How do I open a PDF in Windows?

Updated 01/24/2018 from

To open a PDF file in Windows, you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader or another PDF reader installed on your computer. Acrobat Reader is free and available from the Adobe website.

Once you start the download process, the Adobe website will display instructions to complete the download and install the program. Follow these instructions to complete the installation. Once Adobe Reader is installed, you can open any PDF document using any of the methods described in the following sections.

Open PDF file in PDF reader

Open Adobe Reader or other PDF software. Next, click the file menu at the top left of the window and select Openand navigate to the location of the PDF file. Select the file you want to open by clicking the file name and then click the button Open to open the file.

Open PDF on Windows

Open the file in Windows Explorer

After installing a PDF reader on a computer, each PDF file is associated with that reader and should open when you double-click the file. Open Windows Explorer or My Computer and locate the PDF file you want to open. Double-click the PDF file name to open it in Adobe Reader or your PDF reader.

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Open the PDF file in Windows


If you’ve installed a new PDF reader but your PDFs automatically open in another program, see: How to associate a file with a program in Windows. You can also right-click the file, then select Open With and select the PDF reader to use to open the file.