Google Chrome used to open PDFs downloaded to the hard drive using the system's default PDF viewer by default. Recent versions of Chrome use Chrome's (inferior) built-in PDF viewer by default even for downloaded files, not only online PDFs.

How can I get Chrome to open downloaded PDFs using the system's viewer by default?

This question refers to downloaded PDFs only, I want to keep using the Chrome viewer for online PDFs.

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Clicking this button on the download bar above, choosing "Open", or checking the "Always Open Files of This Type" option should invoke the system viewer, not Chrome. How can this be achieved?

1 Answer 1


Copy paste in chrome address bar :


Enable first option (don't forget to relaunch).

  • This does indeed prevent Chrome from opening downloaded files using the internal viewer, but with this setting the internal viewer seems to be completely broken unfortunately (I'm on OS X). For online PDFs it only shows a white page.
    – Szabolcs
    Nov 4, 2014 at 18:12
  • This option doesn't appear to work on the latest version of Chrome.
    – March Ho
    Nov 13, 2015 at 7:18

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