If I download a PDF in Chrome (even from Drive), on any platform, and click on the downloaded-file-button down the bottom, the PDF opens in Chrome in a viewer that includes a table of contents browser, smart zoom controls and other features.

If, on the other hand, I double click on it in Drive, it opens in Chrome but in a preview style viewer that is very limited, with none of the features above.

How do I get Chrome to open PDFs from Drive... well, in Chrome?

4 Answers 4


You can open a PDF in the Chrome PDF Viewer from Google Drive by (mis)using the print feature.

  1. After you open the PDF in the Drive PDF Viewer, click the Print icon Print icon.
  2. Click Cancel on the dialog box that pops up.

The PDF should now be open in the Chrome PDF Viewer.

  • 2
    This should be marked as the accepted answer, maybe together with @laboweb's alternative
    – Leonel
    Jul 29, 2019 at 1:10
  • On Chromebooks at least, in 2021, this option does not work well. It opens a print dialog but does not open the file-view version of the PDF.
    – oranges13
    Jun 2, 2021 at 21:35

the solution is to use this kind of url :


If you're doing this from a Chromebook, Google Drive is mounted in 'Files', so you can just navigate to the pdf file from there, double click on it, and it will open in Chrome directly. An alternative (because sometimes 'Files' takes a while to update from Google Drive), is to open Drive & mis-use the Print feature per ARM32's answer.


As per https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2423485, "Double-click a file: if you open a PDF it will open in Google Drive."

But once it happens, you can click the download icon, which is pretty hidden in the webpage's far top right/left corner (depends if you're in a LTR or RTL language):

enter image description here

and you'll get the same desired behavior as you've described in your first paragraph.

It's pretty easy to generate a direct download link, but it's good for specific links, not for casual browsing. In articles that explain how to generate such links, you might see comments wondering how come there's no extension for this...

  • This made an un-necessary copy. I will use the print option in the other answer (as this does not print). Sep 25, 2020 at 8:54
  • 1
    No problem, @ctrl-alt-delor. You and especially Wyrmwood ("this is ridiculous") should keep in mind my answer was written years before the other answers, so printing may not have been available or just worked differently back then.
    – LWC
    Sep 25, 2020 at 17:56

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