I shouldn't have installed Adobe Reader on my Mac. But now that I have, how do I set Safari to (go back to) show PDFs using Preview (as the inline PDF display plug-in) instead of Reader? Do I need to uninstall Reader?

Update: I went ahead and uninstalled Adobe Reader. (I grew tired of constant reminders to update something I wasn't using.)

3 Answers 3


The "Right Way" to accomplish this is actually within the Adobe Reader app. Just go into preferences, click Internet, and uncheck Display PDF in Browser. Simple and non-destructive, since Adobe will almost certainly attempt to "repair" itself when it notices the plugin file missing at the next security update.

  • This sounds like the right answer, but I can't verify since I uninstalled Adobe Reader since posting this question. Jul 26, 2010 at 3:57
  • 2
    This no longer works with a recent Adobe and is a known issue: superuser.com/a/254624/65618 Nov 6, 2012 at 9:02

It is neither necessary nor sufficient to uninstall the Adobe Reader. I went also through this process and finally succeeded by (re)moving

/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/AdobePDFViewer.plugin. 

More information can be found here.

  • I, of course, had to restart Safari after deleting this file. Nov 9, 2009 at 20:20

You should be able to "Get Info" on a PDF (cmd+I or right click the file) and then set the default viewer for that file type.

  • But this launches Preview as a separate process whereas it is possible to use Preview as an inline reader directly in Safari. Nov 9, 2009 at 19:18
  • Right. I'll clarify my question. Nov 9, 2009 at 20:15
  • Daryl Spitzer is asking about the Acrobat plugin, not PDFs opened from the finder.
    – Josh
    Nov 9, 2009 at 20:43
  • The default setting on the file itself is what Safari uses. Setting the file within the Finder will also set it for Safari (unless Acrobat is over-riding that - which would be new to me). If you want to keep the plugin installed, I believe the following terminal command sets it as the inline viewer: defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitOmitPDFSupport -bool NO
    – Insomnic
    Nov 9, 2009 at 21:21
  • Insomnic, can you verify that Safari & Adobe Reader honor the Finder setting, and verify that the default setting works as you describe? (I've already deleted the plug-in and would rather not re-install it.) Nov 9, 2009 at 21:37

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