Opening PDFs outside the browserBrowser embedded PDFs should not be a built-in default option. To disable that, and have the PDFs open with the defaulted installed application, as they should, there are a few settings.


When I was using Firefox, this usually took care of that in terms of Adobe Acrobat:

Firefox > Tools > Options > Applications > Adobe Acrobat Document > Save to File


But other browsers, like Chrome, don’t provide as much customization options, so that calls for an Adobe Acrobat settings :

Acrobat > Edit > Preferences > Internet > Web Browser Options > Display PDF in browser

[UPDATE Jan 2012]

For Chrome, follow these instructions :

Just type (copy & paste), this into the address bar.


That will take you the page to disable plugins, as mentioned by JESSE ST.

Then disable “Chrome PDF Viewer”

Thats it!



This should take care of it in all browsers.

[Silly little post, but… family asked, so maybe others need this]

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5 Responses to Opening PDFs outside the browser (Firefox / Chrome)

  1. chris says:

    thanks…this helped me too!

  2. Travis says:

    This worked a while ago, but at some point Chrome began opening pdf attachments again.
    Adobe was configured as in the post, with “display PDF in browser” unchecked.
    I opened Chrome Options, on the “Under the Hood” tab, clicked the button “Content settings…”
    Select “Plug-ins” and then click on the text “Disable individual plug-ins…”
    this will bring up an advanced configuration window for Chrome (also available by typing “chrome://plugins/” into the address bar)
    There is a plug-in titled “Chrome PDF Viewer”. If that is enabled, Chrome may open pdfs in the browser regardless of your Adobe Acrobat settings. I disabled that plug-in, and now pdf files are downloaded, and can be opened in Acrobat.

  3. John says:

    Well, thanks a million for the post. It was very useful.

    Chrome still opens the PDF, even if Acrobat “Open in browser” in unchecked. However, I noticed that you can save the PDF to file once it is completely downloaded in Chrome View. I was just panic when the Save As was disabled -while downloading 🙂

  4. Afd says:

    Hey – I needed this so thanks

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