How to Make PDF default Adobe Acrobat X Pro instead of Adobe Reader DC

Community Beginner ,
Apr 14, 2018 Apr 14, 2018

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Some stupid website I use regularly forced me to "update" my Reader to Adobe Reader DC, but I have a fully licensed full version of Adobe Acrobat X Pro. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find any place to reset my default for opening PDF files back to Adobe Acrobat X Pro. When I go into Windows 10 settings and select Pro as the default instead of Reader DC, it does not change the icon, nor does it change the default action. I cannot uninstall Adobe Acrobat Reader DC because of websites I use that require it (unless you know of some way to trick them into beliving X Pro is OK), but I can't stand having PDF's opened with the Reader by default, and then I can't do anything with them, so need to manually open them from within X Pro. Any ideas or solutions would be a HUGE help. Thanks in advance for any help!!

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Community Beginner , Dec 06, 2019 Dec 06, 2019

I know this is an old thread, but I thought I'd share an answer I discovered.  After setting defaults for PDFs in Windows settings, launch Adobe Pro.  Go to Edit, Preferences, General and scroll down to "Default PDF Handler."  Change that value to Adobe Pro.  The system will go through what looks like an install process, then it will want to reboot.  

 

After rebooting, PDF files open with Acrobat Pro rather than Reader.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 14, 2018 Apr 14, 2018

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Adobe don't support mixed versions. You can upgrade to Acrobat Pro DC, perhaps.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 15, 2018 Apr 15, 2018

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Agreed, but they can't upgrade. There's no upgrade path from X to DC. They'll need to purchase a new license.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 15, 2018 Apr 15, 2018

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Maybe give this routine a try...

Without Reader or Acrobat open, locate a PDF file in a folder, and right-click on it.  From the options presented, choose Open with, and jump down to the bottom where the Choose another app options sits.

rclick1.png

Choose your Acrobat program, and be sure to select the 'Always use this app to open .pdf files' option. 

rclick2.jpg

Hopefully this will help.

My best,

Dave

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2019 Dec 06, 2019

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I know this is an old thread, but I thought I'd share an answer I discovered.  After setting defaults for PDFs in Windows settings, launch Adobe Pro.  Go to Edit, Preferences, General and scroll down to "Default PDF Handler."  Change that value to Adobe Pro.  The system will go through what looks like an install process, then it will want to reboot.  

 

After rebooting, PDF files open with Acrobat Pro rather than Reader.

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New Here ,
May 12, 2020 May 12, 2020

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This was very useful!! I was search this for hours and I found your comment, thanks for sharing your experience.

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New Here ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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I tried that, but the "Default PDF Handler" button is greyed out.  Still trying to figure out a way to make acrobat X pro my default.

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New Here ,
Aug 20, 2022 Aug 20, 2022

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Same the PDF Handler is grayed out when Reader DC is installed. After uninstalling DC it came back as an option. Without DC installed Acrobat X pro works fine and one can change via normal "open with" options to make PDF files default to different things and back. Once DC is installed, it somehow overrides and blocks all the older Adobe X pro software, though the X pro software still opens fine on its own via the now icon missing shortcut or exe open, with both installed. DC blocks it from becoming a default application. 

In the previous version of windows I edited the registry myself. I was hoping for a simple windows driven method, but it appears Adobe made it worse by blocking all windows based options with DC and forcefully blocked backwards compatibility therein. I’m sure Adobe has a made up excuse as to why, which just per the other comment about new licenses means they just want more money of course.

 

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2021 Dec 22, 2021

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YESSS!!!  This worked for me, unlike the recommendations from Microsoft and Adobe.  Thank you, BeckoningChasm!

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 25, 2022 Jan 25, 2022

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Thank you! It's amazing that this simole procedure is so hard to discover.

 

Thank you again  

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New Here ,
Nov 16, 2021 Nov 16, 2021

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I tried this suggestion: checked "Always use this app..." and carefully navigated to my Adobe X Pro app in Program Files x86, but when I select the app and click "Open", the document opens with Reader DC. Trying to set the "Default Handler" from within Acrobat X Pro is not possible b/c that button is greyed out. Does anyone have the solution?

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New Here ,
Oct 21, 2020 Oct 21, 2020

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BeckoningChasm, you are a godsend! Thank you very much, it worked perfectly.

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New Here ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Thank you, this was most helpful--I was having the same issue!  🙂

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