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As of today (16/02/2018) Microsoft has apparently discontinued the Microsoft Reader app. Per this article

After updating to the latest version of the Reader App, users will be getting a notification when launching the application informing them about the app being discontinued or pulled in February 2018.

The app will not be usable beyond the above mentioned date and the users are hence advised to use the Microsoft Edge Browser for reading PDF, Windows XPS Viewer for XPS and Windows Photos for TIFF files.

In my opinion it is the best PDF Reader out there (For Double Click on PDF -> Just load it as fast as possible without any bells and whistles).

My question is whether there is a way to keep it running by overriding whatever is going on that prevents it from running?

In addition, any way to keep its installation to make it run on future installation of Windows I will have just like you can keep APK in Andorid?

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  • Another source for the announcement/removal: onmsft.com/news/…
    – Mokubai
    Feb 16, 2018 at 15:24
  • Not that this has anything directly to do with Microsoft Reader, but if you choose to try another PDF reader, for simplicity, speed and no bells/whistles/just double click to open, SumatraPDF deserves a hard look. Feb 17, 2018 at 9:50
  • @Anaksunaman, I'm using Sumatra PDF for years (Sumatra PDF Portable). Yet still as my default PDF reader I prefer MS Reader. Thank You.
    – Royi
    Feb 17, 2018 at 10:03

2 Answers 2

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In the update from 15th January 2018 Microsoft made the app unusable. It is only a stub to show to open PDFs om Edge.

To go back to a working version, disable the automatic update of store apps in the Microsoft Store settings as shown in the picture:

enter image description here

Uninstall the reader app on your device, now activate the option to sideload appx file

  • Open Settings.

  • Click Update & Security > For developers.

  • On Use developer features, select Sideload apps.

Now download the Microsoft.Reader_2017.209.2029.4759_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe.AppxBundle from one of the mirrors 1|2 (last version that I have, I'm not sure if this is last version before the update)

and make a double click on it to install it via the App Installer.

Now don't update the Reader app any longer in Microsoft store (but update the other apps on your own to get improvements for all other apps) to keep this working version of the Reader app.

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  • Not only is this illegal, this is a security risk to turn off automatic updates of store apps. Feb 16, 2018 at 15:35
  • @AllenHoward troll somewhere else. You can still manually update other apps. *facepalm * Feb 16, 2018 at 15:36
  • Sure you can, but in terms of best practice security this is a security risk. Why does Microsoft force updates on Windows 10? Because people don't update manually. Feb 16, 2018 at 15:37
  • eh, you're a trusted user we're familiar with but sticking a random file on dropbox kind of means the person downloading it needs to trust you, and
    – Journeyman Geek
    Feb 17, 2018 at 11:30
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    Perfect. Thanks. Security signatures checked out. Btw I did not need to enable sideloading for this to install. I'm guessing since it was signed by Microsoft, Windows 10 20H2 automatically took it in.
    – 1283822
    Apr 8, 2021 at 19:18
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No, there is no legitimate way to continue using the application. Microsoft has always said that any of the "Modern"/Universal apps could disappear from the app store at any time.

Windows is also tricky in side-loading apps, although it is possible with developer options. That being said, since this is a Microsoft application, I doubt you'd be able to find the package for it anywhere to install it.

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  • I still had an old package and posted it Feb 16, 2018 at 15:29
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    @magicandre1981, be careful with that-- you are now illegally distributing Microsoft applications/code. Feb 16, 2018 at 15:30
  • I really don't see why they do it like that. Stop adding features, but why make the application unusable. I thought they would do what they did with Pain.
    – Royi
    Feb 16, 2018 at 16:33
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    They want everyone to use Edge, that's why. It's unfortunate, but Microsoft does what Microsoft wants to do. Also, any known security vulnerabilities won't be patched, so that's an issue, as well. Feb 16, 2018 at 16:56
  • @Royi - They determined work required to keep the program updated (i.e. security updates) wasn't worth the responsibility of keeping it functional. Same reasons TrueCrypt developers took the last version that could encrypt down, and only provided a version, that could decrypt.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 19, 2018 at 16:26

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