How to Change the Default PDF Reader in Windows 8

by Venkat eswarlu on May 15, 2012

in How to,tips and tricks

If you don’t know: Windows 8 by default comes with a metro-style PDF Reader called Windows Reader, this program is the default app for opening PDF files from desktop as well as in metro (modern) environment. That means, all PDF files by default will be opened in this metro PDF Viewer, Windows Reader icon will be shown as thumbnail for all PDF files in Explorer. Then how you can able to set your favorite PDF Reader app like Adobe Reader, Nitro PDF Reader or SumatraPDF Reader on desktop as default PDF Reader in Windows 8? If you want to do that, follow the instructions below.

How to make Adobe Reader as Default PDF Handler in Windows?

Changing Windows Reader on Windows 8 from Default PDF Reader Status

For e.g if you want to set already installed Sumatra PDF Reader as default Handler for opening PDF files in Windows 8, all you need to do is

  • right-click on any PDF file and choose default program from “Open with” menu
  • and double click on SumatraPDF and make sure “use this app for all .pdf files” is checked above in the “open with dialog” window.
  • Pretty simple isn’t it! Now SumatraPDF has been set as Windows 8’s default PDF Reader.

choose default program thumb How to Change the Default PDF Reader in Windows 8sumatra pdf thumb How to Change the Default PDF Reader in Windows 8

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To Set Windows Reader as the Default PDF Reader again

1. Open Desktop Control Panel>Programs>Default Programs>Set Default Programs

2. From Programs shown on left-side Select Windows Reader and click on “Set this program as default” on right side.

set this program as default thumb How to Change the Default PDF Reader in Windows 8

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Art January 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Thanks a million VENKAT.

I’m setting up a new Win 8 Desktop PC and could not get rid of Metro Adobe Reader. It doesn’t show in either the Metro App list or in the list of programs available to uninstall. Out of curiosity, where is it?

Metro Adobe Reader looks pretty but has so many features I need missing. How can Adobe shamelessly call this AR v 11?

Thanks again. Your advice is most critical to those upgrading to Win 8.


Nirmesh March 14, 2013 at 4:56 am

Thanks for this article this would be really helpful and many hidden changes in windows 8. need to learn this way.

really good help


Venkat eswarlu March 14, 2013 at 9:38 am

You’re welcome nirmesh.


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