How to Change PDF viewer on any Android (instantly)

This post has been Last Updated 2 months ago by Kunal

Here is how to change the default PDF viewer app on any Android. The blog applies to Samsung, Xiaomi/Redmi, Motorola, Oneplus, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, LG, and Google Pixel Devices. It can be followed on any Android.

You need more support with the PDF viewer. You want to switch the PDF viewer, but you cannot, but fret not! 

We have the best blog on how to change PDF viewer Android, on which I previously made a YouTube video that got around 16K views with 109 likes.

Let’s get started.

How to Change PDF Viewer on Any Android

Below are the steps with a screenshot of how you can do it. To do this, I’m using the Samsung M33 5G; screenshots are mostly the same, like similar.

Step 1: Open the device settings.

Smartphone Settings icon highlighted with yellow and teal color

Step 2: Tap on Apps.

Apps tab highlighted with the red arrow in the Android mobile settings

Step 3: Select the current default PDF viewer app.

samsung app from the app list

Suppose my PDFs always open in Google Drive or PDF always opens with samsung notes, then choose that app from the apps list.

Step 4: Tap on “Set as default menu” from the app info settings.

set as default highlighted from app info google drive

Step 5: Tap on Clear default.

clear default highlighted screenshot

Now, you can open PDFs and docs with any PDF viewer app on your Android. Either it’s Google Drive, Samsung Note, or any PDF viewer.

To provide additional information, when I open a PDF file in the file manager, Android prompts me to select an app to open it with. The available options are OneDrive, Samsung Notes (convert to notes), Samsung Notes (PDF reader), and Drive (Drive PDF reader). The options available will vary depending on the apps installed on your device.

Change PDF viewer on Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Realme

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your device.
  2. Scroll and tap on “Apps” or “Applications” (name may vary).
  3. In the Apps menu, tap “Manage Apps” or “Manage Applications.”
  4. Tap the three-dot menu or gear icon in the top-right corner and select “Default Apps” or “Default Applications.”
  5. Find the default PDF viewer app (like the pre-installed PDF reader).
  6. Tap the default PDF viewer app to see a list of available apps.
  7. Choose the PDF viewer app you want to set as default. Tap “More” or “Other” for a complete app list if not listed.
  8. Once you select the desired app, it becomes the default PDF viewer on your device.

Now, some people love using the Google Chrome app just for them. To set Google Chrome as the default PDF reader on an Android device, follow these steps:

  • Open the Google Chrome app on your Android device.
  • Type “chrome://settings” in the address bar and press Enter. This will take you to the Chrome settings.
  • Scroll down and tap on “Site settings.”
  • Under “Site Settings,” tap on “PDF documents.”
  • Toggle the switch that says “Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome.”

How to Stop PDFs from Opening With Certain PDF Apps

In my experience, if you want to prevent PDF files from opening automatically in any PDF viewer or reader app on your Android device, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings: I open the “Settings” app on my Android device.
  2. Apps or Applications: I scroll down and tap on either “Apps” or “Applications,” depending on the wording used on my device.
  3. App Settings: In the list of apps, I find and tap on the app currently set as the default PDF viewer or any app I want to prevent from automatically opening PDF files.
  4. Open by Default: In the app details, I look for an option related to “Open by default” or “Open supported links.” This might also be labeled as “Set as default” or something similar.
  5. Clear Defaults: I tap the “Clear defaults” or “Clear defaults for this app” option. This will remove the app’s default status for opening PDF files.
  6. Confirmation: A confirmation dialog might appear asking if I want to clear the default settings for this app. I confirm by tapping “Clear” or “OK.”

In my case, following these steps has effectively prevented PDF files from automatically opening in certain apps on my Android device. I recommend trying this if you’re facing a similar issue. If you have any further questions, feel free to let me know.

To Choose What App Opens PDF on Android

To choose what app opens a file on Android, follow these steps:

  1. To choose what app opens a PDF file on my Android device, I follow these steps:
  2. I locate the specific PDF file I want to open.
  3. I press and hold the PDF file icon or tap on it to select it.
  4. A menu labeled “Open with” or “Open with other apps” will appear.
  5. I tap on this menu to reveal a list of apps that can handle the PDF file type.
  6. I browse through the list and tap on the preferred app for opening the PDF file.
  7. After selecting the app, my chosen app will immediately launch and display the PDF’s contents.
  8. To set this app as the default choice for opening PDF files, I go to my device’s settings and find the “Default apps” or similar section. From there, I can assign my chosen app as the default for the PDF file type.
  9. If I ever want to change my default app preference for PDFs, I navigate back to the same settings location and adjust the settings accordingly.

FAQs around Switching PDF Reader

Yes, Android has a built-in PDF viewer. The “Google PDF Viewer” is pre-installed on most Android devices. You can view PDF files stored on your device or the web. The Google PDF Viewer has basic features such as zoom, rotate, and search. It also supports annotations and form-filling. You can download a third-party PDF viewer from the Google Play Store for more features.

Here are some of the best PDF viewers for Android:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Foxit PDF Reader
  • Xodo PDF Reader
  • MuPDF
  • PDF Viewer Plus
Q: What opened pdf file on Android?

A: Upon tapping on a PDF file to view or edit it, Android will present you with a list of PDF viewing and editing apps installed on your phone. Tapping on any of these apps will open the PDF file within that app.

Q: Does Google have a PDF viewer for Android?

A: Google does have its PDF viewer app, which is Google Drive. This app is pre-installed on most Android smartphones, and when you tap on any PDF file, it will suggest that you open it with Google Drive.

Google Drive vs. Samsung Notes: Pros and Cons

AspectGoogle DriveSamsung Notes
IntegrationSeamlessly syncs with Google accountBuilt-in convenience for Samsung users
CollaborationReal-time collaboration and sharingLimited collaborative features
SearchPowerful search functionalityNot as robust as Google Drive
OrganizationFolders, labels, and categories for organizationDesigned more for note-taking, handy organization
CompatibilityCross-platform accessibilityMore device-centric, Samsung ecosystem
Internet DependencyRequires internet for seamless functionalityNot reliant on constant internet connection
Privacy ConcernsStoring on cloud servers might raise privacy concernsCan keep PDFs stored on device for offline access
Offline AccessLimited offline access, requires manual preparationAllows offline access to stored PDFs
Stylus FunctionalityNot specifically designed for stylus useCompatible with Samsung’s S Pen for annotations
Compatibility with OthersWorks well with various PDF sourcesMight have quirks with PDFs from other sources


Today, I have shown you how to change the PDF viewer on your Android, whether your current PDF is set in any app, how you can’t change the default PDF, and how you can switch from one PDF to another PDF viewer. This article is all about.

If you found today’s article helpful, then it is known that the comments uploaded the video on Learn and Solve it backdroid. You can check that out also, and if you have any queries about your topic, then if it is known that you have pictures, tell me I will update the blog. 

Kunal Kashyap, the tech guru behind, simplifies complex tech issues with clear and user-friendly guides. With expertise in Android, iOS, and more, his tutorials empower users to tackle tech problems confidently. Kunal's engaging style makes technology accessible to both beginners and experts. Beyond tech, he explores psychology and keeps up with tech and business trends awarded by the Government and Namita Thapar.

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