15 Best Free PDF Readers for Windows

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Looking for advanced PDF software to help you accomplish tasks like digital signing, document annotation, etc. Here are some free PDF readers for windows you need to check out.

With the fast-changing tech advancements, most aspects of document access and readership are also on an upward trend. As such, there’s an ever-increasing need for better document readers; PDF readers to be precise.

The latest versions of PDF reading software should be able to support digital signatures, annotation, form filling, etc. And they should be compatible with popular operating systems.

In this review, we have compiled some of the best free PDF readers that are compatible with windows operating system. Take time to compare and contrast each of these so as to find what suits you best.

Top 15 Free PDF Readers – Download PDF Viewer Right Now!

1.  Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Reader is by far the most popular of free PDF readers. It is compatible with Windows OS and comes with a characteristic colourful and navigable UI. It is very compatible with many browsers too.

What actually makes it so popular is the simplicity and ease of use. This Windows PDF reader id feature-rich and comes with a user manual to help with installation and use.

If you have used or are using it currently on your PC, you can attest to the fact that Adobe reader is light and loads super-fast. If you are looking for a powerful PDF reader that will meet all your reading needs, we highly recommend Adobe Acrobat Reader.

What’s more, this reader also supports different modes, text highlighting, adding stamps and notes, among other functionalities. The UI supports the tabbed view which simply implies that you can open multiple PDF files concurrently on the same window.

Once again, if you are looking for a quality PDF reader that is loaded with many features, Adobe Acrobat reader is what you need.

Key Features of Adobe Acrobat Reader:

  • Huge international coverage to over 30 countries and languages.
  • Has reading modes, compatible even in touch screen.
  • Simple, reliable and fast.
  • Supports tabbed view.

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

2. Foxit Reader

Foxit Reader

Having mentioned Adobe Acrobat, the next big name among PDF reader software is the Foxit Reader. It is compatible with Windows 10 and older versions. It is much lighter compared to Adobe. This means it loads pretty fast for a better reading experience.

It comes with an attractive user interface loader with many features and options. The UI supports tabbed view, a functionality that allows you to open multiple PDF files on the same window.

It is expertly designed and as such, will not install unnecessary bloatware and other malicious software onto your PC.

The free version comes with a PhantomPDF editor, which is an optional installation. Its text viewer mode eliminates complicated styles and formats.

A recent addition, the ConnectedPDF Document Management System makes it much easier to work and manage your documents online. There’s a premium version of Foxit Reader.

However, if you are just beginning your journey with PDF readers, I recommend the free version. It comes with just about everything you need to manage your PDF documents.

Just to remind you, this software is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 7, and XP. If you are looking for a reader that offers a mix of quality performance and unmatched ease of use, I highly recommend the Foxit PDF Reader. It has everything you may want in terms of managing your documents.

Key Features of Foxit Reader:

  • Annotate PDF documents in several ways.
  • Several toolbars are
  • Small, fast, stable and functional.
  • Supports tabbed view

Download Foxit Reader

3. Sumatra PDF

Sumatra PDF

This is a rather basic PDF reader that is super-light. It is not so rich in features but at least has essential tools and options.

That is to say you can install and use Sumatra with no much help. It is licensed under GPLv3 and is one of the lightest PDF readers you’ll ever come by. For instance, its 64-bit installer is 5MBs in size; so small it takes up the least space on your Hard Disk.

Like other readers, Sumatra supports various keyboard shortcuts. This makes it easy and simple to execute operations with no much strain.

Because it lacks advanced features like annotations, digital signatures, and form filling, this reader is best used for reading documents and nothing more.

Unlike other PDF viewers, the more you add features around it, the more it gets very slow and bad. That's one reason why Sumatra PDF kept things like how it should be.

There's not much of a problem that will appear here simply because there's not much going on around the software. There’s even a restricted mode option that limits unauthorized alteration of documents. This feature ensures that you do not lose content originality due to malicious alterations. If you are seeking a basic windows PDF reader, I recommend Sumatra PDF.

It is very light and delivers and outstanding reading experience, like you’ve never witnessed before.

Key Features of Sumatra PDF:

  • Very quick, but extremely basic.
  • Good zoom and search functions.
  • It opens large files quickly and efficiently.
  • Super light and lacks advanced features
  • Supports tabbed document view.

Download Sumatra PDF

4. Martview


MartView is among eBook readers that have metamorphosed into very successful PDF readers. Today, this reader comes with plenty of features, tools, and options to suit its newfound glory as a PDF reader.

It has lots of extensive catalog of books and magazines. The interface of Mart view is very cool. The UI is among the simplest and most intuitive I know of.

It has an original design and it will let you read the whole file that you have on full screen. It supports the tabbed view, an option that lets you open multiple documents simultaneously.

For advanced features and options, this software has a very interactive toolbar. I also like the fact that it supports keyboard shortcuts and hotkey commands. This makes one of my favorite PDF readers.

MartView is compatible with windows and other popular operating systems. To get started, you need to download and install the software.

After that, launch it and there you go. Drag any PDF document onto the Martview interface and it should be able to open.

Key Features of Martview:

  • Has lots of magazines and books.
  • Create your own book or magazine.
  • It has a great – but uneven quality – a catalogue of downloadable material.
  • It has a very simple and inviting User Interface
  • Supports tabbed view
  • It has a hidden toolbar with a couple of advanced tools and options.

Download Martview

5. Evince


Evince is a PDF software that is currently available only for Windows. It is a multi-page document reader that supports several file formats. This is an open-source reader and is very light.

It comes with a simple and intuitive user interface for easy document navigation. Its toolbar is rich in basic as well as advanced features.

As such, you can select, highlight and copy text from a document made from scanned images. And not just that.

You can also search it and then copy any text to the clipboard. It supports common keyboard shortcuts, something that makes it very easy to navigate and manage documents.

In addition to PDF, Evince supports other file formats. If you are looking for a free PDF reader that comes with a very simple user interface and supports multiple file formats, I recommend Evince.

Key Features of Evince:

  • Free, open-source and included in many Linux distributions as a default document reader.
  • Supports lots of file formats.
  • A very neat interface.
  • Supports tabbed view

Download Evince

6. Gaaiho PDF Reader

Gaaiho PDF Reader

A PDF reader that has a new UI design, a little bit of modern compared to the others. It also has a lot of important features that not most of the PDF readers have.

With this, you can annotate the PDF with a very complete set of tools. You can also manage PDF files here and then connect them to cloud services.

Not just that, you can also protect the PDF files that you have with a signature. Scanning and managing all your PDF documents inside the computer is very easy when using this tool.

Key Features of Gaaiho PDF Reader:

  • Read PDF document with rate up/down options.
  • Change text and background colors.
  • Use spell-check for all your texts, annotations and form fields.

Download Gaaiho PDF Reader

7. Expert PDF Reader

Expert PDF Reader

A free PDF viewer that will let you print and view documents in PDF format in the Windows Operating system. It will also allow you to modify the existing documents here.

You can modify the outlines, insert some of the rubber stamps and also modify any of the annotations that have been created on a document.

This is the ideal solution for those who want to have their PDF file viewed. Reliable, scalable and fast, it will give you all the things that you need if you want to simply read your PDF file. It is also a good PDF editor.

Key Features of Expert PDF Reader:

  • A fast PDF viewer.
  • You can also have multiple skins in this PDF viewer.
  • Ideal solution for those who want a PDF software.

Download Expert PDF reader

8. Soda 3D PDF Reader

Soda 3D PDF Reader

A very basic PDF viewer that has a very eye-catching display that will let you have a different experience while viewing your documents.

Aside from the default layout options that this PDF viewer already has, there are more layout options that it gives out.

Including those four-page, double-page and single-page layouts. There are even nice full-screen versions out there that support both the scroll button and the keyboard button.

If you want to have the PDF creation and form options, you may have to download some other stuff because it is placed in a separate module.

Key Features of Soda 3D PDF Reader:

  • Looks good.
  • Nice full-screen
  • Has a nice full-screen version that supports both keyboard and scroll button instructions.

Download Soda PDF Free reader

9. STDU Viewer

STDU Viewer

It is a free file viewer that deals specifically with the most important scientific and technical documentation formats. These formats are the TIFF, PDF, DjVu, XPS, JBIG2, and WWF formats.

Not limited to those formats though, as it also supports the other formats out here. But then you cannot open DOC and.HTML formats on this reader. It supports different image formats including CBZ and CBR.

Key Features of STDU Viewer:

  • Traditional viewer interface.
  • Can open several documents simultaneously.
  • Light on system resources.

Download STDU Viewer

10. Nitro PDF Reader

Nitro PDF Reader

A tool that will help you create industry-standard PDF files. The documents that are created here are completely compatible with Adobe Acrobat.

Nitro PDF reader is also compatible with other operating systems like android, iOS in addition to windows. This one is a very powerful PDF creation software too.

It has lots of features but then very simple in terms of its functionality. You do not have to learn too much in order to completely understand this software as the learning curve that it has is not that steep.

Key Features of Nitro PDF Reader:

  • It has features that make its PDF files universally-compatible.
  • Fully-featured PDF editor.
  • Convert PDF documents or files into Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook files, or make PDFs from Office directly.

Download Nitro PDF Reader

11. Nuance PDF Reader

Nuance PDF Reader

With this tool, you can have a very simple PDF editor that can just be loaded in just a couple of seconds. It's not just a fast PDF reader but also it is a nicely-designed one.

It offers you different classic tools and options that you would expect to have come from a basic PDF reader.

These features are the full-screen view, support for zooming in and out, ability to display several pages on screen simultaneously, and utilities to select, underline and highlight text.

Key Features of Nuance PDF Reader:

  • It lets you email any PDF file right from the program.
  • It allows you to convert files from PDF to other formats.
  • The program doesn't include any editing tools at all.

Download Nuance PDF

12. Sejda PDF Desktop

Sejda PDF Desktop

Simple software that allows users to edit, format and modify the PDF documents that is found inside the computer of the user.

It can be a good alternative to those well-known PDF viewers and readers out there just like the Adobe Acrobat.

There are even functions that Sejda PDF Desktop has that are as similar as what those famous PDF viewers have.

Key Features of Sejda PDF Desktop:

  • It can split files into multiple segments.
  • It can compress PDF files.
  • It can also extract PDFs.

Check out Sejda PDF

13. Xodo PDF Reader & Editor

Xodo PDF Reader & Editor

Similar to the other software, this program will allow the user that uses it to open, edit and read the PDF files that are on their laptop or computer. Also, if you have a smartphone or tablet, it would work well too.

This is not just a normal PDF reader compared to the others in the list, it will allow you to have an in-depth look of the files that you just requested it to open and then make changes to it.

This feature is not available on most of the famous and well-known PDF readers out there. Check it out.

Key Features of Xodo PDF Reader & Editor:

  • Bookmark pages as you read.
  • Annotate and make notes with others in real-time.
  • No Ads.

Download Xodo PDF Reader

14. PDF+ Download

PDF+ Download

This software makes all of the users to have a view of their PDF documents in a quick manner. This works either on their own smartphone or from their own personal computer.

This is a very good replacement when it comes to talking about bigger software platforms just like Microsoft Office if they don’t get to show up.

It has a lot of options available when using it, like changing the type of how you are viewing it, flipping or zooming the file.

Key Features of PDF+ Download:

  • There is no charge to download this application.
  • It can also work with pictures from within a standard image folder.
  • PDF + provides a very user-friendly system to view documents.

Download PDF+

15. Slim PDF

Slim PDF

It is another lightweight and best PDF reader for Windows operating systems. This one labels itself as the smallest desktop PDF reader in the world.

It is not that sure that this one really is the real deal, but a 1.43MB download size would probably say it all.

This one really has the potential to be called as the fastest one. It is a good and free software that is dedicated to reading PDF files.

Key Features of Slim PDF:

  • It loads very quickly and lets you complete your job in less time.
  • It doesn’t let you highlight your text word by word.
  • It’s a portable PDF reader software that just works.

Download Slim PDF



There are so many PDF readers out there that really work out so fine and so good. There are some that have complete features around it, yet it sacrifices the time of loading and processing.

While there are others too that are fast and very reliable, but it doesn’t have those complete features just like everyone has. Well, it all depends on your taste, make sure to have a good look before choosing one!

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