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Although you can use Preview in macOS to open PDFs for free, you can’t edit PDFs on a Mac with it. Here we show you how to make Adobe Acrobat the default app to open PDFs on a Mac.

Since Adobe invented the PDF format, it’s no surprise that Adobe Acrobat is by far the best PDF software for Mac and it makes sense to use it as your default PDF tool in macOS.

However, even if you’ve already got Adobe Acrobat on your Mac, it may not be set as your default app to open PDFs in macOS Big Sur or Monterey.

By default, macOS uses Preview to open PDFs but you can easily change this in just a few clicks.

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Follow these instructions to set Adobe Acrobat as the default PDF application on a Mac.

  • Select any PDF file on your Mac and CTRL-click on it. Select Get Info from the drop down list of options that appears:

adobe reader default pdf mac

  • In the Get Info dialog box that appears, click on the drop down menu for Open With and select Adobe Acrobat Reader from the list of applications available.

adobe reader default pdf on mac

  • Click on Change All to ensure that Adobe Reader is the default tool to open PDFs on your Mac.

change default pdf program mac

From now on, macOS will use Adobe Reader as the default application to open and edit PDFs.

If you ever want to revert back to using macOS Preview for opening PDFs, you simply repeat the process but select Preview from the list of applications instead of Adobe Reader.

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