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How to use Google Chrome as your default PDF reader on Windows

I don't often need to open a PDF file, and when I do it's typically something I'm looking at in my Web browser. Since I'm using Google Chrome, the built-in PDF viewer is what I use 90% of the time. I do, however, get the odd email at my day job (where we don't use webmail) with a PDF attachment I need to read.

So I thought, "why not open those in Chrome, too?" It's easy enough to set up. Here's how to do it.

First, locate your Google Chrome executable. The easiest way to do this is to right-click your Chrome shortcut and choose properties from the menu. In the box labeled target, you'll see the complete path to Chrome.exe. Highlight that text and copy it to your clipboard.

Now, you need to head to your Windows file associations panel.
Windows XP: Bring up the run dialog box (Win+R, or click Start > Run), type control folders and then press enter. When the folder options window appears, click the file types tab.

Windows 7 and Vista: Click the Windows button and type associations in the search box. By the time you hit 'asso,' you'll see 'change the file type associated with a file extension.' Click it.
Next, scroll down your (probably lengthy) list of file types -- you're looking for PDF, of course. Once you find it, click the change button, then click browse, and then paste your path to Google Chrome into the file box. Click OK, and the previous screen should now display Chrome next to "opens with." Click close, and you're all done!

Head on over to your documents folder and double click a PDF and see what happens -- if all goes well, Chrome will open and display your file!

Tags: acrobat, adobe, alternatives, apps, browsers, chrome, google, google chrome, GoogleChrome, how-to, pdf, reader, tips, utilities

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