PDF Application Clobbering are blocking my ability to use Edge by default for employees.

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Occasional Contributor

I would love to use Edge as the default browser. The ability to use enterprise site mode and the built-in IE mode are amazing but Chrome legacy browser support works OK and the PDF issues with Edge are just to much for me to change from using IE 11 as default (lots of legacy web apps here) and Chrome as our supported browsers internally. Generally if Edge would stop trying to be a PDF viewer it would already be deployed, less then a month after its official release. We pay lots of money for 3rd party PDF software that is critical to many aspects of our business and internal process flow to allow Edge within 10 ft of a PDF file other than to download it and open in that program

 

I've got set these settings:
1) Settings -> Downloads -> Ask where to save each file before downloading -> Disabled
2) Settings -> Site permissions -> PDF documents -> Always open PDF files externally -> Enabled

 

When my employee's click on a PDF to download it they are taken to the Edge PDF viewer and given a prompt that says the "PDF reader is disabled" and given directions to either turn it on or download a file. This means the Setting 2 above is not applied right as it shouldn't prompt. Of course they choose "Download file" but when downloading the file they are then prompted and asked where do they want to save the file( This means setting 1 don't ask where to save is broken). Then the file is downloaded to their computer where if they haven't set the option to always open a PDF with system viewer the file is downloaded breaking (setting 2) and not opening externally. 

 

Honestly this is a bad and confusing experience for my employees' they need the PDF in external programs as we are using many sophisticated features of 3rd party products that the builtin reader is useless for. It takes way to many clicks and way to much troubleshooting for the users to get PDFs to open in a way that our business needs them to for me to currently make Edge our default browser.

Realistically the PDF's should be downloaded to disk by default once the setting to "Always open PDF files externally" is enabled and if the option is set to always open in system viewer that should work when the files are clicked, I also have not found a way to reverse the option to always open in system viewer certainly would be nice to know how to reverse that so I can figure out how to set that as default. 

 

I also need some officially supported way to prevent Edge from trying to become the default PDF viewer. I've yet to find a good way, my solution works but it's not good. GPO setting like "Do not clobber or break PDF usage on peoples computers" would be a good start.

 

 

3 Replies
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@Andrew Hoffman This is very frustrating as well.

Chrome had the setting: 

 

1- Go to chrome:
2- Click on "Privacy" --> "Content Settings".
3- At the bottom, click on:
"PDF Documents" --> "Open PDF files in the default PDF viewer application"....
 
Edge needs something similar
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Absolutely. I wont be setting it as the default until this is fixed.
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@Andrew Hoffman download a pdf. When it appears in the bottom bar click on the menu option then select "Always Open with System Viewer"! 

 

I found all kinds of wild hacks to make this happen, but it seems to be stable for me after selecting that option.