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How to Open PDF in Chrome

by Hung Nguyen

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian and Portuguese.

Learn how to open PDFs using Google Chrome, or change your default PDF reader.

When you double-click a PDF software from your local drive, it will be opened using the default PDF reader. Preview is the default PDF reader for Mac and Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer serves as the default for Windows computers. The latter can be a bit annoying for Chrome users, having to continually switch between browsers.

How to open a PDF in Chrome

  1. Right-click on a PDF.

  2. Choose Open with > Google Chrome.

  3. If you don’t see Chrome, click ‘Other…’ and search for the program.

  4. Click ‘Open’ and that’s pretty much it.


How to open a PDF in Chrome

The wording for this flow may vary a bit on different operating systems, but rest assure, it all works the same manner. To open multiple PDF files at once in Chrome, simply highlight all of them before doing the right-click.

If you always want to open PDF documents using Google Chrome, then I’d suggest changing the default PDF reader to Google Chrome.

How to always open PDF in Chrome on Windows:

  1. Right-click on any PDF on your system.

  2. Click ‘Properties’ > ‘Open with…’

  3. Choose Google Chrome and hit ‘Ok’.

  4. Doing this should switch the default reader.

How to always open PDF in Chrome on MacBooks:

  1. Similarly, do the right-click (or control + click) on the PDF.

  2. Click ‘Get Info’ > ‘Open with’.

  3. Choose Google Chrome from the program list.

  4. And this should do the trick.

Modify and convert PDFs within Chrome


Many new computers now come bundled with a PDF viewer, such as Adobe Reader / Adobe Acrobat. If you prefer to keep your file viewings in one window, Chrome is the way to go.

Smallpdf also has a free Chrome Extension which allows you to access our free tools directly from Chrome itself when you have a PDF opened. These tools range from converters to save PDF files to other formats or allow you to split, merge, or rotate your files in any way you’d like.

If you’re viewing a contract that needs to be signed, electronic signatures can be quickly created in a few clicks, with our eSign tool. Join the 1.5+ million users who have installed the Chrome extension and work on-the-go with PDFs today!


Direct access to Smallpdf tools

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager @Smallpdf