PDF files have been around for over 25 years, and they aren’t going anywhere soon. Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files are widely utilized in classrooms and workplaces since they are the most widely used format for sharing presentations and documents. It’s no surprise that PDF readers are the most popular software and a standard fixture on every computer.

Students, workers in the business world, and anybody else who regularly deals with PDFs can benefit. In that scenario, you can access these functions by downloading a reputable PDF viewer. The need for PDF readers has grown in tandem with the spread of the PDF file format.

We’ll be talking about the top free PDF readers for Mac and Windows today.

Download one of these 12 top-rated PDF readers for free today!

There are now a plethora of PDF readers available for both Mac and Windows. There are some that don’t cost anything and others that do. They differ greatly in the capabilities they provide. It’s not always obvious which one is the better option.

The greatest free PDF readers with all the features you need and more are available here. Our two-part list of PDF readers should make it easier for you to make a decision. The top free PDF readers for Macs are presented in the first section. The top free PDFincludes for Windows can be found in the second section.

Keep in mind that many of the PDF readers on the list are cross-platform, but their specific features may vary. At last, I’ve included the PDF reader that I think to be the best overall. Let’s jump right into the list, shall we?

6 Best Free PDF Readers for Mac

These are the best free pdf readers for macOS.

Adobe Acrobat Reader
PDF Reader Premium
Apple Preview
Skim PDF
Soda PDF
Kdan PDF Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader is, unsurprisingly, our top pick for Mac and Windows because it is completely free, is generally compatible with other programs, and has every feature you could desire in a PDF reader. In addition to being a fantastic PDF reader, it also boasts extensive editing, printing, and commenting capabilities.

In addition to reading and viewing PDFs, this free program also allows for editing, signing, form filling, protection, and highlighting. Anyone who regularly deals with PDFs will find Adobe Reader to be an invaluable tool.

PDF Reader Premium

Download PDF Reader Premium if your work involves a lot of PDFs. One of the most popular PDF readers for Apple devices, it has been downloaded over 50 million times.

PDFs can be opened in many tabs at once, annotated with images and sticky notes, tagged for easy retrieval, signed in place, and transferred via a number of cloud services.

Anyone who wants to do more than just view PDFs should opt for this program.

Apple Preview

If you need a basic PDF viewer, every Mac has one already installed: Preview. It’s not as feature-rich as some of the other PDF readers on this list, but if you only need to see or print a PDF quickly, it’s an excellent option.

PDFs can be opened in Preview, where many pages may be viewed at once, forms can be filled out, and annotations can be made. The size of a PDF can be decreased, it can be divided into many PDFs, or it can be combined with other PDFs.

If you don’t care about fancy extras and just need something to launch quickly, this is a good option for you.

Skim PDF

You can read eBooks and scientific publications in PDF format with Skim, a free and open-source PDF editor. Full-screen mode, note export as text, Spotlight integration for in-app text searching, and note editing are some of its most valuable functions. Highlights can be shown and built-in transitions can be used when reading a PDF with Skim.

The software was designed for classroom usage initially, making it a solid option for anyone who regularly reads and annotates scholarly articles. Its qualities, however, make it a worthwhile tool for anyone who regularly works with PDFs.

Soda PDF

Online comic books, periodicals, and catalogs all look fantastic in Soda PDF. New PDFs can be made from scratch and edited.

When it comes to managing PDFs on a Mac, Soda PDF is your best bet. The integrated software makes it simple to change file formats and personalize them with scribbles, text boxes, sticky notes, hyperlinks, and annotations.

Soda PDF generates interest in, and ultimately purchases of, its online PDF platform by giving free PDF tools on its websites, such as converters, splitters, compressors, document signers, and security measures. These web-based alternatives to downloaded PDF readers will help you avoid filling up your hard drive.

Kdan PDF Reader

View, edit, convert, and annotate PDFs with this flexible PDF management tool. It’s available for immediate download from the Mac App Store. Kdan PDF Reader is a robust and widely used PDF management solution for Macs.

Freehand writing, text boxes, sticky notes, hyperlinks, and annotations can all be added to a PDF with the help of the software. Use tags and color coding to distinguish between similar documents. In addition, the Import History function makes it easy to monitor your collection of downloaded documents.

If you wish to do more than just view PDFs, then you might consider Kdan PDF Reader.

Free PDF Readers: The Top 6 for Windows

These are the best free pdf readers for windows.

Nitro PDF Reader
PDF-XChange Editor
Foxit PDF
Slim PDF

Nitro Reader

One of the most popular pieces of office and productivity software is Nitro Reader. In comparison to other free PDF readers, this one strikes the ideal balance between simplicity and functionality. Its modern design is consistent with that of other Microsoft Office programs.

When compared to other PDF readers, Nitro Reader stands out. It contains all the standard capabilities plus QuickSign, which enables digitally signing documents as easy as signing an email. And if you want to make sure that only people who have your digital certificate can access your papers, you can do that too. Therefore, select Nitro Reader if you need a powerful and aesthetically pleasing PDF reader for Windows.

PDF-XChange Editor

New and improved PDF reader for Windows 10 is called PDF-XChange Editor. PDF files can be opened in a flash, and the app makes it easy to view them, print them, annotate them, and save the content that appears on screen as plain text.

Before being rebranded as PDF-XChange Viewer, the sole free editing option was quite limited. In addition to text-to-speech and digital signature functions, this software also includes OCR. Although it contains many helpful functions, the user interface (UI) may be too complicated for some. Perhaps this issue can be fixed with a redesign in the near future.

PDF-XChange Editor’s free version offers more than 60% of the commercial version’s functionality.

Foxit PDF

Foxit Reader can do more than just read PDFs; it can also be used to generate, modify, and annotate PDFs. It works with a wide variety of systems and even has Microsoft Office add-ons. This makes it a highly flexible resource that should be readily available to anyone who routinely works with PDFs.

You can make sure your PDFs are legit, add your signature to them, edit them, and print them with the help of this program. It’s free to use, but the paid version unlocks premium features. Unless you need advanced features, the free edition has everything you need.


MuPDF is a C framework that implements a PDF, XPS, and EPUB parser and rendering engine; it is freely available to the public. Its primary purpose is image rendering, but it also serves other purposes like searching, listing tables of contents, and creating hyperlinks.

The software can run independently of other applications like web browsers and PDF readers. It also works in reverse, allowing you to convert an HTML, SVG, or CBZ file into a PDF.


If you only need to view PDFs and not make any changes or fill out any forms, Sumatra PDF is a great option. You may easily navigate any PDF file with the help of Sumatra’s many viewing modes and keyboard shortcuts.

PDF, CHM, DjVu, XPS, ePub, MOBI, CBZ, and CBR are just few of the file types that can be viewed with this reader. The Sumatra team has also developed a Firefox add-on that makes it possible to read PDFs in the browser.

Slim PDF

Slim PDF is a lightweight PDF reader that requires only 15 MB of disk space. This lightweight free PDF reader packs an impressive set of functions, including the ability to print, search, zoom, and rotate PDFs.

This PDF reader for Windows PCs has recently been upgraded with a dark mode option and a new user interface design, making it more convenient than ever before. This free tool streamlines the process of reading, displaying, and printing PDF documents.

It’s small, has few options, and won’t take up much room on your hard drive. In addition, it doesn’t support the usual shortcut keys for exploring PDFs, so you’ll have to learn new navigation methods if you switch from another reader.

Microsoft Edge Browser – the Default PDF Reader

Microsoft Edge is the built-in browser and PDF reader for Windows 10 and later versions. It’s robust software because it can perform as both a web browser and a PDF reader. PDFs are quickly and effortlessly opened.

The website’s user interface (UI) is likewise exceptionally well-designed. I’ve been using it for a while now, and it’s great. Although it does not have a lot of bells and whistles, it can nevertheless read, print, and sign PDFs for you. It’s a PDF reader with all the essential tools built in, including the ability to search, magnify, and bookmark pages.

Microsoft Edge’s ability to open PDFs in new tabs means you can effortlessly switch between them and other tabs without interrupting your work. Our go-to PDF viewer is Microsoft Edge, and we highly suggest it.

Did You Find the Best Free PDF Reader That Suits Your Needs?

Twelve distinct free PDF readers were evaluated. Microsoft Edge is my preferred browser because of has many useful features. It has a simple and straightforward user interface (UI), and it’s built in to Windows 10.

Nitro Reader and PDF XChange Editor are the two best options if you need access to more complex functionality. However, if you only need a basic PDF reader that doesn’t bog down your computer, slim PDF or Sumatra PDF are good options.

Is your go-to PDF reader missing from this selection? Leave a comment and let us know.

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