Issue: With every Edge update Edge keeps hijacking .pdf file association from 3rd party PDF reader (Acrobat, Foxit, ...)

Peter Geelen 1 Reputation point MVP

Since the launch of Edge as browser, Windows 10 / 11 keeps resetting the default PDF reader to Edge with every single update of the Edge browser. Every time the PDF application default mapping is reset.

I've applied registry fixes multiple times to open my PDFs in Foxit reader (it could be Acrobat or any other PDF reader of your favor..), but nevertheless, it goes back to Edge defaults over and over again.

I need to reset the PDF reader via de Windows explorer settings, opening a PDF with alternative viewer... The Windows settings > Apps > Default apps interface does not save the settings, you can check the .pdf file setting, but Edge keeps in place, an other app is not saved.

Does any one have a hint or a suggestion to fix this once and for all? Even with Edge updates, the PDF file association needs to keep the PDF reader I select.


Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge
A Microsoft cross-platform web browser that provides privacy, learning, and accessibility tools.
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  1. Erik Moreau 416 Reputation points MVP

    Hi Peter,

    I'm mostly using the Edge PDF handler, it has become quite complete.

    To avoid 3rd party handlers to be replaced or changed I'd go for locking it down with a policy:

    Hope this helps,


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  2. Yu Zhou-MSFT 12,541 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hi @Peter Geelen

    If you don't want to use Edge as default PDF viewer, you can try to enable this policy AlwaysOpenPdfExternally after you set your default PDF viewer.

    If the above still can't fixed the issue, you can refer to this thread and try the solution in it to edit the registry to set the default app.

    If the answer is the right solution, please click "Accept Answer" and kindly upvote it. If you have extra questions about this answer, please click "Comment".
    Note: Please follow the steps in our documentation to enable e-mail notifications if you want to receive the related email notification for this thread.

    Yu Zhou

  3. Peter Geelen 1 Reputation point MVP

    Yes, testing some solutions step by step... but no result yet.

    Edge is still taking over now and then..
    Will take a few days to see when it keeps stable... (and documenting the steps and results...)