Why does Google Chrome Open Downloaded PDFs in the Browser?

Interesting question. I’ve been wondering the same thing myself …

If you are using the Google Chrome web browser for most of your web browsing and working, and use pdf documents from time to time, you may be in a for a change in regards to that which will launch in the coming months. When you download a pdf file to your local system now and double-click the downloaded document afterwards, it opens in the default pdf reader on your system.

If it is Sumatra, Adobe Reader or Foxit, it will open in that program.

A recent change to how Google Chrome handles pdf documents changes this fundamentally. When you click on a downloaded pdf document then, it will automatically open in the Chrome PDF viewer regardless of the application that you have viewed pdf files previously in.

The feature is currently available in Chrome Canary and works like this. Once you have downloaded the pdf it appears in the lower left half of the screen as a downloaded file. If you double-click it, it will open in Google Chrome.

Chrome PDF Viewer

google chrome opens pdf file

When you click on the little arrow icon next to the downloaded pdf file, you get a context menu with the following options:

  1. Open – displays it in Google Chrome.
  2. Always open files of this type – opens pdf documents automatically from that moment on.
  3. Open with system viewer – loads the file in the default program for pdf files.
  4. Show in folder – opens the folder the file has been saved to.

If you download pdfs occasionally, you can use the context menu to open it in your default program. If you do so regularly, you may not like the fact that Google has hijacked pdfs on your system.

Google states — through Francois Beaufort — that this is done for security reasons as it is safer to open pdf files in Chrome than in third party programs.

While it may be safer depending on which program you use, it may also be less compatible in comparison.

It is possible to disable that feature, but only by disabling the Chrome PDF viewer. If you are using the application as well, you have no option right now to modify this on your system.

Disable Chrome PDF Viewer

It is relatively easy to disable the viewer, if you know where to do so.

  1. Type chrome://plugins in the browser’s address bar and hit enter.
  2. Locate Chrome PDF Viewer and click on Disable on the last line of its listing.

Once done, downloaded pdf files open again in the default system reader on double-click.

Link to Original Content

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.