Keep Microsoft Edge From Becoming Default PDF App

September 19, 2016

Last week in Removing Unwanted Windows 10 Apps That Don’t Want to Go Away, I wrote about my frustrations in Windows 10 taking over file formats every time an update was installed. I was able to get the Photos app removed so it didn’t take over bitmap formats, but Microsoft Edge still took over PDF files on every update.

Several of my loyal readers sent suggestions. One suggestion was to completely disable Microsoft Edge. As most of my work relates to Web design, I need to have it available for testing. So while the suggestion was appreciated, it just isn’t something that made sense for me.

Brent MacDonald sent me a link to an article titled How to stop Microsoft Edge from hijacking PDF files that sounded promising. The proposed fix requires hacking your registry which is not for newbies. If you feel comfortable digging into the software innards of your computer, give it a shot. Otherwise find a geeky friend or coworker who can help you.

I followed the proposed fix and then it was time to install a Windows update to see if PDF files were still associated with my software of choice and not Microsoft Edge. It was successful! That’s one less hassle I have to deal with each time I install updates.

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1 Comment

  1. Fred

    I have Win 10 pro v1803 and Edge continues to hijack my PDF files. Despite the basic temp solution of resetting the file association, each time windows updates it resets the default to Edge. I have used a script to modify the registry, but it is only a temp measure.. This works well between windows updates. However a more permanent fix is to rename the Edge launcher files in the Windows/SystemApps/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe folder. There are two that I suggest you rename by adding OLD before the .exe. The files are:



    Note that you will need t change permissions to rename the files.

    Since doing this over 6 mths ago, I have had no problem with Edge hijacking my PDF files from Acrobat.


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