Very newbie questions


Just installed Sumatra PDF (the latest 64 bit installable version, downloaded from here) and a few things did not work as expected, and hoping you can clarify since I don’t see them addressed in the manual.

  1. I saw a screenshot of the installation somewhere that showed a screen that asks where you want it installed, and if you want it to be the default, etc. But I got none of that…just the first screen with the name of the program and then, upon clicking install, it installed where it wanted (Program Files) which is not where I wanted. I moved the entire folder (which you often shouldn’t do) to my “Utilities” folder (which is where I wanted it installed) and it seems to be working, but I’m wondering if some file somewhere is now confused :slight_smile: or if there was another way to have specified the location, or if I got a corrupt installer.

  2. I see no way to have .pdfs that open in IE11 use Sumatra. I DID manually set Windows to open all .pdfs with Sumatra, and that works fine for opening a .pdf from my computer, but in IE, they still open with Adobe Reader, which I’m hoping to uninstall. Did I miss something?

Thanks for your help and patience with the newbie questions.


To get more advanced installer features, click “Options” button when you run the installer.

I’m not sure about IE11. I would think that somewhere in IE11 settings there’s a way to change the program that handles PDFs.


Thanks for the quick response. I didn’t see any “options” button in the installer; as I said, all I got on clicking the .exe for setup was a screen with the name of the program, and an install button. I will uninstall and try again.

The only option to set the program that handles .pdf is in the Windows file associations, which, as I said, I did set to use Sumatra. That works fine for opening pdfs from my computer, but in IE, it still defaults to Adobe, it seems. Firefox has it’s own engine, and that’s fine.

Any further insight is appreciated; if not, things are still working acceptably so I guess I can work around this, leaving Adobe installed for use in IE.


@kjk: Doesn’t this issue come up so often that it would make sense to just show those installer options (install path etc.) by default? Lots of people seem to miss that Options button somehow, probably because with most installers people are in a hurry to click Next and get the app up and running ASAP. The options being shown by default wouldn’t be confusing either IMO, if that’s the argument for hiding them.

@neme: You might have Adobe’s plugin installed in IE. Either uninstall Adobe which should make IE open PDFs with your default PDF viewer (Sumatra), or try disabling the plugin as follows:

  1. Open the Tools menu in IE and click “Manage Add-Ons.”
  2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab, find “Adobe PDF Viewer.”
  3. Select it and click “Disable.”

Henceforth clicking on a link to a PDF should make IE prompt you to either open or save the file, and choosing “Open” should open it with your system’s default PDF reader.

Show thumbnails of files on desktop

Thanks, SumatraPeter; great minds think alike :). The Manage Add-ons was the first place I looked, and Adobe is NOT listed! Go figure. I may just uninstall Adobe altogether and see what happens. Windows is using Sumatra fine for computer-based pdfs, and Firefox uses it’s own viewer, so that’s fine.

I did miss (if it ever showed) an Options button, and frankly, it’s hard for me to understand my missing it since I’m one of those annoying geeks who wants to customize everything and so always look for Options :). Oddly, just dragging the whole Sumatra folder from Program Files to my custom folder seems to have worked, although I’d think it shouldn’t; I didn’t choose the portable version, so usually just moving a folder doesn’t cut it.

When I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll uninstall Adobe and see what happens with IE, and report back here in case it helps someone. Just thought there should be an option in Sumatra to enable it in IE (as there is with FoxIt.)


@SumatraPeter yes, I’m considering showing the installer options by default.


Just wanted to update this. No matter what I tried, .pdfs will not open in IE11 at all now that I uninstalled Adobe, although I have both .pdf and .pdfxml set in the file associations to use Sumatra. On the desktop, pdfs open in Sumatra with no problem, and I even discovered that I can enter a url in the file open box in Sumatra and it will open, a feature that should be clearer, since the file open box has no button for url, just the typical choose a directory then a filename box.

So far, to get pdfs to work again in IE, I have to reinstall Adobe. To reiterate, there is NO entry in add-ins and file associations are set to Sumatra.


not absolutely clear what your main problem is
once you load acrobat it changes so many settings including adding the viewing accelerator and on removal may not return all settings to original state

if you expect to click on a pdf file on a web page and and it will open automatically in SumatraPDF without asking you to open it then look at

although it says not needed for .pdf just using the first bit “Manually Configuring Open/Save for a File Type” solved my problem of always having to click OPEN


I think I may not have been clear. I do NOT get an open/save popup----the pdf just doesn’t open. If I got the popup, I could live with having to click open just fine. But that doesn’t happen. Clicking on a .pdf just leads to a blank page; no pdf. Any pdf.


Ok I have not experienced that condition however IE11 relies heavily on related registry setting so using control panel you can double check the following

on the left are default programs however note in my case SumatraPDF is not listed

on the right are the applications that will open files per filetype , scrolling down to .pdf SumatraPDF is clearly listed as the default handler for pdf (also .epdf .cbz .epub .mobi)


I do appreciate your efforts. As I said all along, I DO have Sumatra set as the default program for opening .pdfs. On the desktop, all .pdfs now open automatically with Sumatra, as they should, since that IS SET as the default. It’s only in IE that the .pdfs just don’t open; a blank page opens but it’s not in Sumatra, and there’s no content.

The only way I can read a .pdf from the web using IE is to download the .pdf, then I can open it from the download folder with no issue in Sumatra. That of course is not what I wanted; what I wanted was to click on a .pdf in IE and have it open in Sumatra, which should work since, again, I have Sumatra set as the default for opening .pdfs. All .pdf file associations are set to use Sumatra.


Solved! I had indeed uninstalled Adobe Reader (although that shouldn’t have been necessary—just setting Sumatra as the default file association for .pdf should have been enough), but now I just ran a program to search for remnants of Reader that might have been left behind and deleted all of those. And then clicking on a .pdf worked! Of course, got the open/save choice thing, but clicked open (no biggie); interestingly, I got a popup then asking me if I wanted to use (are you ready for this?) Sumatra PDF or Sumatra PDF to open these files? Chose Sumatra PDF (duh!) and that was that. Apparently, IE was seeing some sort of ghost Sumatra PDF as well as the real one? Anyway, for now, all looks good. Thanks anyway for trying to help.


Ok glad its sorted
next suggestion would have been to reset/reinstall IE followed by remove Adobe remnants, seems like you bypassed wasting time on IE as Adobe was the more likely culprit

I usually run the steps prior to suggestion and reseting IE11 has solved many of my issues viewing this forum (duh !) :grin: