How To Fix Microsoft Edge Won't Open PDF Files - Windows Basics


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

How To Fix Microsoft Edge Won't Open PDF Files

The Microsoft Edge web browser has a native PDF viewer in Windows 10, but users encounter various problems when trying to open an internet link or a specific file. There are some specific errors that appear on the screen when the file is not open. There can be some issues where the troubleshooter steps can help fix Microsoft Edge won't open PDF files.

Older versions of Windows like 7, 8 or 8.1 don't have a pre-installed PDF viewer by default. Since the release of Windows 10, it is not necessary for people to install third-party tools to view PDF files, as PDF viewing functionality has been integrated into Microsoft Edge. Therefore, after installing Windows 10, Microsoft Edge not only appears as the default browser, but also has a built-in PDF viewer.

Therefore, when people click on the PDF file, the system will automatically launch MS Edge. Unfortunately, many people have reported problems with Edge when trying to open PDF files. Usually this problem occurs after installing Windows 10 Creators Update or sometimes after regular update.

How to fix Microsoft Edge Won’t Open PDF Files?

Edge may not open PDFs if they contain data for accessibility technologies, such as screen readers like Narrator. However, it could be due to other causes, such as Edge cache or malware infection. So, before you panic or install a third-party PDF viewer, check with Reimage or your anti-malware tool of choice and restart Microsoft Edge.

Also, you should clear Edge's browsing history. If none of these steps help you to fix MS Edge not opening PDF file, check if the PDF file you are trying to open is corrupted. To do this, try opening an alternative browser. The last thing you can do if none of these methods work for you is to try different PDF viewers until another solution is released.

A. End the Task and try opening it again

1. Hold the keys Windows Keys + X together. Open Task Manager

2. . Go to the Details tab.

3. Locate the msedge.exe and right-click on it.

4. Click on the End process tree.

5. All the Edge windows will be closed.

Now try opening the Edge again and check if you can open the PDF file.

B. Clear Browser Cache in Microsoft Edge

A browser's cache helps to speed up your browsing experience. But if Edge built up a sizeable cache, it could lead to different malfunctions. And the inability to open PDF files might be one of them.

1. Navigate to edge://settings.

2. On the left pane, select Privacy, search, and services.

3. From Clear browsing data, click the Choose what to clear button.

4. Set Time range to All time.

5. Check the Cached images and files option.

6. Click Clear now.

C. Check PDF Documents Settings in Microsoft Edge

There is also the case when Edge asks you to save the file every time you open a PDF. To fix it, you should configure its PDF documents settings.

1. Navigate to edge://settings.

2. Select Cookies and site permissions.

3. Click PDF documents.

4. Turn off the toggle for Always download PDF files.

D. Set Microsoft Edge as a default PDF viewer

1. Open Control Panel and navigate to Default Programs. Click the Associate a file type or protocol with a program link.

2. Choose the PDF file option and click Change program.

3. In the pop-up window that appears, Select Microsoft Edge and check Always use this app to open .pdf box

4. Click OK to set Edge as a default PDF viewer.


E. Use a different app to open the PDF file

If none of the above fixes help, try using a different browser like Chrome, Firefox, or apps like Adobe PDF reader to open the PDF file.

1. Open the Run Dialog with the keys Windows Keys + R. Type the below command and press Enter.


2. In the opening window, under the Set default for file type or link type, enter .pdf and hit Enter.

3. You will notice that Microsoft Edge is set as the default application to open PDF files.

4. Click on the arrow mark next to it.

5. In the opening window, double-click on the application you want to use.

F. Repair Microsoft Edge

Because Microsoft develops Edge, you can repair it using a built-in tool on a Windows computer. Here is how you can do it:

1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.

2. Go to Apps > Apps & features.

3. From the apps list, select Microsoft Edge and click Modify.

4. In the pop-up window, click Repair.

G Reset Microsoft Edge

1. Open the Edge browser.

2. In the address bar located at the top, enter the below command and press Enter.


3. In the window that shows up, click on the Reset button as shown below.

This will reset the Microsoft Edge browser settings to their default.

4. Close and re-open the browser.

All the best!

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