43 responses

  1. adam
    October 31, 2011

    What a Hint :p

    • Mateus
      October 16, 2015

      Fantastic. Thanks a lot!

  2. Mark
    October 31, 2011

    You can also use the RCDefaultApp Prefpane for this:


    • Tim
      October 31, 2011

      You beat me to it, but I definitely agree. I’ve never had Apple’s method stay put. But RCD has never let me down.

  3. Charles
    October 31, 2011

    Beware: If you annotate PDF’s, you don’t WANT Preview to be the default PDF handler.

    The version of Preview in Snow Leopard subtly corrupts annotated files, although they still look good on the screen. Something is changed in the encoding, and after you save the annotated version, you won’t be able to search within the PDF or copy text from it.

    I don’t know about Lion: I haven’t upgraded yet because it has the Auto Save feature. I don’t want to risk opening a PDF on a removable device and accidentally doing anything that might change it. Lion would save a corrupt version and lose the original.

    • Tony
      January 27, 2012

      Thanks for this tip! I knew it must be easy to change default program in mac osx but never found it.
      @Charles OSX Lion does autosave but you can always go back to older version and Lock the file.

  4. Bamik
    March 25, 2012

    Thank you!!! That was driving me crazy…

    • chauncey
      January 30, 2013

      same here!

  5. eric
    July 27, 2012

    big thankz!

    it help me that much!

  6. Pri
    September 25, 2012


  7. G.
    November 21, 2012

    Thank u!!!

  8. Philip
    December 7, 2012

    Thanks! Just what I was looking for!

  9. J
    January 20, 2013


  10. billhunter@yahoo.com
    January 21, 2013

    Thanks, I used this to change the setting in the other direction. After Apple updates, the setting is set back to preview. Preview has a hard time with my PDF files. They look fine on the screen, but get scaled different when sent to the printer, resulting in getting only the center of the document. Adobe is crap, but preview is worse.

  11. Christy
    January 25, 2014

    Amazing! HUGE help!! Thank you!!

  12. Mark
    April 18, 2014

    Thank You!

  13. THANK YOU!!!
    May 16, 2014

    now i can let go of my all-consuming hatred of adobe for taking over my computer. and go back to using it when I *want* to

  14. Suraj
    July 16, 2014

    just what i needed. Thanks

  15. serguti
    December 2, 2014

    thanks! very useful the tip!.

  16. Ann
    December 15, 2014

    OMG! TYSM! Adobe was so annoying!!!

  17. Badrinath
    January 22, 2015


  18. sdurs
    February 28, 2015

    omg… thanks so much. adobe was controlling my files!!

  19. EK
    April 1, 2015

    I echo everyone’s sentiments. That was driving me nuts. I couldn’t even print the way I wanted. Thanks for the help!!!

  20. luis
    May 4, 2015

    The real tip is, can Adobe just make Acrobat a lot less bloated!?

  21. Carrie
    July 6, 2015

    Amazing! I was going crazy every time Adobe opened! Very much appreciated

  22. Spaceman
    July 16, 2015

    This did not work for me. I found my solution to quit Adobe and then find it in applications, then move it to trashcan, then empty trash. It works. Preview is now my default PDF reader.!

  23. Thanks
    August 3, 2015

    How can Preview be the main PDF viewer for on-line PDFs? They still open in Safari, just not using Adobe’s plug-in.

    Using Safari I want to click on a link to a PDF file and have Safari download the file and automatically open in *Preview*, without the intermediate step of viewing it in a Safari window.

    How can I do this?

    Safari 7.0.6
    Mac OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks

  24. Tiddlywinkz
    August 5, 2015

    Thank you! Acrobat was driving me batty.

  25. JG
    November 9, 2015

    Thank you very much!

  26. Sherri
    November 13, 2015

    what if all my files are already in adobe, I have no files in preview???

    • zach
      November 13, 2015

      It doesn’t matter, but you’d want to quit out of Adobe Acrobat and then start the process from the Finder with a PDF file to change the PDF association back to Preview.

      So find a PDF File on your Mac file system (the Finder), then hit Command+i on that file (or go to the File menu and choose “Get Info” and do the Open With change to your desired PDF reader from there. Works in all versions of OS X!

  27. Robert
    November 24, 2015

    Excellent! Thank you!

  28. Craig
    January 14, 2016

    I love my mac!!!

  29. Paula
    January 21, 2016

    Thank You so much. Results in seconds

  30. Anna O’Neil
    February 6, 2016

    Thank you! This was so helpful!

  31. Lesley
    February 8, 2016

    Thank you! I was getting very frustrated at not being able to choose Preview as my default. There were other tips that came up when I searched, though this one was the most thorough, and got the job done!

  32. jim
    February 12, 2016

    this didn’t work for me. cmd+i opens a different dialog box.

    here is what i have done. open preview, open a pdf, cmd+i very different dialog box,

    the one i see has 5 options at the top that can be selected, general options, search, annotate, crop, etc.

    i’ve tried this on several different pdfs. nowhere is this option available… thoughts?


    • jim
      February 12, 2016

      OK i was able to do this from finder. highlighted a pdf. get info. check open with change all. that worked. so thanks for setting me on the right course!

    • jim
      February 12, 2016

      OK i was able to do this from finder with same work flow. i can’t post that workflow as i get an error message that i have already said this! so thanks for setting me on the right course!

  33. Kimberly
    August 15, 2016

    Awesome! Thank you so much!

  34. Rachel
    September 11, 2016

    How do you email a single page PDF that it shows as an icon not an opened full page

  35. Rebecca
    October 3, 2016

    I click on the Preview but where is the Change All button? Is it on my keyboard or what?

  36. Abi Green
    December 8, 2017

    Thanks, that’s really helpful! Preview is easy, quick and much more elegant than Adobe.

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