Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
Adobe acrobat reader is the free, trusted global standard for viewing, printing, e-signing, sharing, and annotating pdfs. view pdfs: open and interact with all types of pdf content including forms and multimedia. easily leave comments or annotate pdfs: simply annotate documents using sticky notes, type text directly on the page, highlight, underline, or use strikethrough tools, and even draw on the screen with a freehand drawing tool. fill, e-sign, and lock your forms: fill out and e-sign pdf forms fast and share locked copies that become invalid if they are edited. collaborate better with pdfs: share pdfs and gather comments from multiple people in one file. recipients get an email with a link to your pdf. they just click to open, view, and comment. reviewers can respond to each other’s comments and you get notified of activity. it’s that easy. successful installation requires administrator access, by downloading and installing adobe acrobat reader, you acknowledge that you have read and accepted all of the adobe's software licensing agreement for reader and terms and conditions 1) https://www.adobe.com/content/dam/cc/en/legal/licenses-terms/pdf/reader-eula-en_us2020210215.pdf 2) https://www.adobe.com/legal/terms.html .
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The 11 Best Free PDF Readers for Windows & Mac
There are plenty of Adobe Acrobat Reader alternatives
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A PDF reader is any software that will open a PDF file , probably the most recognizable document format in the world. Your downloadable bank statements, the newsletters from school—they're probably all in PDF format.
More and more operating systems, smartphones, and other devices contain built-in abilities to show PDF files; even your web browser can probably handle it. Even so, a dedicated document reader often has a number of advantages over the built-in reader you may already have, like viewing options, better search, and annotations or other light editing.
Need to edit a PDF, and not just open it for reading? You can convert it to an MS Word format or load it directly in a PDF editor . If you want to make one, use a PDF creation tool .
Open source and lightweight.
Available in dozens of languages.
No anti-aliasing, so some fonts look wonky.
Primary menu options are tucked inside another menu.
I've used SumatraPDF for years. It's an easy-to-use free PDF reader for Windows. While it is easy and simple to work with, it's also open for heavy customization if you so choose.
Different types of viewing modes are available, like Single Page, Facing, Book View, and Presentation . The latter option is great for distraction-free reading.
There are tons of keyboard shortcuts you can use that make it easier to move around a PDF file, which you can refer to in the online documentation .
SumatraPDF can be downloaded in portable form or installed like a regular program.
PDFlite is another free PDF reader that's based on SumatraPDF. It looks extremely similar and works the same.
Supports XPS and CBZ files as well.
Easy to use.
Interface is a little too bare bones.
Zoom feature is less than perfect.
I like MuPDF because it isn't cluttered, is super lightweight, and runs on Windows and Android. If you just need to read the PDF, and do nothing else, I highly recommend this app.
Immediately after opening the program, you'll be prompted to choose a PDF before you even see the UI. Once you have, there are literally no options to be seen, but instead the full program window is dedicated to showing the PDF.
There are, however, some hidden menus. Select the top left program icon on the program's title window, then select About MuPDF to see all the supported shortcut keys that you can use to flip through pages, zoom in, and search for text.
The other way to use this program is with an initial menu. Open mupdf-gl.exe from the same download to use that version.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Handy drag-and-drop feature makes it easy to combine PDFs.
Excellent integration with the Adobe Cloud system.
Accessibility checker identifies problems, but it doesn't tell you how to fix them.
The free version is very limited in its features.
Adobe, the creator of the PDF file format, has a free reader called Acrobat Reader.
Tons of features are included: Take snapshots of text and images, view the PDF in Read Mode for a more concise reading pane, and have the program read text out loud.
This program works with Windows, Mac, and Linux. The Adobe Acrobat Reader mobile app is available for Android and iOS.
On the download page, you may be asked to install some McAfee products and other things that are unrelated to this PDF reader. You need to manually deselect these offers if you don't want them.
Slick, modern design.
Includes a 'focus mode'.
Lots of extra features.
Extra features are limited unless you pay.
Unlike the other PDF readers in this list, you can use AI with this one to summarize the document or ask questions about it. If you're a rush, this can be a really handy way to get what you need from a long document in just a few seconds.
There are limitations to the AI part, though. Nevertheless, this program includes lots of other features you might like to have in addition to its regular open-and-read functionality. For example, it lets you edit text, add form items, and convert small PDFs to other file formats.
This program runs on Windows and macOS.
Expert PDF Reader
Faster than other free options.
Editing features are rather limited.
Tries to install other software during set up.
Expert PDF Reader is another option for Windows. You can view bookmarks and a list of pages found in the PDF in an easy-to-read index on the side of the viewing area. There are also advanced options like signing and adding text to the PDF.
Nuance PDF Reader
Adding videos and images to documents is a breeze.
Dictation features make it ideal for the visually impaired.
You can open only one PDF at a time.
A really valuable search function is included in Nuance PDF Reader, where the words you search for show up with a bit of context for easier understanding as to where the search terms are at in the text.
You can also highlight text, which I love to do when I'm using a PDF as a reference. I can see it being handy for studying, too.
Fast and lightweight.
Free from excess clutter.
Limited zooming options.
Doesn't come with help files.
Here, you'll find all the basic features of a PDF opener, like the ability to search through text, copy text out of the document, zoom, and change the viewing mode.
This program also lets you send the currently opened PDF to someone over email with the Email toolbar button.
Sorax is available for Windows.
Javelin PDF Reader
Mobile version lets you access and manage metadata.
Advanced encryption options.
Occasional clunky performance.
The installation process is unnecessarily complicated.
Javelin PDF Reader is ideal if you're after something minimal. It has no extra features like editing or converting that litters the program interface.
Everything is spotless and easy to read and understand. The search feature isn't the best to be had, but it works well as is.
It can launch a PDF in full screen to make reading easier, and you can just click the screen to move down the PDF pages.
This PDF program runs on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Cool PDF Reader
Can be used to convert to other formats (TXT, JPG, etc.).
Command icons describe their function on mouse hover.
Very limited features compared to the alternatives.
The help file isn't very helpful.
Cool PDF Reader is light on system resources and comes in a minuscule package, at just under 4 MB for the portable version. It makes sense, then, that it calls itself "the world's smallest PDF viewer."
While it might not require much disk space, it's not the best option available. There isn't a search function, and scrolling isn't the smoothest. However, it still works as a free PDF reader if you don't like the others on this list.
You can install Cool PDF Reader to your computer or use the Standalone Package to use it without installing anything.
Premium version is reasonably priced for what you get.
Adding and placing text is exceptionally easy.
PDFs created with the free version often include a big ugly watermark.
Doesn't automatically detect fields when creating forms.
PDF-XChange Editor's interface can be a bit nauseating to look at because there are buttons, toolbars, and side panels all over the place. You can easily disable most of these, though, for a much cleaner viewing experience.
In addition to opening a PDF from your own local computer, you can also enter a URL of a PDF file (the document will still be downloaded, but the program does it for you).
You can also add notes, record and attach audio, highlight text, attach files, and add a strike-through to words.
This is for Windows versions all the way back to Windows XP.
Lots of features are only available in the professional version of PDF-XChange Editor, but they're clearly marked as such and aren't difficult to spot.
Web and desktop version.
Supports really long PDFs.
Includes useful editing tools.
Some features cost.
This is both an offline PDF reader, like the other ones detailed above, and an online PDF reader. The web app is indispensable if you need to read a document ASAP.
While it's true that most web browsers can open PDFs on their own, without a tool like this one, I include it anyway because it has some really nice mini tools you might like.
For example, if you want to delete a page or two while reading the PDF, you can do that here. I also like that it's super easy to email the document, compress it to make the file smaller, and merge it with another PDF.
Overall, while this might seem more like a PDF editor, it does a great job displaying the document in your browser, something you'll prefer if you need access now , without wasting the time it takes to download one of these other desktop tools.
Since it runs online, it also means you can use it on any operating system.
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August 29, 2023
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How to use Microsoft Edge PDF Reader
Are you tired of having to download external PDF readers to view and annotate PDFs? Good news: Microsoft Edge has a built-in PDF reader that can handle all your PDF needs. Learn how to use the Microsoft Edge PDF reader , including how to edit, save, and print PDFs, all without leaving the browser.
How to open a PDF in Microsoft Edge
Because Microsoft Edge is set as your default PDF reader if you have a Windows 11 or Windows 10 device, opening a PDF is as easy as double-clicking on the file or dragging and dropping the file into the Microsoft Edge window. Once the PDF is open, you can use the toolbar at the top of the screen to navigate through the document, zoom in or out, and search for specific text.
How to edit blank fields and add text to a PDF in Microsoft Edge
Did you know that you can also fill-in the blank fields on a PDF using Microsoft Edge? Instead of printing the form, filling it out by hand, and scanning it back to your PC, fill out the PDF’s blank fields directly in your browser. Here's how:
- Open the PDF in Microsoft Edge.
- Select Edit in the toolbar at the top of the screen.
- Select the blank fields you want to edit and type in your text.
- Save the edited PDF by selecting Save in the top toolbar.
It's that simple! You can also add new text, images, and shapes to the PDF by selecting Add notes in the top toolbar. This is perfect for highlighting important information or making annotations on a document.
How to print a PDF from Microsoft Edge
Printing a PDF from Microsoft Edge is just as easy as opening and editing one. Save time from downloading and searching for the file on your desktop by printing the PDF directly from your browser. Here's how:
- Select Print in the toolbar at the top of the screen.
- Select your printer and any print options you want to use.
- Choose Print and your PDF will start printing.
How to save a PDF in Microsoft Edge
There might be times you’ll want to save your PDF after you’ve made edits and printed a paper copy. To save a PDF in Microsoft Edge:
- Select Save in the toolbar at the top of the screen.
- Choose where you want to save the PDF and give it a name.
- Select Save and your PDF will be saved to the location you selected.
Save time by using the built-in Microsoft Edge PDF reader
Using the Microsoft Edge PDF reader is a simple and easy way to view, edit, print, and save PDFs without the need for third-party software. It's perfect for boosting your productivity and getting things done quickly and efficiently. So next time you need to work with a PDF, try using the built-in PDF reader in Microsoft Edge. Start using the PDF reader by downloading Microsoft Edge today.
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The best PDF reader for Windows in 2023: top free and paid options
Our picks for the best PDF reader for Windows for every budget
- Best overall
- Best file access speed
- Best budget
- Best online
- Best Windows exclusive
- Best enterprise
- Best for beginners
- How to choose
- How we test
1. Best overall 2. Best file access speed 3. Best budget 4. Best online 5. Best Windows exclusive 6. Best enterprise 7. Best for beginners 8. FAQs 9. How to choose 10. How we test
Searching for the best PDF reader for Windows? PDF document files have become ubiquitous in our digital world, and we often need to do more than just view PDF documents. While most modern browsers enable basic PDF viewing, they often lack the advanced functionalities that the best PDF readers provide.
The ability to edit, sign, or collaborate on a PDF is just as crucial. The best PDF editor apps will give you more direct control of PDF documents, with even the best free PDF editor now able to do almost as much as a paid option. These solutions take PDF readers to a whole new level, offering an array of tools to enhance collaboration, productivity, and the visual comfort of reading on-screen.
As we've reviewed the top PDF tools on the market, including the best PDF readers for Mac and the best PDF readers for Android , we've tested the best PDF readers for Windows just as thoroughly. We've evaluated the various options based on software performance, reading clarity, user experience, platform availability, and cost-effectiveness. Notably, for those looking to combine multiple documents, we've also pinpointed which software boasts the best PDF merger tools . Finally, we especially took the importance of security features into account.
And, if seamless document access across devices is your priority, consider integrating with the best cloud storage solutions so you can read your documents from any Windows laptop or PC.
The best PDF reader for Windows in 2023
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
Below you'll find full write-ups for each of our picks for the best PDF reader for Windows. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.
The Best PDF reader for Windows overall
1. adobe acrobat dc.
Our expert review:
Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.
Software giant Adobe not only pioneered the PDF, but it has also created a highly popular and comprehensive application that lets you manage such documents effectively. Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud provides you with the tools to download, convert and edit PDF files across computers, tablets and smartphones.
With the software, you can use your smartphone camera to capture and turn any document into a high-quality PDF. There’s also a new file comparison tool, which quickly and accurately analyzes two PDF files to find any differences. That could be handy if you’re looking to compare different drafts of the same piece of work.
What’s more, when you create a PDF document using Acrobat, you’re sent a smart file that you can edit, sign, share and search. You can even use the built-in preview feature to see what the document will look like on different screen sizes and resolutions. And if you’re writing a letter or have been sent an important form, you can add your signature by using the Acrobat app on a touchscreen-enabled device.
If you’re interested in purchasing Acrobat, there are two offerings to pick from. Acrobat Standard DC which lets you create, edit and sign PDF documents. The subscription only works on Windows devices. Meanwhile, Acrobat Pro DC gives you access to all the listed features – plus it’s also compatible with Mac devices.
If you strictly need a free PDF reader for Windows, there's also Adobe Acrobat Reader DC . It's less effective than Acrobat DC, with ads, but it should serve you well.
Read our full Adobe Acrobat DC review .
The Best Windows PDF reader for fast file access
pdfFiller is an online PDF editor built for creating and altering documents in your browser, with desktop apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
If you only need to view a PDF file, you can upload it from the homepage, give it a second or three to process, and you’re in. You don’t even need to sign in to use the free PDF reader. From here, you can also edit text - it effectively works like a word processor, making it very intuitive to use. At the top of the screen are a few more tools found in PDF readers and editors, including form filling, file conversion, the blackout redaction tool, and digital signatures (auto-generated, uploaded, or drawn by your own hand).
Beyond the free Windows PDF reader, everything else is locked behind subscription plans. To save or export any document changes requires sign up and selecting one of three monthly or annual subscriptions. Enterprise pricing for teams of 10+ is available.
Overall, one of the best PDF readers for Windows, Mac, mobile devices, and in the browser - documents are free to read and no sign up is necessary. But for additional tools, advanced or otherwise, a subscription will be needed.
Read our full pdfFiller review .
The Best budget PDF reader for Windows
3. foxit pdf editor.
Foxit has developed a sophisticated PDF management app, with PDF Editor (formerly PhantomPDF) being pushed as a tool that goes well beyond PDF viewing, providing a range of cloud-based tools that allow you to create and customize documents at scale.
Described by the company as a ‘transformative’ PDF application, the software lets you create and modify PDFs while providing a plethora of sophisticated management, security and collaboration features. For instance, you can manage who has access to documents, track who opens them, notify readers of document updates and send document requests to your colleagues.
This software also sports a whole suite of useful editing tools. You can change the layout of a document, rearrange paragraphs, columns and pages, or make your documents look more professional by including stamps, watermarks, headers, footers and so forth. You can also merge PDFs and split PDFs into new files.
Should you be mulling a purchase, the good news is that there’s a free trial so you can test out the software first.
Read our full Foxit PDF review .
The Best online PDF reader for Windows
4. soda pdf.
Soda PDF is one of the best PDF readers for Windows for both individual users and businesses. It offers a full suite of cloud-based PDF tools through either home or premium editions.
When we tested out Soda PDF, we discovered a versatile online PDF editor with plenty of tools for document management, whether it's tweaking minor typos or more or less starting from scratch.
With the software, you’re able to review, annotate, send and track documents from a single comprehensive user interface. You can also connect Soda PDF to Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Evernote and Box accounts, which makes it easier to download and distribute documents.
Another great thing about the application is that it comes with a batch processing feature, allowing you to create and convert multiple PDF files at the same time. There’s an e-sign function as well, which you can use to prepare and send PDF-based contracts to clients or partners. What’s more, you can track and get reminders on all the documents you distribute through the app.
Plus, if you use a range of devices within your company, the software works not just for Windows, but also Mac, Linux, iOS and Android devices.
Overall, PDF power-users prepared to pay for the premium features will gain the most from Soda PDF. And it's certainly not one for those looking for an offline PDF reader.
Read our full Soda PDF review .
The Best PDF reader for Windows only
5. winzip pdf pro.
WinZip PDF Pro is so dedicated to viewing PDFs that it's the first thing you'll see when you open this top PDF reader for Windows.
In fact, when we reviewed the software, we found this constant nudge to make it our default PDF reader on Windows, that it started getting mildly irritating. Still, overlook this minor grip and you'll find a stellar PDF reader fully loaded with tools for editing, manipulating documents. This isn't just a PDF reader,
You'll find all the usual tools - and simply, too, since the interface is clean and elegant navigation is incredibly easy. Overall, we were left with the impression that anything we needed to do with our PDF documents was largely possible in WinZip PDF Pro.
Hardware requirements are minimal, so it's an ideal PDF reader for low-end PCs.
Read our full WinZip PDF Pro review .
The Best Windows PDF reader with enterprise-level tools
6. kofax power pdf.
Another notable PDF management software platform for individuals and enterprises is Power PDF, an easy-to-use piece of software that lets you create, edit, annotate and share documents quickly. It’s used by a number of large organizations and governments.
There are several versions of the software, all of which offer different features. The Standard edition lets you create, convert, combine and edit documents, fill in forms and share PDF files. It also lets you turn documents like invoices and receipts into PDFs through a scanning and OCR feature.
Meanwhile, the Power PDF Advanced package is targeted at business users. While offering all the same features of the Standard edition, it comes with collaboration, security and redaction abilities. You can access documents anywhere and at any time through the cloud, too.
Enterprises can get a quote for volume licensing of the software as well. By going down this route, firms get one deployment package with a single license.
Read our full Kofax Power PDF review .
The Best Windows PDF reader for beginners
7. perfect pdf ultimate.
SoftXpansion has developed Perfect PDF Ultimate , which is described by the firm as an ‘all-in-one’ application for processing PDF files. Available to buy direct from the Microsoft Store, this user-friendly software is perfect for viewing, editing and creating PDF documents.
Features include the ability to edit page content, generate interactive forms, comment on existing documents, as well as being able to convert, combine and split files. You can also add e-signatures and encryption to important business files.
Thanks to its simple and intuitive interface, Perfect PDF Ultimate is a great app for beginners, especially if they’re looking to dabble with PDF editing. However, the software could feel too basic for some users. There’s also no option to convert PDFs to other formats or vice versa, so you may need to consider other options if conversion is a priority.
Best PDF reader for Windows: FAQs
Should i use a pdf editor or a pdf reader on windows.
Depending on what you intend to do with your documents, you may find you need either a PDF reader or a fully featured PDF editor.
PDF readers on Windows 10 and 11 come with plenty of tools for viewing files on your desktop. They also feature online collaboration tools, letting you share, comment, annotate, and collaborate. And the very best PDF readers for Windows 10 and 11 also come equipped with productivity-boosting tools.
PDF editors for Windows have a lot more tools, specifically for creating, editing, and converting documents into other formats. They also include features like the best PDF converter and esign software.
If you only intend to view PDF files and make notes for the team, a PDF reader (sometimes billed as a PDF viewer) should be more than enough. If you're regularly making and working on PDFs, PDF editing software will likely serve your needs better.
Alternative PDF readers and editors to consider
PDF Exchange is a free PDF editor that's rich with features. Aside from being able to view, create, and edit PDFs, there are additional options to OCR and digital sign documents. PDF-XChange Editor Plus is an upgraded version which allows for the creation and editing of PDF forms. While PDF Exchange Editor is freeware, you can pay a nominal fee to get a version with support.
Nitro PDF Reader is another free PDF reader that allows users to read, edit, and annotate PDF files. Nitro PDF offers a couple of key differences to a lot of other free PDF software, though. The first is that it allows for the creation and editing of PDF forms. The other is that it has a sleek and simple interface that uses tabbed menus, making it look like it took inspiration from Microsoft Word in presentation. Sharing and signing are also available.
STDU Viewer - aka, Scientific and Technical Document Utility Viewer - is a freeware viewer that works with multiple file formats. It aims to be an all-in-one viewer for most common file formats used in scientific documentation, such as PDF, TIFF, DjVu, XPS, JBIG2, WWF, FB2, TXT, TCR, PalmDoc(PDB), MOBI, AZW, EPub, DCX, as well as offers a range of supported image file types. It comes with a tabbed interface, multilingual support, and can also work with multi-layered text documents and convert them to single layer document file.
Adobe Reader DC is probably the most famous read-only viewer for PDF files, not least because it's free and has often been integrated with web browsers. The positives, apart from being free, include the stated aim of making PDFs viewable regardless of the operating system used. The negative, of course, is that you can't edit and annotate files in the free viewer and you will need one of the options above to do that.
How to choose the best PDF reader for Windows for you
When it comes to choosing the best PDF reader on Windows for you, you’ll want to gauge your needs correctly to select the right product. If you don’t often use PDFs, then it’ll be smart to get a low-cost or free PDF reader with limited functionality. But if you’re regularly working with PDFs and even need PDF editing or file conversion, then a more powerful software will be helpful.
For those who read many physical documents and need to scan and store them, a PDF reader with Optical Character Recognition ( OCR ) feature will be quite handy. In case you plan to access sensitive documents through the PDF reader, you’ll want an application that is secure and offers advanced security features. It's also worth checking for the best e-signature software and best online collaboration tools that are now a mainstay of the office.
While Adobe dominates the PDF field - the company invented the format, after all - we have tested out the best Adobe Acrobat alternatives , too.
How we test the best PDF readers for Windows
To test the best PDF readers for Windows, we analyzed the features and performance of many applications. We looked at how quickly the software would load PDFs, especially if the file had a lot of images or was large in size. We considered the usability and simplicity of the app interface, and whether it was suited for beginners or experts.
We evaluated free and paid options, and checked if the apps were for online or offline use. For paid software, we looked at their free trials and how comprehensive the trials were. We also looked into the pricing plans, and whether there were discounts on bulk purchases.
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Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.
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Download Free PDF Reader for Windows 10
October 2, 2023 by Hung Nguyen
Get the best PDF reader for Windows 10 for free. It also comes with tools to convert, compress, and modify PDFs.
Are you looking to download the very best PDF reader for your Windows 10 computer? We have just the solution.
Smallpdf features the most comprehensive PDF tool suite on the market, including a new and revamped PDF reader. Our Windows 10 PDF reader features lightning-fast loading and clutter-free navigation for you to easily view PDF documents—offline. But reading is just the beginning. Our PDF reader offers a handy suite of tools to work with your files and discover how versatile PDF can really be.
The Smallpdf PDF Reader for Windows 10
How To Download PDF Reader for Windows 10 for Free
Go to the PDF Reader download page .
Click “Download App” at the top.
Install Smallpdf on your Windows computer.
And that is all there is. Enjoy your new PDF reader.
What is Smallpdf?
We’re the most popular online PDF software with a mission to make PDF easy for everyone.
Since our launch in 2013, we’ve created more than 20 different online PDF tools to convert, compress, and modify PDF documents. We even have tools to sign PDFs, add passwords to protect them, or unlock password-protected PDFs!
Millions of people have used our tools over the years, and we’ve been hard at work to continuously improve our service for the people of the internet. What started as a means to make big files smaller—hence Smallpdf—has become a full tool suite to make working with digital documents easy. We’ve even branched out to processing other file formats, including Word, JPG, PowerPoint, and even Excel spreadsheets.
And with our PDF reader for Windows 10, we aim to enable an even more streamlined digital document workflow.
Features of the PDF Reader
The majority of people use offline PDF viewers for reading PDFs. However, your experience doesn’t have to end there. Before you upload, share, or email your PDF, remember to check out all the tools that the Smallpdf PDF Reader has to offer, including:
- PDF compression: Reduce the size of your PDFs for easy sharing.
- PDF conversion: Convert your PDFs to and from Word, JPG, Excel, and PPT.
- Merge PDFs: Combine multiple PDFs into one document.
- File security: Unlock and protect PDFs with an encrypted password.
Features of the Smallpdf PDF Reader
Once you open a PDF document in reading mode, you can click the colorful “Tools” icon to see all the tools available for that particular document.
What Can I Do With the PDF Reader?
Once you download and install our PDF reader from your web browser, the opportunities to work with the different types of PDFs are endless.
Let’s say you have a contract or agreement on hand; feel free to convert it, fill it out as you need, and compress the final document for email attachment. On the other hand, if you need to share many PDFs at once, you can merge multiple PDF files into one—to save everyone time.
Other than the options to convert and edit PDFs, we also have an online storage service. This may be useful for those that are always on the go. Wherever you are, you’ll have your files at hand at any time—provided you have an internet connection. To get started, please create a free account on our website.
From there, you can upload different types of PDFs, images, and Microsoft Office documents via the “Documents” tab. Saving documents in the cloud is becoming increasingly popular since many of us now work from home.
Operating System Requirements
Although this article focuses on Windows 10, our PDF reader also works on older operating systems. Of course, we recommend the most up-to-date version, but most likely, you wouldn’t have to move to Windows 10 to use our PDF reader.
You’ll still be able to convert multiple PDF files to other file types, compress them, and, of course, quickly open them for an optimal PDF viewing experience. As the app processes documents offline, you’ll only need a working internet connection to download and install the app and log in to your account if you’re a Pro user.
Why Download Smallpdf’s PDF Reader for Windows 10
We know what you’re probably thinking: There are so many PDF readers out there. There is the Foxit reader, PDF XChange Editor, or the godparent of PDFs, Adobe Acrobat.
However, most of these apps come with high price tags. Adobe, as a PDF reader, may be free, but as soon as you want to use any of their PDF tools, you’ll be asked to register.
Smallpdf, on the other hand, offers some tools for free, like Basic compression, password protection, and unlocking PDFs. You can also try Smallpdf Pro for free with our 7-day free trial . The trial unlocks all our features and tools, both online and offline.
There’s also the free Smallpdf Chrome Extension , mobile apps , and many more online tools for you to experiment with once you get your hands on the Smallpdf Windows 10 PDF reader. If you have any questions, reach out to our support team via the Help section of our site. We’re available 24/7 for your PDF-related needs.
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The 20 Best Free PDF Readers of 2023
Published: August 11, 2023
Even though they’re over 25 years old, PDFs are still one of the main types of documents on the internet. Whether you’re trying to access your W-2, a contract, or an ebook, it’ll probably be a PDF.
But to view these important documents, you need to download a PDF reader on your computer.
There are hundreds of PDF readers, and some can cost you almost a thousand dollars per year, so we sifted through the internet to find the best free PDF readers you can download online.
Below, we curated 20 free PDF readers whose capabilities range from only viewing PDFs to creating, editing, and securing them.
The 20 Best Free PDF Readers
The 11 best free pdf readers for windows and mac, 1. foxit reader.
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2. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
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Set Acrobat Reader or Acrobat your default PDF program on Windows 10
Microsoft Edge is the default program for opening PDF files on Windows 10. In four easy steps, you can set Acrobat or Acrobat Reader your default PDF program.
How to set Acrobat Reader or Acrobat your default PDF program
Watch a short video tutorial below on how to set Acrobat Reader as the default program for opening PDF files on Windows. Alternatively, follow the steps below the video to do the same.
Steps to make Acrobat Reader or Acrobat your default PDF program:
Right-click the thumbnail of a PDF file, and then choose Properties .
In the file's Properties dialog box, click Change .
If your computer settings are managed by a system administrator, you may not see the Change button. Sign in using an administrator account or contact your administrator to get the button enabled.
Do one of the following:
If you have Acrobat or both Acrobat and Acrobat Reader, choose Adobe Acrobat and click OK .
If you have only Acrobat Reader, choose Adobe Acrobat Reader and click OK .
In the Properties dialog box, click OK .
Now, the PDF files open in Acrobat Reader or Acrobat.
Frequently asked questions
Microsoft Edge is the default program for opening PDF files on Windows 10. You can change the default program for PDF files to open it in a program that’s more suitable and feature-rich, such as Acrobat Reader or Acrobat.
Adobe Acrobat Reader software is the free , trusted standard for viewing, printing, signing, and annotating PDFs. It's the only PDF viewer that can open and interact with all types of PDF content – including forms and multimedia.
Adobe Acrobat software is the complete PDF solution for working anywhere with your most important documents. It provides simple and consistent user experience across desktop, web, and mobile-including touch-enabled devices.
Follow the links below to get Acrobat Reader or Acrobat:
- Download all-new Acrobat Reader
- Download Acrobat trial
You need either Acrobat Reader or Acrobat. If you have both, Adobe recommends making Acrobat the default program for opening PDF files.
You can choose your installed version of Reader or Acrobat as the default program for opening PDF files. Adobe recommends upgrading previous versions of Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat to the latest version - Acrobat Reader | Acrobat .
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Best Free PDF Readers of 2023
Table of contents, let’s pdf-ine your choices.
PDF (Portable Document Format) has become a universally accepted file format for sharing documents, mainly due to its ability to maintain content structure across different devices. Looking for the best free PDF reader? Well, there are plenty of options available. But, what is a PDF reader exactly, and are they always free? Let’s dive in.
What is a PDF Reader?
A PDF reader is software that allows you to view, and sometimes edit, the content of PDF files. Some readers offer advanced features like the ability to annotate, highlight text, and add sticky notes to the document.
Are PDF Readers Free?
Yes, many PDF readers are available for free. However, the advanced features might require a paid version.
Viewer, Reader, Writer: What’s the Difference?
- PDF Viewer : Enables you to view PDF files.
- PDF Reader : Allows reading and often comes with additional features like annotations.
- PDF Writer : Enables you to create PDFs from other file formats like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
Adobe Acrobat Reader – Is It Free?
Yes, there’s a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader called Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. It’s one of the world’s most trusted free PDF viewers.
The World’s Most Trusted Free PDF Viewer?
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC wins the title. It’s not just a viewer but allows you to annotate PDFs, sign PDF forms, and more. The World’s Most Trusted Free PDF Viewer: Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is the world’s most trusted free PDF viewer. It offers an array of features including the ability to annotate PDFs, read and fill PDF forms, and even sign them digitally. Its compatibility across multiple operating systems like Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS makes it the go-to choice for many users globally.
The Best Free Version of Adobe Reader:
The best free version of Adobe Reader is Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. This free version provides robust features for both novice and experienced users, including the ability to view, annotate, and sign PDF documents. It’s compatible with multiple operating systems and integrates seamlessly with cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox.
Best PDF Reader for Smartphones?
While several PDF readers work excellently on smartphones, platforms like Android and iOS have their preferred choices. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC remains a top contender, thanks to its user-friendly interface.
The World’s Most Trusted Free PDF Viewer:
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is the world’s most trusted free PDF viewer. It offers an array of features including the ability to annotate PDFs, read and fill PDF forms, and even sign them digitally. Its compatibility across multiple operating systems like Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS makes it the go-to choice for many users globally.
The Top 14 Best Free PDF Readers:
- Speechify Text to Speech is a groundbreaking tool that has revolutionized the way individuals consume text-based content. By leveraging advanced text-to-speech technology, Speechify transforms written text into lifelike spoken words, making it incredibly useful for those with reading disabilities, visual impairments, or simply those who prefer auditory learning. Its adaptive capabilities ensure seamless integration with a wide range of devices and platforms, offering users the flexibility to listen on-the-go.
- Top Features : High-Quality Voices, Seamless Integration, Speed Control, Offline Listening, and text highlighting .
- Adobe’s Acrobat Reader DC is the free version of its paid software and one of the most trusted PDF readers around.
- Top 5 Features : Annotate PDF, Sign PDF forms, Compatibility across Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS, Cloud Storage integration with Google Drive and Dropbox, Read and edit PDF files.
- Sumatra PDF is a free, open-source PDF reader for Windows. It’s known for its simplicity and lightweight design.
- Top 5 Features : View PDF, ePub, and other file types, Bookmarks, Compatibility with Windows, Fast reading experience, Open-source.
- This is a feature-rich PDF viewer and editor. It offers more customizable features than most free PDF readers and is available for Windows.
- Top 5 Features : Annotate PDFs, OCR capabilities, Sticky notes, Highlight text, Create PDFs from scanned documents.
- Foxit is another strong contender in the PDF reader arena, providing a wide range of functionalities.
- Top 5 Features : Annotate PDF, Form filling, Cloud storage integration with Google Drive and Dropbox, Digital signatures, PDF editing capabilities.
- Nitro offers both a free and a paid version. The free version provides a good set of features for the average user.
- Top 5 Features : Create PDFs, View PDFs, Digital signatures, Form filling, Advanced editing features.
- Slim PDF is as slim as its name suggests, offering a minimalist and straightforward PDF reading experience.
- Top 5 Features : Read PDF, Intuitive user interface, Minimalist design, Password protection, Compatibility with Windows.
- Microsoft’s built-in web browser also functions as a basic PDF reader, offering integration with other Microsoft Office tools.
- Top 5 Features : Read PDF, Annotate PDF, Integrated with Windows, Form Filling, View and edit Microsoft Word and Excel files.
- Specifically designed for Android, this PDF reader is simple but effective for mobile users.
- Top 5 Features : Read PDF, Android compatibility, Annotate PDF, Highlight text, Form filling.
- Apple’s native PDF reader offers a range of features for MacOS users.
- Top 5 Features : Read PDF, Annotate PDF, Sign PDF, MacOS compatibility, Digital signatures.
- A versatile, open-source PDF reader for Linux users, Okular supports a multitude of file formats.
- Top 5 Features : Read PDF, Linux compatibility, Annotations, Digital signatures, Support for multiple file formats.
- A lightweight PDF reader with basic functionalities, MuPDF is open-source and available for multiple operating systems.
- Top 5 Features : Read PDF, Open-source, Light-weight, Multiple operating system compatibility, Support for various file types.
- Soda PDF offers a user-friendly interface and good PDF editing features.
- Top 5 Features : Edit PDF files, Create PDFs, Annotate PDF, Convert PDFs, Cloud storage integration.
- This mobile-friendly PDF reader offers a range of features, including the ability to annotate and sign PDFs.
- Top 5 Features : Annotate PDF, Form filling, iOS and Android compatibility, Digital signatures, Cloud storage integration.
- A lesser-known but effective PDF reader, Expert PDF Reader offers basic PDF reading and editing features.
- Top 5 Features : Read PDF, Edit PDF files, Annotate PDF, Highlight text, Form filling.
- Is there a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader? Yes, it’s Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.
- What’s the difference between a PDF viewer, reader, and writer? A viewer lets you view PDFs, a reader offers features like annotations, and a writer allows you to create PDFs.
SEO Title: “Top 14 Free PDF Readers: Detailed Review & Features – 2023 Guide”
SEO Description: Dive into the best free PDF readers of 2023. Explore features, compatibility, and get answers to all your PDF-related queries.
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Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.
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PDF Reader for Windows 10
- V 188.8.131.5223
- Security Status
A simple PDF reader for your files!
PDF Reader is a lightweight PDF viewer, which lets users view, read, save, and print Adobe PDF files . Designed specifically for Windows 10 users, this PDF reader free software loads extremely fast and opens almost all documents within seconds. The Adobe reader free download for Windows 10 comes with a simple interface that hasn’t yet adopted a modern look. The program is laden with features, which allow for easy viewing and printing of PDF documents. While many applications are capable of opening PDFs, this one does the job by remaining light on system resources.
PDF reader for Windows 10 is lightweight and free
You’re likely to come across PDF files while working, researching, or surfing the web. In case you haven’t downloaded Adobe Acrobat Reader DC on your computer, your browser saves a copy of the PDF onto your hard drive. The document doesn’t open directly because Windows Microsoft Office - Software doesn’t come with a PDF viewer. To open the saved copy, you will either have to install a program or visit a website like Microsoft Edge to view the contents of the file. However, if you download PDF reader, you can easily view files on your PC provided it has a Windows 10 operating system.
This PDF software download for Windows 10 has been written in high-performance native code and is not a Metro UI application. Therefore, when you open or view a document with a .pdf format from any folder, you don’t have to switch from the classic Windows look to Microsoft’s new Metro User Interface. The reason why avoiding Metro UI transition is essential is that when opening PDFs, the tool hardly consumes system resources . It ensures that the system doesn’t slow down even when a user opens a large PDF file. This tool is also one of the very few PDF viewer tools that always remain light on the system.
Installation is an easy process
When you go for the PDF reader download, the setup takes place in a matter of minutes and creates a shortcut on the desktop. You can either click on the icon and open files from inside the software or run it directly from your favorite browser. The PDF software free download for Windows 10 comes with a built-in design, which lets you open PDFs directly instead of first saving them on your computer. The only requirement is that you turn PDF Reader into your default viewer after completing the setup. In some cases, you may need to install an additional plugin to open a PDF in your browser.
Return to the classic interface
A thing that jumps out when you open PDF Reader is its display. The interface of the app is quite dated, but it does remind one of simpler times. It has two top panels, one with opening, printing, and similar options, and the other containing different tools that make accessing the information on documents more accessible.
Adjust the view of any page
One of the great things about this PDF download viewer tool is that it lets users adjust the view of PDF pages. Users can get a better look at small segments , images, and charts by zooming in or out, rotating the page clockwise or anti-clockwise, or switching to full-screen. You can find these tools on the secondary-panel of the free PDF reader for Windows 10.
Navigate quickly and easily
The PDF viewer for Windows 10 free download lets you present information in the form of slides. You can also put together a proper slideshow using content from different PDF files. Apart from that, you can quickly navigate to the first, last, next, previous, or any specific page very quickly. Its design ensures that no matter which page you skip to, your computer stays as is and doesn’t slow down.
Copy text and images
While you can’t edit documents using this free PDF Reader download for Windows 10, you can copy texts and images. The toolbar on the software comes with a cut and copy feature , which lets you select the segment you wish to copy and paste it elsewhere. The features work in a similar manner on images, charts, and graphs. You can also use this app to save a copy of PDF files or print copies directly from the dashboard.
Upgrade to Pro for more features
When trying to close this Adobe reader for Windows 10, you will get a pop-up explaining the pro features of the app. One of the primary pro features is converting the format of any files. Documents opened in the PDF Reader can be saved in a different file format like JPEG, TXT, GIF, TIFF, and other such formats. Pro version is also devoid of promotional messaging, information about other products, and pro version reminders.
Can I edit a PDF on my computer for free?
If your primary goal is to edit documents or fill forms, you can either do so by using any of the available online PDF editing websites or explore Adobe Reader 10.1 free download, which lets you edit files until the end of the trial period. Another alternative to PDF Reader for Windows is Sejda PDF Desktop , which is a free Windows app that lets users modify, format, view, and edit PDF documents.
Should I download PDF Reader for Windows 10?
If your device has a Windows 10 operating system, you can benefit from downloading this software. The app ensures that regardless of the size of the document, your PC continues functioning at an optimal level . It doesn't slow down your browsing experience and opens PDF files in your favorite browser. Available in the United States, this app is perfect for viewing PDF files without having to save anything!
Open, view, and convert Adobe PDF files with a lightweight, speedy PDF reader
Open, read, view, review and print Adobe PDF files, and convert PDF to TXT, BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, WMF, EMF, EPS, TIFF with this lightweight yet full-featured free PDF viewer. The software supports zoom in and zoom out , page rotation, and PDF slide show, and it can be added to Windows 10 as a built-in PDF browser . Designed and certificated for Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit and 32-bit.
- Works on both 32-bit and 64-bit computers
- Lets users open PDF files in their favorite browsers
- Allows conversion of documents into slides
- Offers save and print functionality
- Interface looks dated
- Pro Version is required to convert files into different formats
- Only works on Windows 10 operating systems
- Doesn’t let users edit PDF files
User reviews about PDF Reader for Windows 10
by Christia Comia
good, efficient, easy to use for all office documents specially for business purposes and legal aspect.
by Praveen B
not up to the mark., needs to update. page isn't displaying fully when open a file.
by Ayalew Talema
Adobe PDf reader is very efficient and effective system to manage files in any device
by sheihu bene
best app of all time , i recommend it for everyone to download it
by Cristi Craciun
zoom not working. Zoom doesn't work so I didn't continue to test it. For softonic: I couldn't read any opinion of the users (23 users- nobo dy comment any way?) More
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Laws concerning the use of this software vary from country to country. We do not encourage or condone the use of this program if it is in violation of these laws.
In Softonic we scan all the files hosted on our platform to assess and avoid any potential harm for your device. Our team performs checks each time a new file is uploaded and periodically reviews files to confirm or update their status. This comprehensive process allows us to set a status for any downloadable file as follows:
It’s extremely likely that this software program is clean.
What does this mean?
We have scanned the file and URLs associated with this software program in more than 50 of the world's leading antivirus services; no possible threat has been detected.
This software program is potentially malicious or may contain unwanted bundled software.
Why is the software program still available?
Based on our scan system, we have determined that these flags are possibly false positives .
What is a false positive?
It means a benign program is wrongfully flagged as malicious due to an overly broad detection signature or algorithm used in an antivirus program.
It’s highly probable this software program is malicious or contains unwanted bundled software.
Why is this software program no longer available in our Catalog?
Based on our scan system, we have determined that these flags are likely to be real positives.
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Adobe Acrobat Reader
The best pdf viewer just got better..
View, sign, collaborate on and annotate PDF files with our free Acrobat Reader software. And to easily edit and convert your PDFs into file formats like Excel and Word, try out PDF editor and converter Acrobat Pro.
See the difference between Acrobat Reader and Acrobat Pro.
The free global standard for reliably viewing, printing and sharing PDFs.
Our most comprehensive PDF solution with full convert and edit capabilities, advanced protection and powerful e-signature features.
View and print PDFs (including on small screens with Liquid Mode)
Print to PDF
Share and comment on PDFs
Edit PDF text and images
Convert PDFs into file types like Word, PowerPoint and Excel
PDF to Word
Compare PDFs and redact sensitive information
Send PDFs for signature
Send for signatures in bulk and track
Fill & Sign
Password protect PDFs
Add customised branding to agreements
Prepare a Form
Integrations with Microsoft 365
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Do even more with Acrobat Pro
Explore some of our PDF tools and features below.
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Annotate PDFs from anywhere.
Do more than just open and view PDF files . It's easy to annotate documents using sticky notes, type text directly onto the page, add bookmarks, highlight, underline or use strikethrough tools and even draw on the screen with a freehand drawing tool.
Connected to the Cloud for easy file access.
Acrobat is connected to Adobe Document Cloud, so you can work with your PDFs from anywhere. You can even access and store files in cloud storage solutions like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.
Take your PDFs to go with the Adobe Acrobat Reader mobile app.
This free PDF reader app lets you view, comment, fill in and sign PDF forms to help you move through your workflow quickly and efficiently.
Read text out loud for hard to read documents.
The read text out loud option helps guide you along any document that’s challenging to read.
Learn more about reading a PDF with read out loud
Do more with Acrobat Pro
The complete PDF productivity solution, compatible with Windows, Mac and all device types and operating systems. Edit, convert, share and sign PDF files anywhere, any time.
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Acrobat Pro - Free Trial Sticky Banner
Acrobat Reader is great for viewing PDFs. To edit your PDF files, try Acrobat Pro with a 7 day free trial.
To edit your PDF files, try Acrobat Pro with a 7 day free trial.