Microsoft has adopted the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility. This new Microsoft Edge runs on the same Chromium web engine as the Google Chrome browser, offering you best in class web compatibility and performance.
The new Chromium based Microsoft Edge is supported on all versions of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server (2016 and above), Windows Server (2008 R2 to 2012 R2), and macOS.
When you click/tap on a link for a PDF file in Microsoft Edge, the PDF file will open in Microsoft Edge using the internal PDF viewer by default.
If you turn on Always open PDF files externally, Microsoft Edge treats PDF files as downloads and lets users open them with the default app instead.
This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable always open PDF files externally in the Chromium based Microsoft Edge.
EXAMPLE: "Always open PDF files externally" turned on or off in Microsoft Edge
Turn On or Off "Always open PDF files externally" in Microsoft Edge in Microsoft Edge Settings
Open Microsoft Edge.
Click/tap on the Settings and more (Alt+F) 3 dots menu icon, and click/tap on Settings. (see screenshot below)
Click/tap on Cookies and site permissions on the left side, and click/tap on PDF documents on the right side. (see screenshot below)
If you do not see a left pane, then either click/tap on the 3 bars menu button towards the top left OR widen the horizontal borders of the Microsoft Edge window until you do.
Turn on or off (default) Always open PDF files externally for what you want. (see screenshot below)
You can now close the Settings tab if you like.
Enable or Disable "Always open PDF files externally" in Microsoft Edge for All Users using a REG file
You must be signed in as an administrator to do this option.
This option uses the AlwaysOpenPdfExternally policy to enable or disable the internal PDF viewer in Microsoft Edge. If you enable this policy Microsoft Edge treats PDF files as downloads and lets users open them with the default application. If you don't configure this policy or disable it, Microsoft Edge will open PDF files (unless the user disables it in Option One).
The downloadable .reg files below will add and modify the DWORD value in the registry key below.
(delete) = Default
0 = Always disabled
1 = Always enabled
Do step 2 (enable), step 3 (disable), or step 4 (default) below for what you would like to do.
This step will force the Always open PDF files externally setting in Option One to always be turned on without users being able to change this setting.
This step will force the Always open PDF files externally setting in Option One to always be turned off without users being able to change this setting.
This is the default setting.
This step will allow users to use Option One to turned on and off the Always open PDF files externally setting in Microsoft Edge.
Save the .reg file to your desktop.
Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.
When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.
If Microsoft Edge is currently open, then close and reopen Microsoft Edge to apply.
You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.
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