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How to Allow or Disallow Google Chrome from Opening PDF Files Externally on Windows 11 or 10?

Customize Your PDF Viewing in Chrome: A Comprehensive Guide for Windows Users

In today’s digital landscape, the ability to seamlessly open and view PDF files directly within web browsers has become almost a given. All modern browsers, including Google Chrome, come equipped with built-in support for displaying these document types, ensuring a smooth user experience. Yet, what if you prefer to utilize a specific third-party program for viewing PDFs, or on the flip side, you wish for Chrome to be your default viewer, but it’s just not working as intended? Whether you’re seeking to redirect PDF openings away from Chrome or ensure that the browser does so by default, there are ways to achieve both on Windows 10 and 11. This risewindows guide will illuminate the path forward, primarily using the Windows Registry as our tool of choice, to either permit or restrain Google Chrome from handling PDF files externally. Let’s dive into the intricacies of these settings and empower you with the knowledge to customize your PDF viewing preferences.

How to Allow or Block Google Chrome from Opening PDF Files Externally?

The following steps are used to allow or block Google Chrome from opening PDF files externally using Registry Editor:-

Step 1. Open Registry Editor.

Step 2. Browse to the following key in the left sidebar of Registry Editor:-


Step 3. Right-click on the Policies folder to select New > Key.

Step 4. Name the newly created key as Google.

Step 5. Right-click on the Google folder in the left sidebar and pick New > Key.

Step 6. Name this newly created key Chrome.

Step 7. Right-click on the Chrome folder and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Step 8. Rename the newly created REG_DWORD as AlwaysOpenPdfExternally.

Step 9. Double-click on the AlwaysOpenPdfExternally REG_DWORD, then set its “Value data” as follows:-

  • 0: Block PDF opening in Chrome Browser.
  • 1: Allow PDF opening in Chrome Browser.

Step 10. Pick OK.

Step 11. After that, reboot your computer to apply the changes.

Once you complete the above steps, you can open PDF files in Google Chrome or a third-party application in Windows 11 or 10.

That’s it.


In the modern digital era, PDF files have become ubiquitous, and the convenience of viewing them directly in web browsers has become a norm. For those who prefer Google Chrome as their primary PDF viewer or wish to divert away from it, this guide provides clear instructions on how to customize this preference using the Windows Registry. Whether it’s Windows 10 or 11, the steps remain consistent and straightforward. By following the laid-out instructions, users can take control of their PDF viewing preferences, enhancing their browsing experience.


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