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change the default PDF viewer on MAC

How to change the default PDF viewer on MAC in 2 Steps

Whether you use Windows or macOS (Mac), your computer will have a default software for opening and viewing PDF files. Microsoft Edge is the browser for Windows. Preview is available for Mac computers. The default PDF viewer on your computer is excellent for swiftly viewing or reading PDFs, but it is unlikely to be ideal for modifying or editing PDFs.

A PDF editor is required for anything more advanced, such as annotating, highlighting, and editing. A competent PDF editor can help you create, edit, convert, combine, OCR, and batch process PDFs. In this blog we are going to learn how to change your default pdf viewer on Mac.

Also learn, How to Reset Siri on Your iPhone, iPad, or Mac Quickly

How to Change Default PDF Viewer (Mac)

MacOS’s default PDF viewer is Preview. If you want to get the most out of your PDFs, you should consider investing in a Mac PDF editor.

Here’s the simplest way to change the default PDF viewer on your macOS computer:

Step 1: Open Finder

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Start by opening Finder on your Mac. This can be done by clicking on the Finder icon in the dock. Finder is where all your files and folders are organized, making it the starting point for changing your default PDF viewer.

Step 2: Locate a PDF File

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Once in Finder, find a PDF file type you wish to open. This can be any document with a `.pdf` extension that you have saved or downloaded onto your Mac. You can use the search bar at the top right corner to quickly locate a PDF file by typing “.pdf”.

Step 3: Right-Click on the PDF

After locating your PDF file, right-click on it. If you’re using a trackpad, you can also tap with two fingers to open the right-click menu. This action will bring up a context menu with various options.

If you’re more comfortable with keyboard shortcuts, you can achieve the same result by holding down the [command] key and clicking on the file.

Step 4: Click on ‘Get Info’

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From the context menu that appears, find and click on “Get Info”. This option will open a new window displaying detailed information about the PDF file, including its type, size, permissions, and more importantly, the application used to open it.

Step 5: Change Default PDF Viewer

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In the ‘Get Info’ window, look for the “Open with:” section. This part shows the current default application for opening PDF files. Click on the drop-down menu next to it to see a list of applications available on your Mac that can open PDF files.

Step 6: Select Your Preferred PDF Viewer

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From the drop-down menu, select the PDF viewer or editor you want to set as your default. This could be Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Acrobat, or any other PDF software you have installed.

If the application you want isn’t listed, you can click on “Other…” to find and select the application downloaded to your Mac.

Step 7: Apply to All

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Once you’ve selected your preferred PDF viewer, click on the “Change All…” button. This action will prompt a confirmation dialog box, asking if you are sure you want to change the default application for all documents with the extension “.pdf”.

Step 8: Confirm Your Choice

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To finalise your choice, click on “Continue” in the confirmation dialog to change to new PDF Viewer. This will apply your preferred PDF viewer as the default for all PDF files, ensuring that any PDF file you open in the future will automatically open with your Preferred application.

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By following these steps, you can easily change the default PDF viewer on your Mac.

Whether for work, school, or personal use, setting the right default PDF reader can enhance your productivity and make your PDF viewing experience more efficient.

More Mac Resources


While the default viewer on Mac OS is adequate for simply reading PDFs, engaging in more complex interactions with your documents—such as adding text, editing, or highlighting—necessitates the use of a specialized PDF editor.

To elevate your document handling capabilities, it’s wise to opt for a user-friendly PDF editor and designate it as your default PDF viewer.

By implementing this change, not only do you optimize your ability to view PDF files, but you also unlock a higher level of efficiency and functionality, making every interaction with PDF documents more productive.

Whether you’re using Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Reader, or any other advanced PDF software, having it set as your preferred PDF viewer on Mac OS can significantly improve how you engage with PDFs, from basic viewing to complex editing.

Raman Singh

Raman is a digital marketing expert with over 8 years of experience. He has a deep understanding of various digital marketing strategies, including affiliate marketing. His expertise lies in technical SEO, where he leverages his skills to optimize websites for search engines and drive organic traffic. Raman is passionate about staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and sharing his knowledge to help businesses succeed in the online world.