I created a document library with "open in the client application" selected in SharePoint 2016. Browser File handling is set to "Strict" for the Web Application and Site Collection Feature for "Open Documents in Client Application by Default" is activated. PDF files still open in the browser when using EDGE Chromium and Chrome but open in Adobe Acrobat Reader when using IE11. Excel spreadsheets in the same folder open directly in Excel and word documents in the same folder open directly in Word. I do have an Office Online server in the farm.

How can I make PDF files open in Adobe Acrobat Reader from SharePoint 2016 when using Edge Chromium or Chrome?

1 Answer 1


Adobe created an ActiveX control for IE which is what allowed Acrobat/Reader to open PDF files in the application. Because ActiveX controls are IE-only, and Adobe hasn't spent the effort/time/<insert reason here> to reproduce that functionality in non-IE browsers, that is why it opens in the browser instead of in the application.

Adobe does offer a Chrome plugin, which should also work with Edge, to allow a user to transition from the browser to desktop application under the right circumstances, i.e. if you have Office Online Server opening PDFs as Word Documents, that plugin won't work.

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