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10 Best Free PDF Readers [2023 Updated]

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  • Last Updated : 23 Mar, 2023
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Looking for a free PDF reader that you can rely on? Look no further – we have got you covered! From cross-platform readers to ones that integrate with other services, these readers are perfect for anyone who wants to read PDFs without any hassle. They allow you to read your important documents easily and even share them appropriately. Also, PDF files are comparatively safe and can’t be altered easily hence, should be used for sharing any important document, resume, study material, manuals, etc. With the help of the right PDF Reader, it becomes easier for you to open, read, and customize PDF files efficiently. 

Best PDF Readers 2023


So now, let’s check out the list of best PDF readers, but before that let us read, what is a PDF reader:

What is a PDF Reader?

A PDF reader is an application that helps you to view, comment, fill, search, share and print any Portable Document Format (PDF) files. It is typically used for opening and reading PDF files and provides good control over the appearance of documents on screen. So whether you’re a student, a businessperson, or just someone who wants to save time, these readers are the perfect solution. Let’s dig in! 

Best Free PDF Readers for Windows & Mac

Now, let’s get started with the list:

 Disclaimer: The below listing is done in random order.


It is a professional PDF editor that allows you to Read, Annotate, Edit, Convert, OCR,and Organize PDFs effortlessly.With UPDF you can easily annotate PDF documents with an array of convenient PDF markup tools.Features like multiple tab ability, desired layout, enhanced readability makes it one of the fastest,and most intuitive tool to read PDFs.It is on top of the list of best free PDF readers to use for reading PDF documents.

Some of its key features that makes it a fine choice:

  • You can edit your PDF however you want. You can edit the text, control and edit images, and links, and put in watermarks, backgrounds, headers & footers.
  • You can transform your PDFs into editable Word and other popular formats.You can also convert it to image or html file.
  • You can quickly add, delete, rotate, replace, extract, split, crop, and rearrange PDF pages.
  • You can convert Scanned PDFs to Searchable and Editable PDFs with 3 Layouts Using OCR.It lets you extract textual information from an image, edit scanned PDFs, and make PDFs searchable.

2. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is one of the most popular PDF readers in the market and it’s free to download! Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is a full-featured PDF reader that lets you view, print and save files in PDF format. It also has features like annotation and bookmarking for easier navigation. 

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is a great tool for anyone who needs to read or print PDF files frequently. 

Some of the key benefits of using Adobe Acrobat Reader include:

  • Works across devices
  • Safeguards your documents
  • Includes proper tools for editing, reviewing, and converting

3. WorkinTool

WorkinTool PDF Converter is a powerful and easy-to-use PDF Conversion software that turns PDF files into multiple formats, such as images, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, TXT, etc.It lets you convert files to PDF or PDF to other formats hassle free with high speed and accuracy with just a few clicks.Besides reading PDFs,it provides editing features like combine, split, reorder or delete PDF pages, compress PDF to a smaller size, encrypt or unlock PDF files, add watermark sticky notes,comments and text to PDFs.It offers free and paid versions.It is a good fit for individuals and small businesses.

Some of the key benefits of using WorkinTool PDF Reader include:

  • Fast PDF conversion speed
  • Intuitive interface makes it easy to use
  • Lets you merge,compress, split or encrypt your pdf
  • Offers a free version
  • Maintains the original quality and layout of PDF files.
  • Offers tools,for searching, commenting, highlighting, etc.

4. Foxit PDF Reader

Foxit PDF Reader is a popular PDF reader that is available for both Windows and Mac. It allows you to view, print, and extract files from PDFs with ease. Foxit also has some great features that make it a powerful tool for business owners and document creators.

Some of the key benefits of using Foxit include:

  • Easy navigation through your PDFs
  • High-quality printing 
  • Extraction options

5. Nitro Reader

Nitro Reader is a PDF reader that offers a number of features that are not found in other readers. These include the ability to zoom in and out, page-turning by hand or with the flick of a finger, bookmarking pages for later reading, and conversion of text to images.

Nitro Reader also has some unique editing tools that allow you to add annotations, highlight text, and make notes directly on the PDF file. This makes it easy to remember important details as you read through the document.

Some of the key benefits of using Nitro include:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Combines or edits PDF files
  • Can open more than one PDF at a single time

6. Google Drive

Google Drive is a popular cloud storage service that allows users to store files in the cloud and access them from any device. Nonetheless, it also includes a pdf reader, which can be used to view, print, and save PDFs.

The Google Drive PDF reader works with most versions of Windows and macOS, as well as many other devices including phones and tablets. The file format supported by the PDF reader is based on Open Document Format (ODF), which is widely accepted across industries. ODF files are easy to open and use with common office software such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Some of the key benefits of using Google Drive include:

  • Compatible with several devices
  • Easy sharing
  • Free storage

7. MuPDF

MuPDF is a free and open-source PDF reader that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It supports a variety of annotation and management features, including text highlighting, tracking changes, signing documents with your digital signature, and more.

MuPDF also has a built-in security feature called Two-factor Authentication (2FA). This allows you to add an extra layer of security to your PDF files by requiring someone who wants to access the file to also have access to their mobile phone or other protected device.

Some of the key benefits of using MuPDF include:

  • Form filling
  • Text search
  • high-fidelity PDF rendering

8. SumatraPDF

SumatraPDF is a PDF creator that makes creating and editing PDFs easy. It has a variety of features, including the ability to create and edit PDFs quickly and easily, the ability to add tables and figures, cross-references, bookmarks, graphics integration for maps and photos, templates for forms or letters, annotations (including comments), password protection…and more. Plus, SumatraPDF is free to download and use! 

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use PDF editor that will help you create quality documents quickly and easily, SumatraPDF is the perfect tool for you.

Some of the key benefits of using SumatraPDF include:

  • Need no installation
  • Multilingual translations
  • Provides password protection

9. Slim PDF

SlimPDF is a free and open-source pdf reader tool that offers a number of features not found in other pdf readers. Some of the unique features of SlimPDF include password protection, embedded images, annotations and notes, bookmarking/filing, support for multiple languages including Chinese and Spanish, easy sharing via social media or email, as well as direct printing to an external printer. 

It’s a lightweight, high-quality document format that provides publishers with several advantages over other popular formats like .pdf and .docx. 

Some of the key benefits of using Slim include:

  • Advanced annotation tools
  • Modern UI
  • Easy PDF filling

10. PDF-XChange Editor

PDF-XChange Editor is a powerful tool that lets you easily create, modify and export PDF files. This software is perfect for businesses that need to produce large quantities of PDFs quickly and efficiently. With this editor, you can create and edit PDF files with ease, customize them according to your needs, and then export them as desired. 

You can also use the tools provided to encrypt or password-protect the contents of your PDFs. So, whether you’re looking to improve your efficiency or security when it comes to producing PDFs, this editor is a great choice!

Some of the key benefits of using PDF-XChange Editor include:

  • Editable documents
  • Digital signatures
  • OCR-enhanced scanning


Nowadays, free PDF readers are available for everyone. As earlier highlighted in this post, not all of these readers can compete with their paid counterparts but still, most of them provide the basic features that one wants. We have also mentioned some notable ones – from user-friendly to innovative and more affordable ones – so that you don’t get lost while choosing the right app.

Who knows where you’ll find your next favorite reader?

FAQs On Best PDF Readers:

Q1. Which are the best PDF readers?

Ans: There are many great PDF readers available out there, some of the best ones are:

  • Google Drive
  • UPDF
  • Slim PDF
  • SumatraPDF
  • Foxit PDF

Q2. Which is the best PDF reader for Windows 11?

Ans: Although all the PDF readers are good but yes for Windows 11 there are some specific requirements that need to be fulfilled, and these PDF readers are perfect:

  • UPDF
  • PDFelement
  • Adobe Acrobat

Q3. Name a few PDF readers best for students.

Ans: These are the PDF readers best for students:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
  • UPDF
  • Google Drive
  • Nitro Reader
  • PDF-XChange Editor
  • MuPDF
  • SumatraPDF

Q4. List the factors needed to be considered before selecting PDF reader software.

Ans: These are the factors that you should definitely consider:

  • Compatibility with mobile devices
  • Easy usage
  • Support with customer care
  • Security for your data
  • Proper PDF functionality operations such as share, print, edit, create, etc.

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