Note: this is a question about Google Drive, not Firefox options.

I've been using Google Drive and Docs a lot, so I tend to keep .PDFs on Drive as well just for convenient storage.

But I don't like reading .PDFs using Google's viewer. I'd prefer Adobe Acrobat.

I have Firefox set to use the Adobe Acrobat plugin, which works fine for browsing the internet. But when I open a .PDF which I've previously saved to Google Drive, the browser uses Google Docs' viewer, even though I'm not converting the .PDFs to Docs' format when I download them.

I've tried to find a Drive-compatible Google Apps version of Acrobat but there doesn't seem to be one. And the "File" menu "Open With" in Google Viewer gives me only one option (Google Docs).

Anyone know the answer? Thanks.

3 Answers 3


And you really only want to use the plugin to view the PDF?

Because you can open the PDF in "Adobe Reader" directly from the file list by clicking some white space next to the file in the list (or selecting the checkbox) and pressing More and then Download. After that you can choose Open with: Adobe reader. You could even choose to open it as default (instead of downloading).

Right-click and choosing Download also works.

  • Yes, I think that tells me where the problem is. I have Drive on my desktop as well so it's already downloaded. If I use the desktop app instead of the web app. I normally avoid it because I have to be conservative with RAM and the desktop app is a hog :) - Thank you.
    – Kate
    Oct 4, 2013 at 11:20

I realize this question was answered sometime ago but this thread came up in my Google search and I feel as though I have a much better answer to provide.

The best solution for opening PDF documents inside Google Drive with something aside from Google Document Viewer is to register another Google app. Here is a quick search of the available PDF Viewer apps: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search-apps/pdf%20viewer/free?hl=en-US

I have tried and currently use Notable PDF and it works quite well. I did not see Acrobat in the list, but the alternatives available are still MUCH better than the default.

  • Thanks, this helped, don't shy from answering on older questions if your answer is better.
    – slavmaf
    Jun 2, 2014 at 17:13
  • not sure if the highlights are saved in standard way (you might end up being stuck with one app, not being able to see your highlights with others apps)
    – Lisa
    Nov 7, 2016 at 15:44

i think you want to do that i tried and it works for me


  • 2
    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. For more details see here
    – Andrea
    Jan 30, 2014 at 9:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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