How do I open a PDF in Windows?

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

PDFTo open a pdf file in Windows, you need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader or an alternative PDF reader installed on your computer. Acrobat Reader is free and can be downloaded from the Adobe website.

Once you begin the download process, the Adobe website displays instructions for completing the download and installing the program. Follow those instructions to finish the installation. Once Adobe Reader is installed, you can open any PDF document using either of the methods in the following sections.

Open PDF file in the PDF reader

Open the Adobe Reader or any other PDF software program. Then, click on the File menu near the top on the left side of the window, select Open, and browse to the location of the PDF file you want to open. Select the file you want to open by clicking the file name, and then click the Open button to open the file.

Open PDF in Windows

Open the file from Windows Explorer

After a PDF reader is installed on a computer, any PDF file is associated with that reader and should open when you double-click on the file. Open Windows Explorer or My Computer and find the PDF file you want to open. Double-click on the PDF file name to open it in Adobe Reader or your PDF reader.

Opening PDF in Windows

Tip: If you've installed a new PDF reader, but your PDFs automatically open in another program, set your new program as the default PDF reader. Alternatively, right-click the file and choose Open with and select the PDF reader you want to use to open the file.

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