10 best free pdf reader software for windows


The best PDF readers don"t cost any money. Here are the best feature-rich PDF viewers that outperform Adobe Reader on Windows.

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Adobe Reader is neither the only nor the best document reader. The best PDF readers are free, versatile, và contain no ads.

The alternative PDF readers presented here run the gamut from minimal, lightweight applications built for nothing more than viewing PDFs to more full-featured applications that include annotations & highlighting. Some applications even include features you won"t find in Adobe Acrobat Reader, such as basic PDF-editing tools.


Highlight: Most lightweight PDF reader, also available as a portable app.

Sumatra PDF is the best alternative to lớn using your browser as a PDF reader because it"s easy on system resources. It"s also mở cửa source. If you want something even more minimalistic than that, you could tải về its portable ứng dụng instead of the desktop version.

Sumatra PDF doesn"t have any editing options or other advanced features; it"s just a window that loads extremely fast and displays PDFs. It does, however, tư vấn tabs, và it"s packed with keyboard shortcuts, making it even more ideal for rapidly reading PDFs.

Furthermore, Sumatra supports other types of files, including ebooks in ePub & Mobi format & comic books in CBZ and CBR formats. Want support for more ebook formats? Try one of these dedicated ebook readers for your PC.

Download: Sumatra PDF

2. Foxit Reader


Highlight: The most feature-complete không tính tiền PDF reader.

Foxit Reader was one of the first mainstream Adobe Reader alternatives. It remains a great option because, among the free PDF readers, it offers the most features, with no strings attached.

You"ll notice that an extensive number of editing tabs dominate the interface. They cover a range of advanced options, including text markup, a typewriter option, size handling, digital signatures, & more. Unfortunately, some more advanced options, including shared reviews, are greyed out và only available with a paid license.

One of Foxit Reader"s best features is that you can showroom your own shortcuts to the Quick kích hoạt Toolbar in the vị trí cao nhất left. Right-click anywhere in the toolbar khổng lồ access all customization options. You can also customize the Ribbon interface.

Foxit Reader managed to pack all those features into a cleaner interface than PDF-XChange Editor. But the feature richness comes at a cost: your system resources. You can, however, download a portable version of Foxit Reader.

Download: Foxit Reader

3. PDF-XChange Editor


Highlight: Packed with features, yet fast.

PDF-XChange Editor offers a bouquet of features, making it great for editing & annotations. Và PDF-XChange Editor is free. You can buy a license lớn unlock pro features, but you can also use those features in exchange for a watermark.

If you find the cluttered look of the toolbar distracting, go ahead & edit it to lớn your liking. Right-click anywhere onto the toolbar to lớn launch a thực đơn for quick changes. Click Customize Toolbars at the bottom to enter a static thực đơn where you can take your time lớn manage those same options.

While PDF-XChange Editor và Foxit Reader have a similar feature set, we noticed that PDF-XChange Editor used more than twice the resources while viewing the same three documents. Keep this in mind if resource efficiency is a priority.

Download: PDF-XChange Editor

4. STDU Viewer


Highlight: One viewer khổng lồ replace them all, great for navigating multiple documents.

The Scientific và Technical Document Utility (STUD) Viewer is one of the best tools for all your technical documentation, books, và other readings. STDU Viewer supports TXT, Comic Book Archive, PDF, DjVu, MOBI, EPub, several image files, & many more document formats.

STDU Viewer"s strong suit is managing multiple different documents at once. Not only can you mở cửa documents in tabs & expand a navigation panel, but you can also create and navigate bookmarks & highlights, view thumbnails of your mở cửa documents, và split windows lớn compare different pages within the same document. Another neat feature is that you can invert colors, such as from black on white khổng lồ white on black, which can reduce eyestrain.

While STDU Viewer doesn"t have all the features of PDF-XChange Editor or Foxit Reader, it is a great alternative for those who have khổng lồ read or refer khổng lồ a lot of digital documents. & its resource use is extremely efficient.

Download: STDU Viewer

5. Adobe Reader

Highlight: Simple interface và minimal features.

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Adobe"s PDF reader remains the de-facto standard. At 105 MB, sans optional offers, it"s definitely the heavyweight champion among the readers featured here. It also used by far the most resources, up khổng lồ 10 times more, while running the same phối of documents as all other PDF readers.

On the bright side, Adobe Reader maintains a pleasing interface & isn"t overloaded with features. You can comment, fill và sign, & convert lớn PDF or other formats (export). If you ever run into issues opening a PDF file or filling a size using an alternative PDF tool, you won"t suffer too much when you have to fall back onto Adobe Reader.

While you will find options lớn edit and combine PDF files listed under Tools, these are actually pro features that will mix you back at least USD 15 per month.

Download: Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

6. Nitro PDF Reader

Highlight: Blends into Microsoft Office applications và offers extensive features.

Nitro"s interface looks lượt thích it was lifted straight from Microsoft Office. And like the market-leading office suite, this PDF reader is rich in features.

Unlike many other không tính phí PDF readers, with Nitro, you can fill in forms và sign your documents using your digital ID. You can also địa chỉ notes, extract images, or convert a PDF lớn a plain text document.

While Nitro PDF Reader remains free, you can"t download the free version. You"re forced to tải về a 14-day trial of Nitro Pro, which will turn in the free reader if you don"t activate a pro license.

When the trial expires, you"ll chiến bại the ability khổng lồ convert PDFs into Office formats, use OCR, edit pages (including delete, crop, replace, and reorder), combine multiple files, và redact sensitive information. Keeping those features will phối you back $214.

Download: Nitro PDF Reader

Bonus: Read PDFs With Your web Browser

Whether you"re using Google Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge, your browser already has a built-in PDF reader. It won"t have all the features, but using your browser as a PDF reader is a quick way lớn read PDF documents, and it will save you lots of system resources.

The small footprint và easy access come at a cost. In-browser PDF readers aren"t always compatible with all types of PDF. Furthermore, browser-based PDF readers lack advanced features, like form filling, document signing, or annotation. It"s a compromise, but for the average user, it"s a small one.

Microsoft Edge

In Windows 10, Microsoft Edge is both the mặc định browser và the default PDF reader.

PDF files open in an Edge browser tab. The only thing that distinguishes them from a regular website page is the PDF toolbar at the top. You can search the document, adjust the zoom level, print, và save the file. You can also nội dung the document or địa chỉ cửa hàng it khổng lồ your Favorites or Reading List.

Note: Microsoft Edge suffered a PDF exploit back in 2016. This vulnerability has since been patched, but issues such as this are the reason why you should always install security updates.

To change your mặc định PDF reader in Windows 10:

Go khổng lồ Start > Settings. Within the Settings app, head lớn Apps > default apps, click on Choose mặc định apps by file type, and change the ứng dụng association of the PDF file extension with an application of your choice. This can be another browser or a third-party PDF reader.

Google Chrome

Chrome"s PDF interface is similar to lớn Microsoft Edge"s. In addition to lớn everything Edge does, you can rotate the document, which is essential on a Windows 2-in-1 or tablet.

If Chrome is your default browser, but you"d rather not have it mở cửa PDFs for you, you can disable its built-in PDF reader.

Open chrome://settings/content, expand Additional nội dung settings, scroll to the bottom of the nội dung settings windows, & under PDF Documents, check Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome. Make sure you have selected a mặc định Windows PDF viewer.

Mozilla Firefox

Among the in-browser PDF readers, Firefox offers the most comprehensive package. In addition lớn standard features offered in Chrome and Edge, you can expand a sidebar, rotate in both directions, and toggle the hand tool.

To disable the Firefox PDF viewer:

Go to lớn Menu > Options > Applications. In the Content Type table, find the Portable Document Format (PDF) entry, and select your preferred Action.
While in-browser PDF readers and system default apps are great, sometimes you need more than that. Hence, the market for dedicated PDF readers remains highly competitive. Here are some more alternatives with advanced features.

The Best PDF Readers bởi It All

These six apps are the best PDF readers around. But not all needs are the same. Even so, hopefully, one of these PDF document viewers is perfect for you.

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About The Author
Tina Sieber (850 Articles Published)
While completing a PhD, Tina started writing about consumer giải pháp công nghệ in 2006 & never stopped. Now also an editor và SEO, you can find her on Twitter or hiking a nearby trail.

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