Microsoft Edge to completely ditch built-in PDF for Adobe in 2025

In early 2023, Microsoft announced a collaboration with Adobe to improve the PDF viewing experience in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft has now quietly updated its original announcement to confirm that it is extending the retirement of the PDF engine to early 2025.

Moreover, the commercial rollout for adding the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine to Microsoft Edge has been shifted to mid-summer 2024. The new Adobe Acrobat PDF engine is still in the rollout phase. Windows Latest got access to the new feature and noticed that it is now the default engine in the Edge browser.

But if you don’t have the feature yet, you can force enable it by adjusting a flag. Here’s how:

  1. Type edge://flags/ in the URL bar and press Enter.
  2. Search for the New PDF Viewer flag and expand the drop-down list.
  3. Select the Enabled option and restart Edge to apply the changes.

force enable new pdf engine in edge

We didn’t experience any issues with the new Adobe Acrobat PDF engine. However, the biggest difference is the ‘Edit with Acrobat’ button in the top right corner. Clicking on it reveals a drop-down box describing a few features available with the app’s premium version.

You can try these features by opting for the 7-day free trial.

Edit with acrobat option in edge

Microsoft assures improved performance with the Adobe engine and better colors and graphics. The accessibility features like Read Aloud, and text selection will work better.

Seeing the subtle nudge to use the Adobe Acrobat subscription for editing features shouldn’t be surprising. Microsoft needs to make it up to Adobe in some way to support its users. If you are already subscribed to Acrobat, you can sign in to your account and access the PDF editing features without leaving the browser.

Managed Devices admins can opt-in to enable the new PDF engine. They can also enable or disable it by tweaking the “NewPDFReaderEnabled” policy. The rollout will start mid-summer, but admins can stick to the old engine for a few more months.

Windows 11 and 10 users will get the improved engine; macOS users must wait longer.

The upgraded PDF engine will be available for all Windows 11 and 10  users, but we don’t know when it will begin rolling out for those on Mac or Linux.

In our tests, we observed that an unobtrusive Adobe logo appears in the bottom right corner while viewing a PDF file with the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine.

Surprisingly, admins can tweak the “ShowAcrobatSubscriptionButton” policy to remove the Edit in Acrobat option for managed devices. For rest of the users, Acrobat logo will remain visible and disappear when you zoom into the document.

adobe acrobat logo in the Edge browser

We don’t know how Microsoft plans to improve the experience in the future, but you can expect more AI features. The browser is already infused with Copilot, and you can even ask it to summarize the PDF’s contents.

However, the AI integration is still half-baked and merely opens Copilot in the sidebar.

About The Author

Abhishek Mishra

Abhishek Mishra is a skilled news reporter working at Windows Latest, where he focuses on everything about computing and Windows. With a strong background in computer applications, thanks to his master's degree, Abhishek knows his way around complex tech subjects. His love for reading and his four years in journalism have sharpened his ability to explain tricky tech ideas in easy-to-understand ways. Over his career, he has crafted hundreds of detailed articles for publications like MakeUseof, Tom's Hardware, and more in the pursuit of helping tech enthusiasts.