FAQ | Adobe Acrobat Reader

What's covered


Adobe Acrobat Reader software is the free, trusted standard for viewing, printing, signing, and annotating PDFs. It's the only PDF viewer that can open and interact with all types of PDF content – including forms and multimedia.

Yes. Acrobat Reader is free desktop software available on the Reader download page or wherever you see the Get Adobe Acrobat Reader icon.

Acrobat Reader works with Adobe Document Cloud services to take the world’s best PDF viewer to an entirely new level. With an intuitive, touch-enabled interface, Acrobat Reader delivers powerful new functionality to help you get work done anywhere. The new Tool Center offers quick access to the tools you use most, while elegant new tool experiences work consistently across desktop, and mobile devices.

Do more with free applications:

  • Work with PDFs from anywhere with the new, free Acrobat mobile app for Android or iOS. Select functionality is also available on Windows Phone.
  • Save money on ink and toner when printing from your Windows PC.

You can easily download free Adobe Acrobat apps for multiple operating systems and devices:

  • Desktop app – Adobe Acrobat Reader: Visit the Acrobat Reader download page to get Reader for your desktop. Once there, you can select your language, operating system, and connection speed.
  • Mobile app – Adobe Acrobat: To download this app, visit the Google Play or the iTunes App Store. You can also download the latest version of the mobile app for Windows Phone devices.

No. Acrobat Reader is a free, stand-alone application that you can use to open, view, sign, print, annotate, search, and verify PDF files. Acrobat Pro and Acrobat Standard are paid products that are part of the same family. See the Acrobat product comparison to explore the differences.

Desktop and mobile support

Acrobat Reader desktop software runs on both Windows and Mac operating systems. Download Reader desktop software now, or read system requirements.

Learn about language support on the system requirements page.

Yes. The Adobe Reader mobile app is now Adobe Acrobat. The Acrobat mobile app is the next generation of Adobe Reader. Just like Reader, Acrobat for mobile is free and continues to offer the industry’s most reliable mobile experience for viewing and interacting with PDFs.

Visit the Google Play or the iTunes App Store to get Android and iOS versions, respectively. You can also download the latest version of the mobile app for Windows Phone device.


Reader makes it easy to annotate PDF documents. With Reader on your desktop, you can: annotate PDFs using sticky notes; type text directly onto the page; highlight, underline, or use strikethrough tools; and draw on the screen with the freehand drawing tool. The same commenting tools are also available on Adobe Acrobat for mobile.

No. You cannot make permanent changes to text or images inside PDF files using Acrobat Reader. To edit PDF files, purchase Adobe Acrobat software.

Acrobat Reader makes it possible for people with disabilities – such as blindness, low vision, or mobility impairments – to interact with PDF documents and forms. Accommodations include built-in capabilities as well as support for users of assistive technologies. In addition, Adobe Acrobat Pro provides authors with a complete set of tools to create and optimize accessible PDF files.

Using Acrobat Reader on Windows, users can:

  • Customize accessibility preferences with an easy-to-use wizard
  • Work with magnifiers
  • Read PDFs out loud using built-in functions or working with professional screen-reading software
  • Set high-contrast colors for better visibility
  • NEW Read text easier in high contrast mode with dynamic background adjustment
  • Enable large-type display by setting text to reflow through pages

Using Acrobat Reader on Mac, users can:

  • NEW Work with the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X computers
  • Work with magnifiers
  • Set high-contrast colors for better visibility
  • NEW Read text easier in high contrast mode with dynamic background adjustment
  • Enable large-type display by setting text to reflow through pages

Learn more at the Adobe Accessibility Resource Center.


To protect you and your organization from malicious code that attempts to use the PDF format to write to - or read from - a computer’s file system, Adobe delivers an implementation of "sandboxing" technology called Protected Mode. Enabled by default in Acrobat Reader, Protected Mode protects against attackers who attempt to install malware on your computer system and blocks malicious individuals from accessing – and extracting – sensitive data and intellectual property from your computer or corporate network.

Security settings and access privileges for a PDF file cannot be set in Reader; however, they can be set using Adobe Acrobat software. With security settings, authors can define who can open, view, print, copy, or modify a document. These capabilities help organizations protect the confidentiality of sensitive information. With access privileges, authors can define a password that users will need to open the document, or they can use a certificate ID to encrypt the document so select recipients can open it by entering their own, unique certificate IDs.

Enterprise deployment

Yes. You can easily apply for a license to distribute Reader in volume.

It's easy to deploy, customize, and update Acrobat Reader in your organization. You can control enterprise-wide deployment — and help reduce IT costs — using various tools and methods, including the Adobe Customization wizard or Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). For more information about enterprise deployment, visit the IT resources page.

Adobe Acrobat Reader MUI is Adobe's Multilingual User Interface version of Reader, which lets you roll out the same worldwide image of Reader with a single installation. Local users can then select a user interface language, or it can be set by group policy for organizational units.

Adobe online services are available only to users 13 and older and require agreement to additional terms and the Adobe Privacy Policy. Online services are not available in all countries or languages, may require user registration, and may be discontinued or modified in whole or in part without notice. Additional fees or subscription charges may apply.


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