6 best free PDF reading software for Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • PDF files are the most popular file formats in the business industry and in the day by day tasks, so people save a lot of documents and photos in this format.
  • PDF reading software offers a lot more extra features besides only viewing such files, so you may consider editing a PDF.
  • If you need more PDF-related guides, check out our dedicated PDF section, we have plenty there.
  • You can further enrich your digital life by choosing the apps listed in our Software Hub.
PDF reading software
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Are you a Windows 10 PC owner stuck with a premium PDF reader with limited capabilities? How about 5 best free PDF reading software? This post is meant for you.

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a common file format that was developed by Adobe Systems in the 1990s for document presentation. PDF files can contain items such as text, images, hyperlinks, interactive buttons, forms, embedded fonts, video, and many more.

However, some PDF readers are available at a premium price though they come with extended features; but, there is some free PDF reading software available which can work more wonders compared to premium PDF readers.


What are the best free PDF reading software for Windows 10?

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (recommended)

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC has a free version and is a user-friendly PDF reading software. Adobe Reader, as its name suggests, is perfect for viewing and printing PDF files.

This tool supports different files as Microsoft Office formats, Encapsulated PostScript, text, images, Autodesk Autocad, 3D files, MS Visio, and many more.

If you want to fill out PDF forms, you can do that as well. Adobe Reader enables you to navigate using outlines, links, and bookmarks. In addition, you can also use various viewer layouts, fit modes, and zooming tools within the program.

Moreover, this tool incorporates collaboration features like getting comments from different users on a shared online PDF.

As more people from the business industry spend more time on their smartphones, Adobe Reader adapted the application to mobile users.

Directly from your phone, you can edit, review, sign any PDF file and you can capture documents with your phone camera in order to save them as PDFs.

This application eases the process of collecting PDF files, as Adobe Reader is linked with Adobe Document Cloud in order to allow easy access of the PDFs anywhere you are.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader

What better way to get rid of all PDF-related issues than by using the world's most well-known PDF editor and reader.
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Icecream Ebook Reader

Although not a dedicated PDF reader per se, Icecream Ebook Reader is very much capable of opening PDF files too, since many Ebooks come in that format anyway.

The application has a very lightweight overall feel to it, and the system impact is minimum, so you can run it even on very dated PCs.

As for the PDFs, it can open them without a problem, supporting internal linking, images, and pretty much any elements included inside.

Besides, you can use it to track reading progress, add notes, translate text, use bookmarks, and more. 

Icecream Ebook Reader

Icecream Ebook Reader

Read your favorite eBooks as well as any PDF that you need with the help of this extremely useful software tool.
Free trial Visit website

Xodo PDF Reader

This free program is an excellent PDF reading software. You can view PDF files and also edit them as well.

In addition, you can Xodo PDF Reader to convert images into PDF documents. Some of the features of Xodo PDF Reader include:

  • Fill out, save and send PDF forms
  • Draw and type text on the PDF document
  • Attach comments and bookmark for references
  • Use a table of contents to navigate to sections and chapters
  • Insert, delete, and rearrange pages of PDF documents
  • Night Mode for reading in a dark environment.

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free pdf reading software windows 10Reader is a Windows built-in PDF reading software. This program has a user-friendly interface and it is easy-to-use even by novice PC users. Reader is lightweight and only requires 15MB of your disk space.

Reader has the following features:

  • View PDF documents
  • Fill out, save and send PDF forms
  • Print PDF documents
  • Search for phrases or words
  • Register comments and take notes
  • Support for TIFF and XPS files

However, the downside feature of Reader is its bookmark navigation which is very poor.

Get Reader now  

Soda PDF 3D Reader

free pdf reading software windows 10This program enables you to view your PDF files in 3D. Soda PDF presents the PDF document with a real life view. You can view PDF files in regular modes, such as: single, continuous, facing, and facing continuous.

Other noteworthy features of Soda PDF 3D Reader include:

  • Convert PDF files into Microsoft Word format
  • Mark PDF documents
  • Add text, shapes, and images to documents
  • Flip through pages to view PDF documents.

Get Soda PDF 3D Reader

PDF Annotation Lite

PDF annotation

Last but not the least; PDF Annotation Lite is an ideal free PDF reading tool for Windows 10 PC. This program is commonly regarded as the ‘Photoshop of PDF readers’; in addition to viewing PDF documents, you can edit them as well with this program. PDF Annotation Liteenables you to add text, shapes, edit elements, and of course draw on PDF documents.

Get PDF Annotation Lite

Have you already used some of the software we mentioned above? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Free PDF Reading Software FAQ:

  • What is the best PDF reader and editor?

The best PDF editor is Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, as these are high-quality software thanks to advanced features that allow users to convert, edit, annotate PDFs, and more.

  • How do I make a PDF read only?
You can create a read-only PDF file in Adobe Acrobat by selecting Document Security which you can find by going to File > Properties > Security panel.  In order to create a read-only file, you have to secure it by setting a password, in order to limit features like editing and printing.
  • How do I make a PDF not editable?

You can make a PDF not editable by setting a password to the PDF document, so you can do it with ease in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2017 and was revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.