How to Change PDF viewer on any Android (instantly)

Android PDF Mastery: How to Swap Default PDF Viewers Like a Pro
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Here is how to change the default PDF viewer app on any Android. The blog applies to Samsung, Xiaomi/Redmi, Motorola, Oneplus, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, LG, and Google Pixel Devices. It can be followed on any Android.

You need more support with the PDF viewer. You want to switch the PDF viewer, but you cannot, but fret not! 

We have the best blog on how to change PDF viewer Android, on which I previously made a YouTube video that got around 16K views with 109 likes.

Let’s get started.

How to Change PDF Viewer on Any Android

Below are the steps with a screenshot of how you can do it. To do this, I’m using the Samsung M33 5G; screenshots are mostly the same, like similar.

Step 1: Open the device settings.

Smartphone Settings icon highlighted with yellow and teal color

Step 2: Tap on Apps.

Apps tab highlighted with the red arrow in the Android mobile settings

Step 3: Select the current default PDF viewer app.

samsung app from the app list

Suppose my PDFs always open in Google Drive or PDF always opens with samsung notes, then choose that app from the apps list.

Step 4: Tap on “Set as default menu” from the app info settings.

set as default highlighted from app info google drive

Step 5: Tap on Clear default.

clear default highlighted screenshot

Now, you can open PDFs and docs with any PDF viewer app on your Android. Either it’s Google Drive, Samsung Note, or any PDF viewer.

To provide additional information, when I open a PDF file in the file manager, Android prompts me to select an app to open it with. The available options are OneDrive, Samsung Notes (convert to notes), Samsung Notes (PDF reader), and Drive (Drive PDF reader). The options available will vary depending on the apps installed on your device.

Hey there! Do you know how to save just one page from a PDF file on your Android device?

Change PDF viewer on Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Realme

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your device.
  2. Scroll and tap on “Apps” or “Applications” (name may vary).
  3. In the Apps menu, tap “Manage Apps” or “Manage Applications.”
  4. Tap the three-dot menu or gear icon in the top-right corner and select “Default Apps” or “Default Applications.”
  5. Find the default PDF viewer app (like the pre-installed PDF reader).
  6. Tap the default PDF viewer app to see a list of available apps.
  7. Choose the PDF viewer app you want to set as default. Tap “More” or “Other” for a complete app list if not listed.
  8. Once you select the desired app, it becomes the default PDF viewer on your device.

Now, some people love using the Google Chrome app just for them. To set Google Chrome as the default PDF reader on an Android device, follow these steps:

  • Open the Google Chrome app on your Android device.
  • Type “chrome://settings” in the address bar and press Enter. This will take you to the Chrome settings.
  • Scroll down and tap on “Site settings.”
  • Under “Site Settings,” tap on “PDF documents.”
  • Toggle the switch that says “Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome.”

Hey there! Do you want to know how to save your emails as PDFs on Gmail? I can show you two easy ways to do it, whether you’re using the app or the website. Let’s get started!

How to Stop PDFs from Opening With Certain PDF Apps

If you want to prevent PDF files from opening automatically in any PDF viewer or reader app on your Android device, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings: Open the “Settings” app on your Android device.
  2. Apps or Applications: Scroll down and tap on either “Apps” or “Applications,” depending on the wording used on your device.
  3. App Settings: In the list of apps, find and tap on the app currently set as the default PDF viewer or any app you want to prevent from automatically opening PDF files.
  4. Open by Default: In the app details, look for an option related to “Open by default” or “Open supported links.” This might also be labeled as “Set as default” or something similar.
  5. Clear Defaults: Tap the “Clear defaults” or “Clear defaults for this app” option. This will remove the app’s default status for opening PDF files.
  6. Confirmation: A confirmation dialog might appear asking if you want to clear the default settings for this app. Confirm by tapping “Clear” or “OK.”

To Choose What App Opens PDF on Android

To choose what app opens a file on Android, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the specific file you want to open.
  2. Press and hold the file icon or tap on it to select it.
  3. A menu labeled “Open with” or “Open with other apps” will appear.
  4. Tap on this menu to reveal a list of apps that handle the chosen file type.
  5. Browse through the list and tap on the preferred app for opening the file.
  6. After selecting the app, your chosen app will immediately launch and display the file’s contents.
  7. To set this app as the default choice for this file type, go to your device’s settings and find the “Default apps” or similar section. From there, you can assign your chosen app as the default for that file type.
  8. If you ever want to change your default app preference, navigate back to the same settings location and adjust the settings accordingly.

FAQs around Switching PDF Reader

Yes, Android has a built-in PDF viewer. The “Google PDF Viewer” is pre-installed on most Android devices. You can view PDF files stored on your device or the web. The Google PDF Viewer has basic features such as zoom, rotate, and search. It also supports annotations and form-filling. You can download a third-party PDF viewer from the Google Play Store for more features.

Here are some of the best PDF viewers for Android:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Foxit PDF Reader
  • Xodo PDF Reader
  • MuPDF
  • PDF Viewer Plus

Related FAQs

Q: What opened pdf file on Android?

A: Upon tapping on a PDF file to view or edit it, Android will present you with a list of PDF viewing and editing apps installed on your phone. Tapping on any of these apps will open the PDF file within that app.

Q: Does Google have a PDF viewer for Android?

A: Google does have its PDF viewer app, which is Google Drive. This app is pre-installed on most Android smartphones, and when you tap on any PDF file, it will suggest that you open it with Google Drive.

Google Drive vs. Samsung Notes: Pros and Cons

AspectGoogle DriveSamsung Notes
IntegrationSeamlessly syncs with Google accountBuilt-in convenience for Samsung users
CollaborationReal-time collaboration and sharingLimited collaborative features
SearchPowerful search functionalityNot as robust as Google Drive
OrganizationFolders, labels, and categories for organizationDesigned more for note-taking, handy organization
CompatibilityCross-platform accessibilityMore device-centric, Samsung ecosystem
Internet DependencyRequires internet for seamless functionalityNot reliant on constant internet connection
Privacy ConcernsStoring on cloud servers might raise privacy concernsCan keep PDFs stored on device for offline access
Offline AccessLimited offline access, requires manual preparationAllows offline access to stored PDFs
Stylus FunctionalityNot specifically designed for stylus useCompatible with Samsung’s S Pen for annotations
Compatibility with OthersWorks well with various PDF sourcesMight have quirks with PDFs from other sources


Today, I have shown you how to change the PDF viewer on your Android, whether your current PDF is set in any app, how you can’t change the default PDF, and how you can switch from one PDF to another PDF viewer. This article is all about.

If you found today’s article helpful, then it is known that the comments uploaded the video on Learn and Solve it backdroid. You can check that out also, and if you have any queries about your topic, then if it is known that you have pictures, tell me I will update the blog. 

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Kunal Kashyap
Kunal Kashyap

I'm Kunal Kashyap, and I've been immersed in the world of technology for several years now. My journey began back in 2017 when I started creating YouTube videos covering topics like Android, apps, games, and solutions to common tech issues. Today, I've transitioned into the role of a blogger, and you can find my informative guides on I take pride in simplifying complex tech concepts, making them accessible to everyone. Whether you're a tech novice or an expert, my tutorials are designed to help you troubleshoot problems with your Android device, apps, or games in a clear and straightforward manner. If you'd like to see some of my recent posts, check out my LinkedIn activity.

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