Re: Reading PDFs in Edge Seemingly Broken

Ron Canazzi

Hi Sascha,

I agree with you.  The rendering of PDF files from my bank for example, is much better than the latest version of Acrobat Reader.  for once thing, for some reason, every time I load a file directly into Acrobat Reader, I get a blank page with a title 'reader view.'  This is rather new--only beginning with an update of Acrobat Reader some time in 2019, but to dismiss this, pressing escape or control + F4 does not work.  You have to alt + tab away from the program and then alt + tab back to it and then press escape.  Then you get the 'processing, please wait, percentage and then finally the document loads.  After that, the rendering is seldom as clean and structured as in the new Edge browser.

On 4/14/2020 4:58 PM, Sascha Cowley via wrote:

Hi Brian,

Personally, the only reason I use Edge is to read PDFs. I find that, almost all of the time, the way it interprets them is much better than Acrobat. If you can suggest a better alternative, I'd love to hear about it!


On 15/04/2020 02:06, Brian Vogel wrote:
For anyone who is of the same opinion I am, and cannot stand dealing with PDFs within browser windows anyway, it is possible to make any browser open them using the system PDF reader you have installed on your system and set as the default.  I never like dealing with PDFs except in a dedicated PDF Editor or reader.  Instructions follow.

Making Chromium-based Browsers (Chrome, Brave, New Edge, etc.) Open PDFs in Your System Reader

  1. Ensure that the PDF Reader of your choosing  is installed on your computer.  Also make sure that it is what is set to handle files with the PDF extension (which it generally is already).
  2. Activate the Menu button (ALT+F), then choose Settings.
  3. What you do now will vary slightly based on the browser.
    1. For Chrome and Brave, in the Privacy and Security pane, select Site Settings.  For Brave you will have to activate the Additional Settings button before the Privacy and Security pane item becomes visible and accessible.
    2. For Edge, simply choose the Site Permissions pane.
  4. Scroll down and select “PDF documents“.
  5. You are now at the toggle that you need to switch to ON.  How it’s labeled varies slightly among the browsers:
    1. Chrome: Download PDF files instead of opening them automatically in Chrome
    2. Edge: Always open PDF files externally
    3. Brave: Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Brave

At this point close out of settings to save the changes you’ve made

Now when a PDF file is triggered, it will download via your browser just like any other file.  If you have things set up to go to your Downloads folder, that’s where it will be placed.  If you have the browser set up to ask you where to save it, you’ll get the save dialog.  Once the download is finished, the typical status comes up on the bottom of the screen indicating it’s complete, and giving you options of what to do if you activate the button for that file.  If you select the downloaded PDF file at the bottom of the window, then choose Open, then the file will open in a separate Reader window.  If you also activate the “Always open files of this type” option from then on any PDF file will not only automatically download, but automatically open in the PDF Reader you have set as the default one on your system.



Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1909, Build 18363  

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