PDF files with Windows 10 can be opened without the need to install additional software. In fact, Microsoft Edge, the default Web browser, provides native support for this type of file. But this is a minimal function option that may not meet the needs of users accustomed to using a third party software that are far more feature rich. Most of the people prefer to use Adobe reader to view their PDF files as the software provides a flexible approach to opening, editing, and formatting the files.
Why this happens?
Windows 10 File association protection mechanism is actually what that prevent any form of direct changed to the User Choice in the registry for each form of file. Whenever any no file association is found in the registry or in case any of the application incorrectly makes the hash void to “UserChoice registry key” to the set association then it triggers resetting of files for that program, making it switch back to the default Windows 10 set association.
This means that Edge will or may take over the PDF file default setting due to any reason, after an update or any other cases, and you will be notified about the app reset default setting by the Action Center. What are the possible solutions to this problem? Let us have a glance.
Method 1: Using Settings
- Press Windows Key once
- Type Default Programs in the Start Search
- Click Default Programs from the search results
- Scroll down and click Choose default apps by file type
- Scroll down until you see .pdf. You should see Microsoft Edge icon on the right side of it (in the right pane)
- Click on Microsoft Edge
Click on your desired application to make it default for pdf reading e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader
Method 2: Using Context Menu
You can change the default app for opening any kind of app just by right clicking the file and selecting an option from there as well. Follow the steps given below to change the default apps for any file
- Locate the file that you want to change the default app for
- Right click on the file and go to Open with. Select Choose another app from the newly opened menu
- Select your desired app e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Check the option that says Always use this app to open .pdf files
- Click Ok
Now whenever you will run the file, it will open through the newly set default app.
Method 3: Using Control Panel
- Hold Windows Key and press X
- Click Control Panel
- Click Programs
- Click Default Programs
- Click Associate a file type or protocol with a program
- Locate and click .pdf from the list
- Now click on Change Program button located on the top right corner
- Select your desired program e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader and click Ok
Now close the window. Now .pdf files always open in your selected app.
Method 4: Using Registry Editor
- Hold Windows Key and press R
- Type regedit.exe and press Enter. Click yes if it asks for confirmation
- Now go to this address HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppModel\Repository\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_25.10586.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge\Capabilities\FileAssociations. Follow the steps given below if you aren’t sure how to get to this path.
- Double click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (from the left pane)
- Double click Software (from the left pane)
- Double click Classes (from the left pane)
- Double click Local Settings (from the left pane)
- Double click Software (from the left pane)
- Double click Microsoft (from the left pane)
- Double click Windows (from the left pane)
- Double click Current Version (from the left pane)
- Double click AppModel (from the left pane)
- Double click Repository (from the left pane)
- Double click Packages (from the left pane)
- Double click MicrosoftEdge_25.10586.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe (from the left pane). The MicrosoftEdge_25.10586.0.0 is your Microsoft Edge’s version number.
- Double click Microsoft Edge (from the left pane)
- Double click Capabilities (from the left pane)
- Click FileAssociations (from the left pane)
- Now locate the line that says .pdf under the Name section (in the right pane)
Remember the number in its Data section. Note the number or take a picture
Now go to this address
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\ AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723. You can do that following the steps given below
- Scroll up in the left pane until you are back at the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder
- Click the arrow on the left side of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
- Now double click HKEY_CURRENT_USER
- Double click SOFTWARE
- Double click Classes
- Click AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723. You can easily locate it by looking at the last 3 numbers
- Click Edit and select New then String Value
- Type its name NoOpenWith and press Enter
- If you are using the Windows 10 anniversary update then make a new string with NoStaticDefaultVerb name as well. Follow the steps 7-8.
Once you are done, Microsoft Edge won’t override the default apps anymore. However, after updating your Windows, you might want to repeat this process because Microsoft Edge tends to override the settings once Windows is updated.