change default pdf viewer

How To Change Default PDF Viewer- 3 Efficient Ways in 2023

PDF (Portable Document Format) files are essentially a non-editable file that you would like to share without changes made in them. Today, almost every mobile or computer user has a PDF file viewer for quick file viewing, sharing, and printing. Do you know how to change default pdf viewer on your device?

When you open a PDF file on your Android phone, it provides you with two choices: Always and Just once. These options are provided to you to choose if you would like to open the PDF with a particular viewer just once or always. 

If you choose Just once, your phone will ask your choice again the next time you try to open it. On the other hand, selecting Always will open the PDF in the same PDF reader every time you would like to view a PDF file. This surely saves time as you don’t have to always select the PDF viewer–but this can also be a problem at times.

For instance, your regular PDF viewer might crash or have bugs that may not open the PDF files. In that case, you would want to change the default PDF viewer on your Android phone. And the good news is changing the default PDF viewer is not daunting. 

Let me walk you through the procedure to change the default PDF viewer on your Android device!


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Change Default PDF Viewer On Android 

The default PDF viewer on Android can be changed in three simple steps. Follow these instructions to do so:

1. Identify The Default App

If you remember the default PDF reader app name, well and good. You can move straight to the next section. Otherwise, follow the below steps to identify the app. 

Step 1: Open the PDF in your regular default PDF reader

Step 2: Tap the Recent apps button 

Step 3: Check the name of the default PDF reader on your phone

check the app name

2. Change Default Settings

To change the default PDF viewer, you will have to change the default settings of the existing PDF reader. You can change the default settings of the app in two ways with the first method being quicker.  

Clear Default Settings From Recent Apps

Step 1: Go to recent apps

Step 2: Press and hold the PDF file you opened on your default PDF reader

Step 3: Tap the app info or settings icon whichever is available on your Android device

app settings from recent apps

Step 4: Swipe down to the bottom and locate Clear defaults

Step 5: Tap Clear defaults 

clear defaults

That’s it! The PDF reader is no longer your default PDF viewer. 

Clear Default Settings From Settings App

Step 1: Go to the Settings app on your Android phone

Step 2: Select Apps or Apps & Notifications whichever is available on your Android 

apps from settings

Step 3: Go to Manage apps (skip the step if apps are directly visible)

manage apps

Step 4: Choose the app that is opening your PDF files by default

default pdf reader

Step 5: Swipe down to the bottom of the screen and hit Clear defaults

clear defaults

The app will no longer open your PDF files by default. 

You’re halfway through and the last step is to set another app as default.

3. Set New App As Default

To set a different app as your default PDF viewer, you need to ensure that another PDF viewer app exists on your Android phone in the first place. If you only have one PDf reader on your phone, every time you try to open a PDF file, you’ll get the same choice. 

Once you install the PDF viewer of your choice, follow these steps to set it as the default one: 

Step 1: Open the PDF file you would like to view

Step 2: When prompted to choose a PDF reader, select the newly installed app or other PDF reader of your choice and hit Always or Remember my choice

confirm the PDFreader

Simple as that! The next time you want to view a PDF file, it will open in the new default PDF viewer you just set. 

Best PDF Viewers For Android

If you are in a conundrum of choosing the right PDF viewer app, let me make your decision-making easier. Check out the below PDF viewer apps to view and share PDF files on the go. 

Must read: 6 Best PDF Editor Apps for Android: Fill, Edit, Annotate!

Adobe Acrobat Reader: PDF Viewer, Editor & Creator

adobe acrobat reader logo

Needless to mention, Adobe PDF reader is the most revered PDF reader app available on the Play Store and used by millions of smartphone users around the world. The app is the go-to PDF viewer app for Android, if not for Google Drive’s PDF viewer. 

As a matter of fact, most people, including me, choose Adobe as a first choice PDF reader app and make it as the default one on their phones. But what makes this app so special? Well, take a look at its features:


  • View and print PDFs
  • Read PDFs easily
  • Share PDFs and collaborate
  • Annotate and edit PDFs
  • Fill and sign forms
  • Store and manage files
  • Connect to Google Drive
  • Work with scanned documents
  • Edit text and images in PDFs (Subscription)
  • Combine files into one PDF (Subscription)
  • Compress PDFs to reduce size (Subscription)
  • Password protection (Subscription)

To download the app from the Play Store, click the below button. 

WPS Office – Free Office Suite for Word, PDF, Excel

wps office logo

WPS Office is yet another widely used PDF reader app for Android. It is not just a PDF reader but an entire suite of applications for Word, PDF, and Excel similar to Google’s suite of apps. 

Note: WPS Office is banned in some countries like India and the USA in an effort to reduce the threat posed by the app’s access to sensitive user data. So kindly be cautious about the permissions you allow to the app. 

Take a look at the top features of WPS Office:


  • Scan, view, edit, convert PDF
  • Supports Google Drive files
  • Supports 51 languages and multiple file formats
  • File size reduction, extract, and merge (WPS Premium)
  • Convert images to doc, sheets, PPT (WPS Premium)
  • File recovery and repair (WPS Premium)
  • Change the background (WPS Premium)
  • Remove ads (WPS Premium)

Hit the below button to download the app from the Play Store.

Suggested reads:

Android PDF – Replace Piles of Paper with a PDF file!

7 Best PDF Viewer App for Android: View Important Books & Docs

How to Download Manual for Samsung Galaxy S5: A Smart PDF


How do I change the default ‘open with’ on Android?

Go to Settings > Apps > Select the default open with app > Clear defaults. Now, the next time you open a PDF file, select the app you would like to set as default ‘open with’ and select Remember my choice or Always option.

How do I change my default call app?

To change the default call app, go to Settings > Apps > Advanced > Default apps > Phone app > CHange default.

How do I change my default PDF viewer in Windows 10?

Right click on the PDF file and hover over Open with option > Choose another app. Now in the pop-up window, check ‘Always use this app’ and hit OK.

Set Default PDF Viewer Of Your Choice!

Changing the default PDF viewer on Android is easy. Here’s how it goes: identify the default app, change the default settings, and set a new PDF reader app as default. Choosing the wrong PDF viewer can be troublesome and annoying as the app might crash and may not function as you would want it to. 

Things can change with the use of a good reliable PDF reader app like Adobe Acrobat reader. Not only does it provide PDF viewing and printing capabilities, but advanced features like annotating and editing PDFs, password protection, and more with subscription. 

Wait no longer to choose the right PDF viewer for you. I hope I brought some value to your Android usage. Let me know in the comments section below which PDF reader you have been using of late. Until next time, take care and stay safe!  Cheers!

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