How to Disable the Built-in PDF Viewer in Chrome

When I reported that Google brought a built-in PDF reader to the Chrome browser I was really excited about not having to load Adobe Reader each time I opened a PDF, but after using it for a couple of months I find that it is not as great as I thought it would be. If you find that you’re experiencing the same issues, then check out the instructions below so that you can disable the built-in PDF reader in Google Chrome. If you have any comments or questions please use the comments form at the end of the guide.

Software/Hardware used: Google Chrome 9 Beta running on Mac OS X.


1. Enter about:plugins in the Chrome Omnibox.

2. Click the Disable link under Chrome PDF Viewer in the Plug-ins list.


Once disabled, Chrome will begin using PDF reader to view PDF files.

A. If you wish to re-enable the plugin click on the Enable link.

Did you find Google’s PDF reader useful or a nuisance?

  • Siv

    Hella annoying. Because if you want to save the PDF as a file, it doesn’t render the entire PDF document correctly.

    • That’s the problem I’ve been experiencing…the reason I posted this. Thanks
      for the feedback.

  • I find the built in PDF viewer to be very useful for me and I haven’t found any issues with it. I can view PDF files before saving it on my computer and that alone saves me a lot of time. Anyway, some people may want to directly download PDF files thus they need to disable it and this guide will teach them how to do it.