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Windows 10 does not allow Sumatra PDF as default app #438

IanJermyn opened this Issue Feb 13, 2016 · 10 comments


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IanJermyn commented Feb 13, 2016

This problem started recently, within the last few days. Sumatra PDF has been replaced as the default pdf app by Microsoft Edge. When I try to reset Sumatra as the default app, there is an error message saying that "An app caused a problem with the default app setting for .pdf files, so it was reset to Microsoft Edge". 64-bit versions of Windows 10 and Sumatra 3.1.1.


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macpo commented Feb 16, 2016

This worked for me to solve the problem...

I resolved the problem for myself by using the Search bar to open "Choose a default app for each type of file", scrolling down to PDF, clicking Microsoft Edge and selecting SumatraPDF. It didn't immediately switch back, and double-clicking a PDF opened the correct program.


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KrasnayaPloshchad commented Feb 23, 2016

Currently, you must go Start → Settings → Default apps, click/touch Choose default app by file type to set Sumatra PDF as default app. See what I have done.
Set default app by file type via Windows 10 Settings
@kjk I think you can try to adding a special support to let users allow Sumatra PDF as default app via Control Panel, as following screenshot shows:
Set default app via Windows 10 Control Panel


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chantisnake commented Feb 29, 2016

this is a commonly known bug in latest windows 10.


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JohnOnGitHub commented Dec 13, 2016

Done it:
Run Sumatra,
go via the menu (top left) to options,
at the bottom there is the option "make SumatraPDF my default pdf reader" or something like that.
Click it.
Having confirm/picked in a Windows window (!), it should change to say "SumatraPDF is your default reader.
Voila et merci.


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julianlopezv commented Oct 19, 2018

I did this:

  1. Right click on pdf file and properties
  2. Opens with -> change
  3. SumatraPDF is in the list (don't use it)
  4. Goto more apps -> look for another app on this pc
  5. Search SumatraPDF on install path (C:\Program Files\SumatraPDF)
  6. Set SumatraPDF.exe

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GitHubRulesOK commented Oct 20, 2018

@kjk this is directly related to several open issues such as #589 (edge steals focus, win10 default setting ignored etc.) perhaps they could be linked here and closed as related duplicates?


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HermesPasser commented Nov 1, 2018

"Properties/Opens with" and "Start/Settings/Default apps" are not working here either, i even tried delete the registers related with open files as pdf but still the default app changes back to edge.


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Alacritous commented Dec 2, 2018

To force windows to use a particular program, the most effective way is as follows.

Open a command prompt with administrator privileges.


assoc .pdf

That will show you the program currently associated with PDF files.

to set it to SumatraPDF type the following.

assoc .pdf=SumatraPDF

I used this to associate .epub, .cbr, .pdf with Sumatra and it worked when all the other methods failed.

You can use this method to associate any file with any program

To see ALL associations



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derpyherp commented Jan 2, 2019

I'm not sure this is right. Didn't work for me, and the documentation claims it's for associating file type with file extension, not a program for opening it.

As described here:

assoc [<.ext>[=[<FileType>]]]

<.ext> Specifies the file name extension.
<FileType> Specifies the file type to associate with the specified file name extension.

As a side note, I can change the default app to something like Sigil, or Calibre ebook viewer, or Adobe Reader, but not SumatraPDF using any method mentioned here.

Edit: I was finally able to change it using free third-party software called "FileTypesMan" from NirSoft.

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