How to print to PDF in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Windows 10 offers extensive native PDF support with Edge being the default PDF viewer. Windows users can also print documents to PDF without third-party tools.
  • In this step-by-step guide, we will explore how you can quickly print PDF files on Windows computers.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader is one of the best tools to print PDF files. Thanks to its plethora of printing options, it makes for a better alternative to Windows 10's built-in print feature.
  • For more useful guides, visit our How-To hub to learn how you can get the most of your Windows experience. 
how to print pdf files windows 10
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Windows 10 brought many improvements, and one of the improvements was the ability to print documents to PDF. This is a welcome addition that can be helpful to many users, and today we’re going to show you how to print to PDF in Windows 10.

Print to PDF feature was available to previous versions of Windows through the use of third-party apps, and since this is such a popular feature, Microsoft decided to add native support for print to PDF. This means that you don’t have to install and third-party applications or drivers in order to print to PDF in Windows 10.

Although many programs have the option to export the current file as PDF, that option still makes metadata and other information visible to anyone who opens that PDF file, but with print to PDF feature on Windows 10, users will get the same copy of a file in PDF format, just as if it was printed, so no metadata or other sensitive data can be revealed.

As we previously mentioned, by adding native support for print to PDF, you don’t have to use any third-party applications, and you can print to PDF from any application in Windows 10 that supports printing.

QUICK TIP: Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to access additional PDF printing options.

Adobe Acrobat Reader software

Acrobat Reader is the number one PDF viewer software in the world. When it comes to printing PDF documents, the tool offers plenty of useful options, including page sizing and handling, orientation, comments and forms settings, and more.

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Print to PDF in Windows 10: Everything you should know about it

Printing to PDF in Windows 10 is rather natural and simple, and in order to print to PDF, you need to do the following:

  1. Press Ctrl + P to print from any application. Some applications might use a different shortcut, but if the shortcut doesn’t work, you can always use the Print option from the menu.
  2. Now you should see Microsoft Print to PDF available in list of printers. Select it.
  3. Click the Print button and choose where you want to save your PDF file.

As you can see, print to PDF procedure is rather straightforward and natural, and if you have printed a document before you should feel familiar with the process.

If for some reason Print to PDF option is missing from the list of printers, you can enable it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter Windows Features. Select Turn Windows features on or off.
  2. Once Windows Features window opens, locate Microsoft Print to PDF and make sure that it’s enabled. If not, enable it and click OK.

If Print to PDF option is still missing, you might have to reinstall your PDF “printer”. To do that, you need to do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter advanced printer setup. Choose Advanced Printer Setup from the menu.advanced-printer-setup
  2. Click The printer that I want isn’t listed.
  3. Select Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings and click Next.
  4. Select Use an existing port and from the menu choose FILE: (Print to File). Click Next.
  5. Select Microsoft from the Manufacturer list and Microsoft Print to PDF from Printers list. Click Next.
  6. Select the Use the driver that is currently installed (recommended) and click Next.
  7. Enter the name for the new printer and click Next. Wait for the process to finish.

After you’ve installed the printer, you should be able to see Print to PDF option and print documents to PDF on Windows 10.

Print to PDF is a useful feature, and it’s no surprise that Microsoft added the ability to print to PDF without the use of third-party applications. Now when you know how this feature works, make sure that you give it a try.

FAQ: Learn more about printing PDF documents

  • Can you print a PDF file?

Windows users can easily print PDF files by clicking on the Print option. A new window will appear on the screen allowing them to customize the PDF printer settings before printing the document.

  • Does Adobe Reader have Print to PDF?

Adobe Reader has its own built-in print button that allows users to print PDF files and set the printing instructions from within the software.

  • What is the best free PDF printer?

Adobe Acrobat Reader is the best free PDF printer tool thanks to the plethora of printing features that it offers.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has since been updated for freshness and accuracy.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in May 2016 and was revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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