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[Firefox] How to disable Firefox’s native PDF reader/viewer in Firefox 19 and higher

As mentioned earlier, starting in Firefox 19, Firefox has a native PDF reader [1]. This means Firefox can view PDFs without you having to install a third-party add-on or program. Firefox’s PDF viewer is enabled by default. The issue is, some people may prefer their third-party PDF readers [2] over Firefox’s built-in viewer. This article shows you how to disable Firefox’s native built-in PDF viewer and change it back to your third party program.

Take note this tip is divided into two parts. The first part shows you how to make Firefox use the third-party PDF reader you have installed instead of Firefox’s built-in PDF viewer. The second part shows you how to disable Firefox’s built-in viewer completely. The difference is, with the first part you don’t disable Firefox’s PDF viewer — you just don’t use it. With the second part you completely disable the viewer.

HOW TO CHANGE BACK TO DIFFERENT READER

The process of changing back to your other PDF reader is actually pretty simple. Do the following:

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2013-02-20_191423 [4]

2013-02-20_191438 [5]

Done! Now Firefox will display PDFs in the PDF reader/viewer of your choice and not Firefox’s built-in PDF viewer.

HOW TO DISABLE FIREFOX NATIVE PDF VIEWER

This one is a bit more tricky and involves the use of about:config. Do the following:

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2013-02-20_220514 [7]

You can close the tab/window. Once you have set ‘pdfjs.disabled’ to ‘true’, Firefox’s native PDF viewer has been disabled. There is no save button to hit — all changes are saved in real-time.

Conclusion

Enjoy!