How to Disable Microsoft Edge PDF Reader on Windows 10?

Issue: Please tell me if it’s possible to disable Edge PDF reader? I prefer using Adobe reader, but Edge PDF reader blocks Adobe and sets itself as default all the time.

Solved Answer

stop Microsoft Edge PDF Reader from settings itself to default

Many people complain about Microsoft’s decision to set Microsoft Edge PDF Reader by default. While this tool is handy as it supports PDF files and allows viewing them. However, most of the Windows 10 users opt for using Adobe Reader or another third-party PDF reader because they enable both viewing and editing PDF files, as well as a handful of other functions. Luckily, it’s not difficult to change the default PDF reader via Default Apps. The problem is that Microsoft Edge PDF reader is reset as a default after the installation of Windows Updates, System Restore or other important system changes. The culprit of this inconvenience is related to the Windows 10 File association protection mechanism, which reverts default Windows 10 set when the particular software inserts irrelevant/ unrecognizable registry to the UserChoice directory. If you cannot disable Edge PDF reader or if Action Center always delivers a notification that Microsoft Edge PDF reader has been reset to default automatically, you will have to change the situation manually.

How to Disable Microsoft Edge PDF Reader on Windows 10?

Solution 1. Make Adobe as a default PDF reader

  • Download Adobe Reader and install it.
  • Once done, press Windows key + I to open Settings.
  • Click System and open Default Apps (on the left pane).
  • At the bottom of the page, find Choose default apps by file type option and click it.
  • Find .pdf on the left pane.
  • Click Microsoft Edge next to .pdf and select Adobe Reader instead.

Solution 2. Use an elevated Command Prompt

If the previous method failed to disable Microsoft Edge PDF reader, you would have to initiate a registry hack to stop this reader from replacing third-party programs by force. For this purpose, you have to:

  • Right-click Windows key and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Copy and paste for /f “usebackq” %i in (`reg query hkcr /f “AppX”`) do reg query %i\DefaultIcon | find “MicrosoftEdgePDF” && reg add %i /v NoOpenWith /t REG_SZ /f command in the Command Prompt window and press Enter.

IMPORTANT: before initiating any changes on the Windows Registries, it’s advisable to create registry backups. This is a precautionary measure to prevent the permanent registry damage, which may cause various errors or even system’s crash. If you don’t know how to create backups, please refer to this post.

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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