now notice that “Open with:” lists Adobe Acrobat as your PDF viewer.  Click the “OK” button to close the properties dialog.  Finally, you will also notice that your pdf files show the familiar Adobe Acrobat file icon instead of the above Microsoft Edge icon.

Don’t have Adobe Acrobat installed on your CSU/Departmentally owned computer?  Let us know and we can help you get that set up!  Simply create a ticket and we will be in touch: