Strip the old version of Edge's PDF reader into a standalone PDF reading application

Iron Contributor

We all love the PDF function of the old version of Edge. It may be the best Windows platform PDF reader in the world. In Windows 8, there was a separate PDF application, but after Edge introduced the PDF reading function, the application was deleted. Fortunately, Edge inherits most of the advantages of the application.




Unfortunately, it started when Edge switched to Chromium. The new version of the PDF viewing function inherited Chromium’s poor foundation, which was heinously obscure and slow....


As a user, I want to use a pure PDF reader on Windows. I don't understand. This is obviously done by two software. Why should I put it in one software? Besides, Chromium's PDF experience is so bad.


As a user, as a senior lover of Windows, my appeal is extremely simple. I think I can also represent the aspirations of most users-a PDF reader that conforms to the Fluent Design System style, just like you did on Windows 8. .


Let me talk about the other options on the market.

1.First of all, Adobe's Acrobat. To be precise, this is a PDF editing software, but it comes with a reading function. It is slow, sluggish, large and bloated.

2.Chrome, as mentioned earlier, is not capable of loading large files, and the clarity is worrying. Lack of basic page thumbnail function.

3.There are also some third-party readers with ugly appearances, ancient code, and...high prices-for the UX they provide.

33 Replies
PDF features in Edge are still in development,
we can help the process by sending them precise and detailed feedbacks on how to improve the PDF experience in Edge :)



This is based on three considerations:

First, clear positioning: different applications do different things, just like Previewer in macOS, a software is responsible for PDF preview and clear product positioning. (Although the previewer in macOS is responsible for previewing from PDF to PSD to many other file formats)


Logically speaking, the previewer can preview a lot of pictures or documents, which can be explained. However, it seems strange for users to browse documents with web browsing tools. The PDF function on the web page should be used for viewing the PDF files in the web page. Prepare, not prepare for native files. Just like you don't use Chrome to view pictures and local files.


Second, for reasons of Microsoft intellectual copyright, I think the technology in the old version of Edge will never be used in Chromuim;


Third, the standalone PDF reader can be a real UWP application, or... at least an application that follows Fluent Design, and does not require too much engineering to maintain.

I extracted the Windows 8 Reader app APPX files as it can't be installed from Microsoft Store now. It doesn't have some Edge features, but it's pretty fast.
You need to install VCLibs from the archive first.
All files are genuine and was signed by Microsoft.!AlisxopsGYhvggoneAJxM8S-I9Y-?e=FQil0m

I can also suggest Adobe Reader UWP:



I disagree with that, today, a browser isn't only for browsing web resources, it can be used for a variety of purposes, PDF is one of them, you can use Edge browser to share your screen with someone else, play videos and music from your computer, view pictures, play games, voice/video call someone etc.

the possibilities are unlimited, and with PWAs, the line between local apps and web apps is getting thinner and thinner.





Unfortunately this is why I am pessimistic about a unified Windows UI. Both Microsoft and other manufacturers have begun to transform to PWA. A typical example is Figma or even a Web App. From many angles, this is not bad. This is a big improvement-except for a unified operating system. Interactive experience.


For many apps, Microsoft (and many manufacturers) have begun to use cross-platform development frameworks to simplify the development process and unify the software experience on various operating systems. ——Finally (although it is only part of it at present), the UI of the software has also begun to be consistent across platforms, usually not related to the operating system, but to shape the corporate brand image. Some software, such as Affinity, choose macOS as the main reference, and the interface of its Windows version is in line with macOS. Some software, such as Skype and Microsoft Teams, use their own unique UI, and have no specific association with any operating system.


This is why I think a unified Windows will be nowhere in sight...Since even Microsoft's own software is so "flying away" without restrictions, you can't expect software vendors to be willing to draw different UIs for different operating systems Up.

Microsoft's project reunion will be helpful in unifying apps/programs in Windows ecosystem and their UIs, most of its parts are in stable phase right now.
I do hope that Microsoft will make a different UI for Edge Windows.
Me too!! I would love to see a pdf reader since some people just want a pdf reader and not use Edge. Since jsut have a standalone app woudl be good.
on mobile OneDrive has a full featured PDF reader, on desktop, no matter what OS, Edge provides a full featured PDF reader that is constantly being improved, plus, everyone needs a browser, so 2 in 1 is better than 2 separate apps that take up more spaces
on mobile, the Office app also has PDF feature, including inking.

As a professional user of PDF in my design work, I would prefer to see PDF reading go away completely in Edge or as a substitute. I have frequent problems with clients who use MacOS Preview or Edge (or any of a dozen 3rd Party readers) and freak out because the PDF we sent them "doesn't look right" (e.g., missing characters, missing objects, transparent overlays missing or opaque). These viewers only support a subset of the PDF standard, which works okay for simple text but falls apart on press-grade files or important accessibility standards.


Fortunately, Windows updates no longer override Acrobat or Adobe Reader as defaults for PDF, which was loudly complained about by designers and other professional PDF users. The Edge PDF reader is a handy convenience, but it doesn't substitute for the real thing.

Yeah, very true. A lot of file that only works for Adobe like for security reasons. We need a legacy edge pdf reader like Windows 8.
If there is any standards that Edge is missing, please file a feedback using the feedback button on Edge or this online form
to make Edge better
Do you have any examples of those files? @Deleted




Yes True!



They Include New Features in Updates and Is Being Improved...

Example: A Few Weeks Ago, I Was Just Going Through My School Pdfs When I Saw That Some Text in English Wasn't Showing Up Clearly. I Provided Them Feedback Now It's Just Fixed by Updates in The Canary Version of Edge...

And The 2in1 Point...It's Really Good Because You Don't Need To Just Open Windows Here And There In A Single Window You Get All Your Work Done E-Mails,Calender,Pdfs And A Lot More


And Also, It's Has Way More Features Than Google Chrome And Other Browsers. Microsoft Did A Really Good Working by Making It Chromium Edge....


Thank You. Have A Good Day


is it really necessary to capitalize each word?


The "and' and "in" isn't capitalized in the first line of the paragraph....


XFA file are not supported either, also I heard that .epub files aren't either. It would be good to just have a seperate app for PDF"S with all the features and optimzed. Edge is just a brwoser to get it done but PDF reader would be much hopeful