Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As discussed in ghacks and slashdot Chrome no longer lets you automatically open downloaded pdfs in your System viewer.

In general, I like using the built-in Chrome PDF viewer, but for some longer and more complex PDF documents I much prefer to use my system PDF viewer (i.e., Skim).

I used to be able to save the PDF and it would automatically open in Skim (once I selected automatically open). Or I could save it and click the icon at the bottom. Now you have to manually download and then select "open in system viewer".

  • Is there a plugin to open the currently opened PDF in Chrome in the system viewer?
  • Is there a way of overriding the behaviour in Chrome to force downloaded PDFs to open automatically in the system viewer? (note that I don't want to disable the Chrome PDF viewer in general)

Update: Note that this question is not about disabling the built-in chrome pdf viewer entirely which is covered by this previous question.

The distinction between the two questions is made quite clearly in this google chrome thread.

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

It appears that someone may have finally figured out how to replicate the original behavior you have been hoping for. By disabling the embedded PDF viewer plugin (bear with me), and then adding PDF.JS, you will have the option of opening a PDF inside Chrom{e,ium} or with the external viewer. The behavior sounds as though it will follow the original behavior:

  1. clicking on a link to a PDF will open the PDF in PDF.JS
  2. downloading a PDF will open with the system viewer

Note: this still disables the default PDF viewer in Chrom{e,ium}, it just replaces it with PDF.JS (the viewer that Mozilla has been developing).

Credit to Michael McFadden.

share|improve this answer

Another option is to use your system viewer in Chrome. If you install the PDF XChange viewer plugin in chrome and disable the default chrome pdf viewer, you will be able to use your viewer normally in chrome.

share|improve this answer

Open chrome://plugins/ and disable "Chrome PDF viewer". Solved it for me.

Solution found here: productforums.google.com

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.