We all know that Microsoft Edge comes with an in-built PDF reader and Windows recommends using Microsoft Edge to read PDF files Online and Offline. Also, Microsoft Edge will be used as the default PDF reader in Windows 10. However, everyone has their own preference for the PDF reader to be used. Suppose, we change the PDF reader to say Acrobat Reader or any other PDF reader of our choice, we notice that after few days the file association for the PDF files will be changed to Microsoft Edge again. It can be very annoying as we have to change the file association again and again after few days.
In this article, we will be discussing different ways to fix Microsoft Edge from taking over file association for PDFs issues.
Fix 1: Rename the Microsoft Edge .exe files
Step 1: Open Windows Explorer using the shortcut Windows+E
Step 2:In the top -address bar paste the below location:
Step 3: Check if the file MicrosoftPdfReader.exe is present. If you find this file proceed with the next steps
Step 4: Take ownership of the folder. Refer to the link How to Take ownership of files in Windows 10
Step 5: Locate the files MicrosoftEdge.exe and MicrosoftEdgeCP.exe. Rename these two files to something else.
Step 6: Restart the system
NOTE: Although this method helps you fix the issue, this fix must be repeated after any major update is done to the Windows.
Fix 2: Ensure PDF Reader is Updated
For certain PDF Readers (like Acrobat Reader), the older versions had some issue registering in Windows 10. The issue resolved on updating the PDF readers to their current versions.
Fix 3: Changes in Settings
Step 1: Open the Run dialog by pressing the keys Windows and R together
Step 2: Type ms-settings:defaultapps, and Press OK
Step 3: In the Settings Window, Click on Choose default apps by file type option
Step 3: Scroll down and look for the program associated with the .pdf file type.
Step 4: Now, click on the program. Say, Microsoft Edge
Step 5: In the menu, choose the desired PDF viewer (say, Adobe Acrobat Reader), and press Enter
Fix 4: From Context Menu
Step 1: Right-Click on the PDF file, you wish to view.
Step 2: From the context menu, select Open With and then Choose another app
Step 3: From the window, select the required PDF viewer
Step 4: Tick the Always use this app to open .pdf files option
Step 5: Press OK
Fix 5: From Control Panel
Step 1: Open Run Dialog
Step 2: Type control panel and hit Enter
Step 3: Scroll down and click on Default Programs
Step 4: Click on Associate a filetype or protocol with a program
Step 5: Settings Window opens, click on Choose default apps by file type option
Step 6: Scroll down and look for the program associated with the .pdf file type.
Step 7: Now, click on the program. Say, Microsoft Edge
Step 8: In the menu, choose the desired PDF viewer (say, Adobe Acrobat Reader), and press Enter
Fix 6: Using Registry Settings
NOTE: You must be logged in as an Admin to do this change.
Step 1: Open run window pressing the keys Windows+r
Step 2: Type regedit and press Enter
Step 3: If you see the User Account Control window popping up, click on the Yes button
NOTE: Registry editing can have an adverse effect on the system even with the slightest mistake. It is advised to take the backup of the registry before proceeding. To take a backup, In the Registry Editor–> Go to File –> Export –> Save your Backup file.
Step 4: In the top bar, navigate to the following location
NOTE: At times copy-pasting the above location does not work. The key, Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_44.19041.964.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe might change in upcoming Edge versions
Step 5: Double-clik on .pdf option
Step 6: From the Edit String window, copy the value from the Value data section.
Step 7: Again, In the top bar, navigate to the following location
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\<Value Copied In Previous Step>
In this case, the location will be,
Step 8: Within this Registry Key we have to create two Registry String values named NoOpenWith and NoStaticDefaultVerb with empty values.
Step 9: For Creating the string values, Right-click anywhere in the right-hand side menu and then choose New –> String Value. Name it as NoOpenWith
Step 10: Repeat Steps 8,9 and create the string variable NoStaticDefaultVerb
Step 11: Close the Registry Editor.
Step 12: Now, choose the Default PDF program to be used in the system using the steps given in Fix 3.
Fix 7: Update Windows to version v1607
In case none of the above fixes work in your case just update Windows to version v1607 or beyond.
Microsoft has fixed this issue in Windows version v1607
We hope this has been informative. Thank you for Reading
Anusha Pai is a Software Engineer having a long experience in IT industry and having a passion to write.